River & flood control

The region is protected with two multimillion-dollar flood control schemes, a number of smaller ones and a region-wide river level and flood monitoring and warning system operated by the Council.

Both the major schemes – at the lower Waiwhakaiho River in New Plymouth and the lower Waitara River in Waitara township – have undergone significant upgrades in recent years and offer ‘one in 100-year’ protection incorporating allowance for climate change.

The Council also has flood control schemes for the Stony (Hangatahua) River and, in partnership with the South Taranaki District Council, the Waitōtara River. There are also a number of small rural flood control and drainage schemes across the region, and under delegation from the Taranaki Regional Council, the New Plymouth District Council owns and operates flood detention works on the Huatoki Stream and Mangaotuku Stream, providing flood protection for central New Plymouth.

The Council provides flood warnings and flood control advice, and also carries out minor works to reduce flood damage.

Rainfall, river levels and/or wind speed and direction are measured at selected sites throughout the region. The data is automatically transmitted to the computer system at the Stratford office. During flood events remote stations can be individually interrogated to provide immediate information. The flood management system enables staff to provide flood warnings and information to emergency services, road authorities, district councils or affected property owners.