Flood risk management research in New Zealand : where are we, and where are we going?

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Rouse, H. 2012 Flood risk management research in New Zealand : where are we, and where are we going?. Lower Hutt, N.Z.: GNS Science. GNS Science report 2012/04; NIWA client report CHC2011-146 74 p.

Abstract: Floods are New Zealand’s greatest hazard; both in terms of frequency and continuing losses, and in terms of Civil Defence Emergency Management declared events Management. About two-thirds of New Zealand’s population lives in areas prone to flooding. But is New Zealand’s approach to flood risk management adequate? The aim of this study was to provide a preliminary analysis of the current state of river flood risk management in New Zealand and identify some current research gaps, which may be important for the guidance of New Zealand’s long-term flood research agenda. These issues have been explored by way of literature review, and a brief survey of key informants i.e., researchers and river managers. This discussion paper first explores existing river flood risk management practices in New Zealand, including the national context for flood risk management such as legislative drivers and key organisations, and looks at regional flood risk management practices. The document then provides a brief overview of research in areas that contribute to the better understanding of flood processes, briefly stepping through climate, flood flows and inundation research and considering complexities of coastal catchments, flood vulnerability studies and research around community awareness of and preparedness for flood hazards. Finally, the document identifies gaps in flood research, and provides ideas for an improved New Zealand flood hazard research agenda. (auth/kc)