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Preventing floods on your property

Photograph of low lying land near a waterwayOn this page: Flood prone areas, Property development, More information, Useful links

Prevention is the best way to avoid or minimise the risk of flooding on your property. Flooding can threaten people's lives and property and damage our environment. Find out if your property is flood prone and what you can do to help prevent floods affecting it.

A flood prone property is one that has the greatest risk of being affected by a flood. Flooding on your property can occur for a number of reasons, including:

The best way to avoid or minimise the risk of flooding is to plan before developing your property. Buildings should be located as far back as possible from streams, rivers, drains or other waterways.

Flood prone areas

To find out if your property is in a flood prone area, go to our Waikato Regional Hazards Portal. The portal contains spatial information on natural hazards which is held by Waikato Regional Council. If you are looking to purchase a property, we also recommend that you contact your local district council for a Land Information Memorandum (LIM) report.

Our river levels and rainfall pages have information on river levels, river flows and rainfall readings including river levels and rainfall readings for the last seven days. You can also call our 0832 InfoLine numbers to get the latest information from our monitored sites around the region over the phone.

Property development

If your property is in a flood prone area and you wish to build on it, you will need to get a building consent and a flood hazard report before building can take place.

A building consent

A building consent has to be obtained under the Building Act before any building can occur. Contact your local district council for further details about building consents.

Some activities involved in flood-proofing your property may have an effect on the environment, which means you may need resource consents from Waikato Regional Council. 

A flood hazard report

A flood hazard report contains information about the 1% AEP (annual exceedence probability) design flood level (i.e., a 1-in-100 year event) and the freeboard level. Habitable room floor levels are recommended to be above both the 1% AEP flood level and the freeboard level. Contact your local district council to find out the levels in your area.

You will still need a flood hazard report if your property is protected by flood control methods such as stopbanks, dams and floodgates.

The diagram below shows how stopbanks protect areas prone to flooding and how the 1% AEP flood level and freeboard levels are applied.

More information

Waikato Regional Council is responsible for the overall management of rivers and catchments in the Waikato region. Flood protection is part of our river and catchment management activities along with soil conservation and river management.

Find out more about river and catchment management and flood risk assessment in the Waikato region, including special projects for the Coromandel Peninsula and the Thames Coast areas.

Useful links