Flood protection

In some areas, flood protection infrastructure helps reduce the risk to our communities from river flooding.

In areas most heavily impacted by flooding, we work closely with our communities through local river working groups to develop plans for reducing flood risk.

The groups include representation from our regional council, community members and tangata whenua, plus district councils and government agencies.

River flood protection infrastructure is grouped into ‘schemes’ that provide integrated management of river catchments. Our council has developed and manages several flood protection schemes. We also do maintenance works on other rivers, such as the Kaihū River.

What we're doing to help protect Kaitaia and surrounds from the impacts of river flooding.
This project aims to reduce the impacts of flooding on Kaeo township and its people.
Find out about this project designed to reduce flooding in Whangārei's CBD.

Hopua te Nihoteatea detention dam in action - Video

Climate resilience

A comprehensive programme of flood protection work is in progress in the Awanui, Panguru and Otiria-Moerewa catchments.

  • Read more about the Awanui flood scheme, an accelerated five-year, $15 million flood risk reduction programme.
  • A project to reduce flooding of West Coast Road at Panguru was completed in November 2021. This was a two-pronged effort that involved lifting the road, and benching and widening the river to lower the flood level.
  • A project to reduce flooding to Otiria and Moerewa is underway. This project is designed to restore the natural flood flow of the Otiria and Waiharakeke rivers, which have been blocked by roads and railroad corridors that direct the flood flow towards the towns.

These three initiatives have received $12.5 million from the Government’s fund for infrastructure projects, as part of its Covid-19 recovery response package.

Developing flood protection infrastructure and various river works are a priority for the council to build community resilience to flood risk.

What's planned for flood protection infrastructure

The diagram below is a summary of the infrastructure works we're working towards for Northland. You can find more detail in the 'Infrastructure strategy' section of our Long Term Plan 2021-2031.

Flooding infrastructure plan graphic - June 2021


Funding for infrastructure

In July 2018 we introduced a new regional Flood Infrastructure Rate, following public consultation on our Long Term Plan.

It will ease the burden for local ratepayers, who’ll only pay 30% towards the cost of the new upgrades, with the remaining 70% funded by ratepayers Northland-wide through the Flood Infrastructure Rate.

The 70/30 split means that schemes like Awanui become much more affordable at a local level for communities that must pay for flood infrastructure work, because we all chip in to help them.