Flood protection reduces the likelihood of floods impacting on our communities. It safeguards lives and property, enables productive use of land, and protects services such as water supply, power, telecommunications and roading networks. Our schemes are built to protect against a certain level of flooding, and no more. More intense weather events and higher tides are putting pressure on our assets. Population growth, urban development and changes in land use also add to our flood risk. Another issue is affordability. Our schemes, which were largely paid for by the Government, are ageing and many of our assets need replacing.
Three quarters of the Waikato benefits from flood protection, and we all pay in some way, but the work that’s done and why is not always understood by our communities. When flood protection works well, and it’s been part of the landscape for a long time, it becomes invisible or taken for granted. But there’s always risk. We’re all affected, no matter where we live.
Councillors Stu Husband and Stu Kneebone introduce our flood protection campaign.

Members of catchment committees in the Waikato region tell us what the flood issues are in their area, and how their communities are protected.

Coromandel

Coromandel

“We have quite steep land in the Coromandel and a lot of bush. We get these flash flooding type situations … They create dams, and all of a sudden they let go.” – John Sanford
Read more
Waihou Piako

Waihou Piako

“The reality is, without flood protection, you wouldn’t be farming or living on the Hauraki Plains.” – Robert Hicks
Read more
Lower Waikato

Lower Waikato

“Historically, all this area used to flood, and it’s our most valuable agricultural land.” – Keith Holmes
Read more
Lake Taupō

Lake Taupō

“We’ve gone and built our lives around rivers and lakes because it’s a nice place to be but we are living here on this massive, big, dynamic floodplain.” – Cam Speedy
Read more
Flood protection assets map

Flood protection assets map

Find out what flood protection is in your area, and understand how those assets work. You can enter your address and see what is near you.
Go to the map

There’s no one-size-fits-all approach when it comes to flood protection. Find out more about assets and hazard management, and some of our special infrastructure.

Asset renewal

Asset renewal

“It’s a certainty that some time in the future our assets will come up against a storm event bigger than what they were designed for.” – Lisa Drysdale
Read more
Hazard management

Hazard management

“The odds of a 1 in 100 year flood is probably greater than winning Lotto. But people buy a Lotto ticket and win, yet ignore the chance of an extreme weather event.” – Rick Liefting
Read more
Criterion Bridge gates

Criterion Bridge gates

“We had new flood control gates installed in Paeroa in August 2018. The gates can be closed in about five minutes compared with the old setup where we had to take about an hour to construct a Lego-type wall.” – Hayden McGregor
Read more
Reservoir pump station

Reservoir pump station

“I call the old Reservoir pump my baby. I am the babysitter. You can do some damage if you don’t work it right, that’s why you have to nurse it like a baby. I’ve been cuddling it for 49 years now.” – Ian Sara
Read more
Graham’s Creek scheme

Graham’s Creek scheme

“The challenge was to come up with a way to divert the water in a self-sufficient way, not relying on any source of power.” – Juan Martinez
Read more

Our flood schemes were put in 50-60 years ago to build a strong economy and communities. Today, there’s a whole lot more to consider.

Changing expectations

Changing expectations

“As a freshwater ecologist, I see flooding as a natural process. While flood schemes are important for protecting people and property, the minute you start to control floods you start changing how rivers work.” – Mike Lake
Read more
Restoration work

Restoration work

“With the creation of a new flood protection system, Muggeridge’s, near Ngātea, we will create a glance of the vast wetland system we had in the past, and which shows the interaction between plants, birds, fish.” – Pauline Clarkin
Read more
Protecting the mauri

Protecting the mauri

“Annual flooding was actually seen as a re-fertilising of the soil to grow food. We used to store all our kai because in winter you couldn’t get over to town.” – Norm Hill and Barry Maipi
Read more

With flood protection in place, it’s easy to become complacent. But not all forget.

Paeroa flood 1981

Paeroa flood 1981

"We lived next to the Old Boys Clubrooms. I saw waves coming across the field and the whole thing was like a sea.” – Carole Dayley
Read more
Lower Waikato farming

Lower Waikato farming

“We used to have water from here to the hills. As young kids you make your own fun in the country. We’d get some sheet iron and make a canoe, paddle in the flood water with it. But it just ruined everyone’s livelihoods.” – Malcolm Lumsden
Read more
Hauraki Plains farming

Hauraki Plains farming

“On average, we have four floods a year. Not serious but enough to make you pull your hair out.” – Roger Hunter
Read more
Leasing a stopbank

Leasing a stopbank

"The stopbanks have created a lot of productive farmland. Economical farming is important – it was uncontrolled flooding before the stopbanks were put in." – Trevor Simpson
Read more
A hard lesson

A hard lesson

“You would not believe how much water comes over in a 24 hour period. It’s just incredible.” – Phillip Buckthought
Read more

Are you prepared?

are you prepared tile2

The Waikato region has 20 large rivers and about 1400 small river systems, so flooding can be an issue in some areas. If you live in a flood hazard area, do you know how to respond in an emergency situation?

Read more

FAQs

tararu floodwall tile

Find answers to some common questions around flood protection. 

Read more

Disclaimer: Some of the views and opinions expressed on this website are not necessarily those of Waikato Regional Council.