Auckland flood response moves into recovery phase

Last Updated : 14 Sep 2021
Widespread flooding across west and north-west Auckland

Update 14 September

At 5pm on Friday 10 September, the west and north-west Auckland flood response transitioned into recovery.

Auckland Emergency Management’s Recovery Manager Jennifer Rose says it has been a particularly difficult couple of weeks for many, especially with the additional pressures of lockdown, and wants to reassure those affected that support is still available.  

“Now that the immediate needs brought on by the floods have been met, we are able to move into the next phase.  This will focus on supporting the repair and reinstatement of damaged housing and commercial businesses, working alongside the council’s Regulatory Compliance team.

“The Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment’s (MBIE) Temporary Accommodation Service is assisting those who still require temporary accommodation, and our welfare team is also on hand to provide further advice or support. If you have been affected by the flood, please do call us on 0800 22 22 00.

“I want to thank everyone who has been involved in the response effort for their hard mahi in extremely challenging circumstances. Alert Level 4 meant it was far from business as usual, but our teams, along with the local community, pulled together and we’re now in a good position to move forward into this next phase.”

Where to get help and support

Temporary Accommodation Service

The Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE) Temporary Accommodation Service (TAS) is available to assist you to find temporary accommodation if you have been displaced by the floods.

You can register your details via or phone 0508 754 163.

Where to turn for wellbeing help or support

If you need support or advice, or have feelings of anxiety, stress or anger, or you just need to talk with someone, you can text or phone 1737 for free to speak to a trained counsellor.

The government’s Unite Against COVID-19 website also has some useful advice on how to look after your mental wellbeing, keep children safe and reassured, free resources and where to go for help.

If you have been affected by the flood, and need welfare advice or support from Auckland Emergency Management or Auckland Council please phone us on 0800 22 22 00.

Update 7 September

Around 80 homes significantly damaged in last week’s storm

Rapid Building Assessments undertaken by Auckland Council’s Regulatory team have identified that almost eighty homes suffered significant damage in last week’s floods.

Preliminary investigations undertaken on Thursday and Friday showed that the impacted area was more localised than originally suspected, reducing the number of affected homes.

Mayor Phil Goff says the last few weeks have been tough for Aucklanders.

“Last week’s flooding added an extra level of stress to what was already a difficult time, and my thoughts continue to be with those whose homes and businesses were affected,” he says.

“Alert Level 4 has made the response even more challenging, and I want to thank all of those involved for acting quickly and for helping get the recovery effort underway in difficult circumstances.

“For those who are still unable to return home, support is available from Auckland Council. If you need assistance, advice or support, please call the council on 0800 22 22 00.”

The assessments, which were undertaken by a team of 90 building consenting and regulatory compliance staff, have to date resulted in:

  • Four homes receiving a red placard – this means that re-entry is prohibited because it is no longer habitable or has suffered significant structural compromise and is unsafe due to safety concerns. A red placard means further investigation and remedial work is required before the property is safe to occupy.
  • 74 receiving a yellow placard – This means there is restricted entry to part of the building, that there is enough damage for the council to have concerns about the building’s performance, but not enough to prevent entry entirely. For example, it might mean that electrical systems have been compromised but the rest of the house is safe.
  • 106 receiving a white placard – This means the property may have minor damage, but it has been deemed to be sufficiently safe and inhabitable and that no council follow up is required.

The numbers of placards are expected to change overtime as further assessments / remedial work is conducted.

Council General Manager Building Consents, Ian McCormick says the council’s Regulatory Compliance team will be following up with owners who have received a yellow or red placard to provide support.

“It is likely that most of the damage suffered to these homes will not involve remedial work that requires building consent, but our teams will be on hand to let owners know what the next steps are.

“We know that this can be a challenging time, and we want to make it as easy as possible for those that have been affected.

“Anyone who has a question regarding the placards that have been placed on their property, or who needs further assistance can call the council’s contact centre and they will be transferred directly to a designated team that has been set up to help them.”

The damage likely to be associated with buildings that have received placards includes:

  • Damage to internal linings
  • Floor coverings and soft furnishings
  • Water risk to building electrical circuitry from flooding
  • Damage to particle board flooring
  • Septic tank and septic system silt and water loading- requiring pump out

More severe, and less common damage includes:

  • Compromised foundations due to water erosion
  • Slips in the vicinity of homes/access to homes

If you have been affected by last Tuesday’s flooding, and need advice, support or assistance, please call 0800 22 22 00.

Update 2 September 2021

Rapid Building Assessments underway

Auckland Council building officials and compliance officers are on the ground in West Auckland, having commenced inspections of buildings potentially affected by Tuesday’s flood – with all operations being carried out under strict COVID-19 protocols.

On Wednesday, Auckland Council’s Regulatory Services teams began a Rapid Impact Assessment survey of the affected areas in Huapai, Waimauku, Kumeu and the surrounding areas. Today, attention has turned to surveying other affected areas in Henderson Valley and Rānui.

Across an area with over 5500 homes, streets where properties have potential damage have been identified and flagged for follow-up Rapid Building Assessments. Today, the first area of focus for these assessments was on around 150 buildings in the centre of Kumeu which required further attention.

A Designation of Area* has now been approved by the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE) meaning the Rapid Building Assessments can get underway following strict Alert Level 4 protocols.

The scale of damage will become clearer in the coming days, with buildings that have suffered significant damage receiving a red or yellow placard, determining whether inhabitants can return.

  • A red placard means that re-entry to the building is prohibited because it is no longer habitable, or it has suffered significant structural compromise and is unsafe due to safety concerns. A red placard means further investigation and remedial work is required before the property is safe to occupy.
  • A yellow placard means there is restricted entry to part of the building, that there is enough damage for the council to have concerns about the building’s performance, but not enough to prevent entry entirely. For example, it might mean that electrical systems have been compromised but the rest of the house is safe.
  • A white placard means the property may have minor damage, but it has been deemed to be sufficiently safe and inhabitable and that no council follow up is required.

Council General Manager Building Consents, Ian McCormick says Alert Level 4 provides a new set of challenges.

“Undertaking a Rapid Building Assessment process is a complicated operation normally, but pandemic restrictions add another level of complexity.

“Our Building Control Team, which is made up of building inspectors and regulatory compliance officers, will be adhering to Alert Level 4 protocols during their investigations, wearing the required PPE and taking the necessary steps to minimise contact with others,” says Mr McCormick.

“The Rapid Building Assessment work includes our inspection team conducting a building safety evaluation for each property where we follow a set of procedures set out by the Ministry for Business Innovation and Employment (MBIE).

“Our inspectors undertake a risk assessment, investigate any insanitary conditions and/or structural damage to the building and check whether the likes of electrical systems may have been compromised.

“Through this assessment process, our inspectors issue either a red, yellow or white placard to each property, depending on the extent of the damage.

Mr McCormick says: “Once all the building inspections have been completed, the Regulatory Services personnel will follow-up with buildings owners where a yellow or red placard has been issued.

“They will work with owners to better understand the exact nature of any damage, what emergency work can be done, and whether any building consents might be required.

“We will follow this process over the coming weeks in support of affected communities, with a focus on assisting building owners in work with their insurers, progressing building consents or emergency works as necessary,” he says.

Auckland Emergency Management Deputy Controller Rachel Kelleher is reminding people that they need to adhere to Alert Level 4 protocols as much as possible during the clean-up efforts.

“We have heard reports, not just from our own teams but also insurance inspectors, that when they turn up to a property to do an assessment there are often large groups of people gathered there, helping with the clean-up.

We ask you that you only get the help you need, reduce contact with those outside of our bubble  , please do wear a mask and keep an accurate record of who you have been with. A further outbreak and an extended lockdown will only make things harder so please, do the right thing.”

If you have been affected by Tuesday’s flooding, and need advice, support or assistance, please call 0800 22 22 00.

What is a designated area?

The first step in managing affected buildings after an emergency is to establish a designated area, under section 133BC of the Building Act 2004.

A designated area is an area approved by the Minister to allow a local authority to take specific actions under the Building Act to manage buildings in an emergency.

What will happen next?

Once a designated area is in place, the Building Act provides a number of special powers that may be exercised in respect of all buildings within the designated area.

The powers that can be used within a designated area provide a responsible person with authority, in this case Auckland Council, to (among other things):

  • Enter buildings
  • Complete post-event assessments
  • Direct the evacuation of buildings
  • Put in place measures for protecting buildings and keeping people at a safe distance
  • Place notices and signs on buildings
  • Direct the owners of building or land to provide information
  • Direct works (urgent and non-urgent) to remove or reduce risks
  • Direct works for long term use or occupation of a building.

Reporting power outages

If you suffer a power outage, please report the issue directly to Vector on 0508 832 867 or via the online tool.

Our Civil Defence Centres are closing

Our two Civil Defence Centres in Henderson and Kumeu will close at 12pm on Friday 3 September.

If you still need information or assistance, please call us on 0800 22 22 00.

Update 1 September 2021

Day two for Auckland Emergency Management’s August flood response

Auckland Emergency Management’s Deputy Controller Rachel Kelleher says the focus of today’s response is on establishing the level of need out in the community and connecting affected residents to the support they require.

“Yesterday was all about making sure that everyone who was caught up in the flood was able to get to safety and had access to food, accommodation and other essentials.

“Today, our response teams are back out on the ground assessing the damage and looking to get a better understanding of how many people have been displaced.

“We believe that a lot of people are either sheltering in place or have turned to whānau and friends for support, which is great. However, we do need to remind people that we are still in Alert Level 4.

“If you have burst your bubble as a result of yesterday’s weather event, please do keep a record of where you have been and who with, wear a face-covering when with people outside of your bubble and try to keep a physical distance where possible. We know this isn’t always top of mind in emergency situations, but if we all do what we can, it would really help reduce the risk of further COVID-19 outbreaks.

“We also know that there are still significant access issues in and out of Te Henga Bethells Beach and that this is concerning residents. Our welfare team is on hand to offer assistance and advice so please do give us a call on 0800 22 22 00 if you’re worried.

“Our two Civil Defence Centres at 6 Henderson Valley and the Kumeu Community Centre also remain open until 6am today for those needing shelter. The centres will reopen again at 8am tomorrow and we will continue to assess the level of need for these.”

Storm clean-up assistance

  • To report storm debris or fallen trees and vegetation on public land, please call Auckland Council’s contact centre on 0800 22 22 00 or report it online via our “report a problem” tool.
  • Storm debris that has been deposited on private land as result of the storm event can be taken to Waitakere transfer station.  As the transfer station is closed to the public under Alert Level 4, those needing to use the facility to dispose of storm debris will need to contact Auckland Council’s contact centre on 0800 22 22 00 first. You will need to provide your name, address and vehicle registration to make the process easy at the gate. Customers will need to adhere to the Alert Level 4 rules, including wearing a face-covering, scanning in and keeping a physical distance, and wear closed shoes. There is no cost for the disposal of storm debris.
  • Property owners should confirm the process for disposing of building-related debris, including soft furnishings and damaged household items with their insurance company in the first instance. You can find more information and advice on the Insurance Council website. For property owners that need access to the transfer station to dispose of building-related waste, please contact the council on 0800 22 22 00.  This material can be disposed of at the owner's own cost.

Opening hours

  • Monday to Friday: 8am - 5pm
  • Saturday and Sunday: closed during alert level 4
  • Good Friday, Easter Sunday, ANZAC Day, Christmas Day, New Year's Day: Closed
  • Auckland Anniversary Day, Waitangi Day, Easter Monday, Queen's Birthday, Labour Day, Boxing Day, Day after New Year's Day: 9am-3pm

Last load 15 minutes before closing time.

Staying safe under Alert Level 4

We understand that for those affected by yesterday’s flooding this can be an extra stressful time.

If you have had to burst your bubble, here are some of the ways you can stay safe under Alert Level 4 requirements.

  • Wear a mask or a face-covering
  • Maintain physical distance if you can
  • Keep track of where you have been and with who, including dates and times.
  • Continue being vigilant for the signs of COVID-19. If you experience any symptoms, immediately self-isolate and call Healthline on 0800 358 5453 for advice on getting tested.
  • Continue maintaining good hygiene practices including coughing and sneezing into your elbow and washing your hands regularly.
  • Get vaccinated as soon as you can.
  • Keep monitoring the Ministry of Health’s Locations of Interest page.

 Clean-up considerations

  • What parts of the clean-up are urgent? Can any non-essential works wait until we move down Alert Levels?
  • If you need extra people to help, please stick to the neighbours or whanau that you broke your bubble with initially where possible. Please do not have a large group of people gathered together to help.
  • Under Alert Level 4, plumbers, electricians, locksmiths and other tradespeople can carry out work to address any immediate risks to health and safety.
  • They can also work to make urgent repairs on your homes so long as they follow public health measures including contact tracing and wearing appropriate PPE.

Update 31 August 2021

Thunderstorms and heavy rain in the early hours of this morning has caused widespread flooding across west Auckland and west Rodney, in the Henderson, Ranui, Waitākere Ranges, Swanson and Kumeu areas.

Landslips have been reported, including on Piha Rd, and there is severe flooding in the Kumeu area. Auckland Emergency Management has deployed both of its Western and Northern Response Teams to assist Police and Fire and Emergency New Zealand operations in the area.

Auckland Emergency Management Deputy Controller Rachel Kelleher says the situation continues to evolve.

“Daylight means we’re able to assess the situation more comprehensively and we’re continuing to gather information about the number of people affected with response teams currently out on the ground.

“We want to remind people that if they can stay at home safely, please do; but if you do need to leave, please do not drive through floodwaters. Contact 111 if you or your property is in immediate danger.

“We do have resources on standby in case we need to provide shelter for anyone that needs to evacuate their homes.

“Those in the Henderson area can head to the main council building at 6 Henderson Valley Road to seek shelter and the Kumeu Community Centre at 35 Access Road, Kumeu is now also available through until 8pm and will reopen at 8am tomorrow morning. At this stage, these sites are open for shelter only, but we will continue to evaluate the level of need out in the community to see if there is further assistance we can provide.

“Alert Level 4 does add another level of complexity but the key thing to remember is that getting yourself to safety overrides COVID-19 protocols. However, we do ask that if you do need to burst your bubble, please remember to wear a face covering and try to maintain physical distancing as much as possible and keep a record of who you have been in contact with.”

COVID-19 means very strict protocols at Civil Defence Centres too.

Need help?

  • If your life or property is at risk, phone 111
  • If you can safely stay at home, please do
  • If you need shelter visit our Civil Defence Centre at 6 Henderson Valley Road, or at the Kumeu Community Centre at 65 Access Road between 8am and 8pm.
  • If you need help with accommodation, food or can't make it to a Civil Defence Centre, phone us on 0800 22 22 00.

Important COVID-19 advice if evacuation is required

 Evacuation advice overrides any COVID-19 Alert Level requirements to stay at home. If you are advised to evacuate by authorities because of an emergency, please follow the evacuation advice. Stay two metres away from others if you can and if it is safe to do so. Wear a mask or face covering only if you can grab one quickly and it will not delay you leaving.

Roading and transport information

Auckland Transport has reported that there have been a number of roads affected by the flooding.

Please keep an eye on Auckland Transport’s Facebook page for updates on road closures and other weather-related issues as the situation continues to evolve -

We urge people to stay away from the impacted areas, but if you do need to get out on the road, please do not drive through floodwaters.

Offers of assistance

We understand in times like these that people want to help and although we appreciate the offers of assistance, however our Welfare team’s inbox is getting a little overwhelmed. This means it is taking us longer to get to those requests for help.

Please only get in touch if you are in need of assistance so that we can reach out to those who do need help more quickly.

It is also important to note that under Alert Level 4, people should not be leaving their homes unless it is essential. Please do not drop off goods at community centres during this time. Sticking to our bubbles will help to keep everyone safe.

Animal welfare

If you do need to evacuate your property, please take your pets with you if it is safe to do so, or take them to a safe shelter place.

If you have to leave your animals behind, make sure they’re in a secure and sheltered place either inside or outside your home.

If you have livestock or horses in paddocks near waterways that have the potential to flood (streams, rivers etc.), move them to higher ground.

For further information, please refer to the Ministry of Primary Industries fact sheet.

Insurance claims

Insurance Council New Zealand (ICNZ) has provided some advice for those that have been affected by today’s weather event to help with recovery and support a smooth claims process.

  • If your property is damaged, contact your insurance provider as soon as possible.
  • If you rent your property, contact your landlord and your contents insurance provider as soon as possible.
  • For those with homes that are uninhabitable, you may be eligible for a temporary accommodation benefit included in most home and contents policies. Ask your insurer what support they can offer.
  • Take photos and videos of any damage and note down the details of valuable items.
  • If it’s safe, don’t dispose of anything until you’ve spoken to your insurer as it will help speed up the assessment of your claim.
  • Throw away food and drinking water that has come into contact with floodwater, including canned goods. Be sure to take photos of perishable or unsanitary items before you dispose of them.
  • Always wear protective gear, including gloves and masks, in case you’re exposed to hazardous material. Most flood waters are sewage polluted.
  • If you can, clean and dry your house and everything in it, this is because when things get wet for more than two days, they usually get mouldy.
  • If you need to, make your home safe, sanitary and weather-tight but if possible don’t do non-essential repairs. Get essential services repaired and keep copies of invoices.
  • Do not do anything that puts your safety at risk or causes more damage to your property.
  • Get gas and electrics checked before using any appliances.
  • Be wary of wet machinery or electrical items. This means that if your car has been submerged in water don’t turn it on or attempt to drive it. Similarly, don’t use any appliances or machinery that may have been water damaged.
  • For businesses affected, work with emergency services to understand how you can access your premises in keeping with lockdown restrictions so you can see what damage there has been and how you can progress the steps noted above.

With Auckland at Level 4 the process to assess the resulting damage is likely to look different than normal, with insurers likely to use a variety of socially distanced methods such as video.

Back to News