Over 1300 flood-affected properties get help to prepare for winter storms

Publish Date : 10 May 2024
Mayor Wayne Brown On The Tools
Mayor Wayne Brown shovelling bark from blocked manhole.

Auckland Council has visited over 1300 properties affected by 2023’s floods, working with residents, helping them understand how to prepare their properties for the winter ahead.

Last year’s extreme storm events brought into sharp focus the vulnerabilities of communities, and the need for property owners to increase their preparedness and resilience to weather events.

Teams from across the council have partnered up to address this need, which includes them getting out and visiting Aucklanders, explaining to risk-prone residents how important it is to keep their properties clear, clarifying what an overland flow path is and showing them ways to reduce current flood risks and prepare for future weather events.

Mayor Wayne Brown identified several simple fixes last year when visiting flood affected areas of the city and said that while he believed they were not the complete solution, they would go a long way to making a difference.

“I am thankful for all the effort our teams have put into flood prevention since I called for action a year ago. The mayoral grant allocated for this work is being used wisely and as we head into winter, the advice being offered will help communities understand what they need to do to be prepared for downpours and how to keep themselves and their communities safe.”

Since beginning the programme in October last year, five common threads have emerged:

  • A lack of general maintenance, house and garden maintenance

  • roofs without spouting or downpipes not connected to the onsite drainage system

  • overland flow paths blocked by anything from solid fences that create a dam to piles of rubbish and garden sheds

  • impervious surfaces covering too much of the property

  • blocked catchpits often with easily removed plastic bottles and other debris

  • some houses built too close to the ground.

Auckland Council’s Compliance Manager Adrian Wilson says the flood events of 2023 exposed the public’s low awareness of their individual flood risks and how to respond.

“The teams are keen to support and advise property owners of their responsibilities to manage stormwater on their properties.

“When we visit a property, we talk with the resident, identify any problems on their property that are or could become a potential flood hazard to them and their neighbours and suggest ways to reduce it.

“From the sites visited, we are seeing voluntary compliance from the owners in approximately 30-40 per cent of cases.

“We have implemented a graduated plan to educate first and enforce second.

“So far, 14 notices to fix have been issued under the Building Act and 30 abatement notices under the Resource Management Act and Auckland Unitary Plan,” says Mr Wilson.         

Auckland Council’s Head of Sustainable Outcomes Tom Mansell says everyone has a role to play in maintaining the stormwater network to reduce the impact of flooding.

“Understanding the network is not just pipes, drains, and culverts, but also includes natural overland flow paths, goes a long way to understanding what you do on your property and how it impacts those “downstream” in a weather event.

“As our climate changes and urban areas intensify, the way overland flow path functions will become increasingly important. By keeping them clear and allowing water to flow freely and safely through our neighbourhoods will help keep whānau, property and communities stay safe during storms.”

Know your flood risk:

The Flood Viewer, launched last year, makes flood hazard information and advice more accessible on mobile and desktop devices. The map allows people to search an address to see the overland flow paths, flood prone areas, flood plains and coastal inundation areas present on their property.

Back to News