The Waikato region has 20 large rivers and about 1400 small river systems. A lot of the region's river systems are constantly prone to flooding and flooding is frequent because of steep terrain, low lying flood plains and areas of high rainfall.
Extensive flooding occured in the Waikato region in 1958. More recently, back-to-back storms in July 1998 and the Leap Day flood event in 2004 caused widespread flooding. The most recent flood events occured in 2008, 2011 and 2014 (Northern Coromandel).
River flooding can threaten people’s lives and property and damage our environment. ‘Lifeline’ services such as water, power, telecommunication and transportation networks can also be damaged.
Waikato Regional Council has developed a strategy for river flood risk management which will assist all stakeholders (including district and regional councils) to integrate their respective responsibilities under different pieces of legislation.
Our flood warning and information pamphlets can be downloaded here:
River flooding is a risk in the Waikato region because:
River flooding is more likely to occur when:
High tides can also affect river flooding, increasing water levels in a river where it flows into the sea.
The costs of flood control mean it is more appropriate to avoid development in at-risk areas.
Waikato Regional Council is involved in a number of strategies for managing flood risk. The following links provide you with more information on these strategies.
Flood Risk Management Strategy- A strategy which provides guidance on how river flood risks will be managed across the region in the future. The strategy encourages better integration between the stakeholders involved in flood risk management and the work that the Waikato Regional Council does.
Flood Risk Mitigation Plan- A plan which sets out efficient and effective flood risk management for the Waikato region, aiming to prevent floods from happening, or lessen their effects by planning for response and recovery.
Natural Hazards in the Hauraki district- Information and publications on the natural hazards in the Hauraki District.
What are we doing? - An overview of all the Waikato Regional Councils strategies for managing flood risk.
As part of Waikato Regional Councils mangement of flood risks, we provide several means of flood information to help residents plan, prepare for and monitor flood events.
Information on river levels and rainfall- Maps and graphs showing river levels, flow and rainfall at monitored sites around the region.
Broadscale flood hazard information- Broadscale maps of flood hazards areas in the Waikato region, useful for identifying potential flooding issues that require further discussion and investigation.
Flood Hazard Information- Request a flood hazard report for a particular property or site.
Preventing floods on your property- Information on how to prevent flood risk on you property, and steps to take when developing.
Waikato Regional Council operates a flood warning system, with staff dealing with system alerts activated by heavy rainfall and rising river levels. Waikato Regional Council uses the system to:
To sign up for the flood warning service message us(external link) or free call 0800 800 401 and ask for the Senior Emergency Management Officer (SEMO).
When river levels at a site reach a set level or rain is very heavy, our early warning system is activated.
The early warning flood level indicates that a river’s level should be more closely watched. Our 0832 Infolines service provides telephone information about the various sites we monitor. This information varies between sites but can include:
The Thames Coast Project is just one part of Waikato Regional Council's wider Peninsula Project. The Peninsula Project aims to deal with soil erosion, river management and flooding management issues throughout the Thames Coromandel District.
You can check out the following Thames Coast Project information in PDF format:
Find out more about river and catchment management in the Waikato region.