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Flood risk management review

The Ministry for the Environment led a two-year review of how New Zealand manages its flood risk and river control. This was completed in June 2007. A report has been published presenting the findings of the review:

The Ministry worked closely with local government and other government agencies on the review, including the Ministry of Civil Defence and Emergency Management, Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry, Department of Internal Affairs and the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet.

The review found that central government needs to strengthen the current policy framework and provide better guidance on flood risk assessment and good practice. The challenge New Zealand now faces is how best to reduce the damages and losses from flooding as part of our everyday living and working lives.  


Over 100 New Zealand cities and towns, along with some of our most productive farmland, are located on floodplains. The review looked at what was being done to manage flood risk and where there were any problems.

New Zealand suffered major flooding in 2004, affecting the lower North Island and the Bay of Plenty. The floods led to major regional social, economic and environmental disruption, requiring substantial relief from central government. Following these events the flood risk management review and work programme was agreed, and a steering group was established.

The review covered seven project areas:

See Meeting the challenges of future flooding in New Zealand for results of the review.

Further information

Or contact the Ministry for the Environment by phoning (04) 439 7400 or email, writing to PO Box 10362, Wellington.

Last updated: 22 August 2008