Flood risk management review underway

  • Marian Hobbs

A two-year work programme to improve how New Zealand manages its flood risk has been approved by the Cabinet, Environment Minister Marian Hobbs announced today.

"The review will ensure we have a robust approach to managing flood risk and controlling rivers that works for local communities. It will provide a good picture of this country’s current and future flood risk situation. It will also address what the role of local and central government should be in managing flood risk," Marian Hobbs said.

The Ministry for the Environment is leading the review, working closely with local government and other government agencies. Other agencies involved include the Ministry of Civil Defence and Emergency Management, Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry, and the Ministry of Economic Development.

"The risks from flooding and the impacts of flooding are changing. This project takes a timely look at what is being done to manage flood risk and where the gaps are," Marian Hobbs said.

The Manawatu and Bay of Plenty floods last year highlighted the vulnerability that communities face when a major flood hits. About 100 New Zealand cities and towns, along with some of our most productive farmland, are located on floodplains.

The review is wide ranging and will cover:
·The adequacy of the current approach to flood risk management
·Understanding current and future flood risk and what mitigation is required
·Best practice flood risk management
·Funding and affordability
·The legislation around managing flood risk and river control
·How to get good information on flood risk and how this information is communicated
·The respective roles of local and central government.