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Managing stormwater systems to reduce the risk of flooding

Auditor-General's report published, Managing stormwater systems to reduce the risk of flooding

The Auditor-General’s report Managing stormwater systems to reduce the risk of flooding was presented to the House of Representatives today.

For this report, we looked at how Dunedin City Council, Porirua City Council, and Thames-Coromandel District Council manage their stormwater systems to protect people and their property from the effects of flooding.

The three councils had an incomplete understanding of the flood risks in their district or city. This leaves their communities vulnerable to being caught unaware by unanticipated floods. Gaps in their knowledge about their stormwater systems limits the three councils’ ability to make well-informed and deliberate decisions, and have informed conversations with their communities about the costs of reducing the risks from flooding.

All three councils were already aware of some of the issues we identified and are planning improvements. Some councils are further along in making improvements than others. However, all have more to do.

In our view, the historic underinvestment in stormwater systems in New Zealand creates a level of urgency for councils to address our five recommendations. Our main findings and recommendations are relevant to all councils. We have developed questions that councils can use to assess themselves, and for people to ask councillors about how their council is protecting their home from the risk of flooding.

A two-page summary of this report is also available.

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