North Island severe weather events 2023

Last updated: 24 February 2023

Keep you and your whānau safe. Learn about the work being done to support the emergency response to the severe weather events.

MBIE's role

The Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE) has statutory obligations under the Building Act 2004 and the National CDEM Plan Order 2015 to support territorial authorities and/or CDEM Groups implement the powers of building management in emergencies available to them as set out in Subpart 6b of the Building Act 2004.

This includes supporting councils and civil defence groups with co-ordination of additional Rapid Building Assessment support and deployment of trained Rapid Building Assessors (RBA) from the national register.

The upper North Island has experienced some significant rainfall in the last couple of weeks resulting in flooding and slips causing damage to buildings and infrastructure.

Roles and responsibilities for building emergency management

Cyclone Gabrielle

Following on from the severe weather in Auckland in January, ex-tropical Cyclone Gabrielle brought strong winds and high rainfall to the North Island. This caused widespread damage to buildings and infrastructure across multiple regions.

Your safety is most important. Please continue to look after yourself, your whānau and check-in on your elderly neighbours.

The information on this page is to help you understand building management processes during and after an emergency.

Designated areas

A number of areas in the North Island have been designated in response to the Auckland flooding event and Cyclone Gabrielle, in order to manage buildings that have been affected by flooding and land instability.

A designated area is an area approved by the relevant decision maker to allow a local authority to take specific actions under the Building Act to manage buildings in an emergency.

The decision to designate an area allows the local council to manage any ongoing risks to people from buildings as a result of the event.

Designations will be reviewed every 90 days by the local councils to confirm that the powers conferred by the designation are required to manage the response and recovery.

What the law says

Once a designated area is in place, the Building Act provides a number of special powers that may be exercised in respect of all buildings within the designated area.

Designations remain in place until all buildings within the area are deemed safe. The local council will review the designation at least every 90 days and notify the public of the outcome of this review.

Designating an area for building management 

Rapid Building Assessments

MBIE is responsible for setting the system and methodology for post event building assessments, this includes procedures for building assessments and placarding of buildings.

Rapid Building Assessments are carried out by the council following an event where a state of emergency or designation is in place. These is a brief initial assessment that identifies the need to complete a more thorough assessment of your home or building. The Rapid Building Assessment is conducted to ensure the safety of you, your whānau, and the public.

Learn more about rapid building assessments

After a Rapid Building Assessment, your home or building may be given one of three different coloured placards to let you know what the next step is.

Learn more about the placards and what they mean for you

Remediation and repair work

When beginning remediation and repair work on your building following flooding events there are things you need to consider. It's important you follow guidance from your local council and / or insurance company, especially if your home has been issued with a red or yellow placard by a Rapid Building Assessor.

There are several resources prepared to help you in this process and to ensure remedial work complies with the Building Code, where applicable.

Remediation and repair work guidance and resources

This information is published by the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment’s Chief Executive. It is a general guide only and, if used, does not relieve any person of the obligation to consider any matter to which the information relates according to the circumstances of the particular case. Expert advice may be required in specific circumstances. Where this information relates to assisting people: