Flooding updates: Canterbury region

Environment Canterbury is monitoring rainfall and river flows across the region. Please keep an eye on our Homepage and Facebook page for updates from us, and this page for the latest information on the situation.

Rivers manager, Leigh Griffiths, says that teams are continuing to monitor the situation. “We’re working closely with Civil Defence and the MetService to monitor the situation and will be posting rainfall and river flow updates on our website as the situation develops. We suggest that people avoid rivers and check the road conditions before travelling”. 

For information for farmers to help respond to the region's flood please visit our rural community updates page.

Districts lift State of Emergency

  • The State of Emergency has now been lifted for the Ashburton, Selwyn and Waimakariri districts.
  • As of 4pm Thursday 10 June (4.30pm for Selwyn), these districts move to transition to recovery, meaning they have a 28-day period to use powers available under the Civil Defence Emergency Management Act to assist with the recovery should they need them.

SH1 at Ashburton River Bridge

River works and flood protection repairs

  • In the Ashburton River/Hakatere and Hinds River catchments there are 14 active work sites, 25+ machines in action and additional jobs pending. This Ashburton and Hinds Recovery Map PDF File (2.95MB) shows these as of late Wednesday afternoon (8 June) and is continuously updated.  
  • It’s really important to have a full-time engineer in Ashburton at this vulnerable time and we will have someone based locally over this coming weekend (12-13 June) and likely into next week.
  • Land survey staff are in the field collecting critical information for flood modelling.
  • Field staff continue to work in the field collecting damage information and logging more jobs.
  • LiDAR is being flown.
  • The weather forecast is for mostly dry conditions for the remainder of the week, so we don’t expect any rises in river flows across the region.
  • Monitoring will continue at vulnerable sites.

Where to get support   

  • Canterbury farmers and landowners affected by the recent flooding can now register for help with cleaning up their properties through the Government's Enhanced Taskforce Green (ETFG) scheme. Job seekers interested in helping the Canterbury flood recovery can register their interest by phoning 0800 559 009. Farmers and growers can self-register for clean-up help by filling in this online form.
  • Canterbury Civil Defence Emergency Management is coordinating assistance to communities affected by flooding. Visit this Canterbury Civil Defence Emergency Management webpage to find out what help is available, including information about returning to flooded homes, rural communities and animal welfare, and financial support and insurance.
  • The Ministry of Social Development’s helpline for people needing assistance after the floods is 0800 752 102, or visit the Work and Income Te Hiranga Tangata.   

Stay safe

  • Use extreme caution when navigating Canterbury rivers in any type of vessel, as flood-related hazards below the surface may not be visible. See our hazard notices for more information.  
  • The wild weather has closed or damaged some Department of Conservation tracks. You can find details on the Department of Conservation website. 
  • Environment Canterbury has also published information on closures to our Regional Parks.       

Previous updates

Update: 8 June 4.00pm

SH1 at Ashburton bridge 2-hour closure night of 8 June

River works and flood protection repairs

  • Te Waihora/Lake Ellesmere is currently OPEN to the sea with the cut approximately 70m wide and flowing well. The calm average level as at 8am on Tuesday 8th June was 1.25m. Machinery remains on site for today carrying out final site remediation works, please remember this remains a hazardous work site and should be avoided.
  • There are now 14 active river work sites in Ashburton. Contractors are being supervised in the field by teams of Environment Canterbury staff and river engineers from other regional councils.
  • At the Orari River, water has now been pushed away from two break out areas and the sites are being strengthened by machinery today. There is machinery at the third break out site now doing the same. 
Update: 6 June 4.45pm

Weather and river update: 6 June 4.45pm

Long weekend weather forecast update

MetService is forecasting scattered showers in the Canterbury foothills and plains area today through to tomorrow (Monday 7 June).

  • Around 60-100mm of rain fell near the main divide from Saturday afternoon to Sunday morning. This is mainly affecting alpine rivers (Ahuriri, Rangitata, Rakaia, Waimakariri, Hurunui and Waiau) with some increases in flows occurring. We do not expect this to cause any problems for these river systems. 
  • MetService is forecasting a front moving across the Canterbury foothills and plains today through to tomorrow. Rainfall of 5-10 mm is forecast from midday Sunday to midday Monday for north of the Rangitata River, with lesser amounts forecast south of Rangitata.  
  • River levels may rise by small amounts, but we do not expect any out-of-river flooding. 
  • Environment Canterbury will continue to monitor rainfalland river levels closely and we have response teams on standby in case they are needed.

General rivers operations update

  • Te Waihora/Lake Ellesmere remains open to the sea today, Sunday 6 June. The cut has naturally developed to 45m and there is a rough sea. A digger is working to help develop the cut further. The lake level is starting to drop but there may not be a dramatic drop until the cut scours wider.
  • There are now 14 active river work sites in Ashburton. Contractors are being supervised in the field by teams of Environment Canterbury staff and river engineers from other regional councils.
  • At the Orari River, water has now been pushed away from two break out areas and the sites are being strengthened by machinery today. There is machinery at the third break out site now doing the same.
Update: 5 June 6.00pm

Te Waihora/Lake Ellesmere is now open to the sea

Te Waihora / Lake Ellesmereis now open to the sea, which will begin to lower the lake level and provide some relief to the residents of Selwyn Huts. The machinery will remain on site for a few days in case it closes, and until the water level drops sufficiently. You can view a video of the machinery in action on our facebook page.

Long weekend weather forecast

MetServiceis forecasting rain for the Canterbury high country this weekend.

  • There is a moderate chance of 60-100mm of rain forecast near the main divide over Saturday afternoon to Sunday morning. This will mainly affect alpine rivers(Ahuriri, Rangitata, Rakaia, Waimakariri, Hurunui and Waiau) and may result in some increased flows. We do not expect this to cause any problems for these river systems. 
  • For Sunday, MetService forecast a front moving across the Canterbury foothills.  Rainfall total of 15-20 mm is forecast from Sunday morning to evening for north of Christchurch, with lesser amounts forecast (10-15 mm) south of Christchurch.  
  • On Monday, there is a low chance of rainfall on the plains south of Darfield of up to 10mm. This forecast will be updated by Metservice over the coming days.
  • River levels may rise by small amounts, but we do not expect any significant out-of-river issues.  We will be watching the rainfall in the South Ashburton and Ashley/Okuku catchments and others that were worst affected in the flooding.
  • Environment Canterbury will continue to monitor rain and river levels closely and we have response teams on standby in case they are needed.
  • Keep an eye on rainfall and riverflow information on our website. 

Key roading updates

    • Last week’s rainfall and flooding has caused damage to roads around Canterbury, so please be patient and prepare for your journey to take longer than expected.If you are travelling over the long weekend, expect delays, especially around Ashburton.
    • TheAshburton River/Hakatere Bridge on SH1  is open to traffic (light vehicles and trucks but not vehicles with an Overweight permit) during daytime (7am–7pm), but overnight it is restricted to light vehicles only (7pm–7am). During overnight hours, heavy vehicles should take the Arundel-Rakaia Gorge Road/Inland Scenic Route. There is some damage on this route, so please follow signposting and take care.
    • For specific information on State Highwaysa href="https://www.journeys.nzta.govt.nz/traffic/southisland?fbclid=IwAR14CnqnDfIs18exkQZr9PYDy0Iq1xV4fvXE4QYOdYnHBFhR53OAXH-yEAU">visit the Waka Kotahi NZTA website.

For information on other roads, please refer to the local council:

Where to get support   

  • Canterbury Civil Defence Emergency Management is coordinating assistance to communities affected by flooding. Visit this Canterbury Civil Defence Emergency Management webpage to find out what help is available, including information about returning to flooded homes, rural communities and animal welfare, and financial support and insurance. 
  • The Ministry of Social Development’s helpline for people needing assistance after the floods is 0800 752 102, or visit the Work and Income Te Hiranga Tangata.   

Rural  

  • We are providing specificupdates for farmerstohelp respond to the region's flooding. 

Rivers 

  • Environment Canterbury staff and contractors are out assessing damage and responding to priority issues. We are currently assessing significant flood repairs on the Selwyn/Waikirikiri, Ashburton/Hakatere, Hinds/Hekeao, Orari and Waihi Rivers. Ashburton is particularly hard hit so we will have a full time dedicated Senior River Engineer onsite for at least the next week.  
  • Contractors will be working through the weekend on the most urgent sites, and river engineers have been brought in from other regional councils to help. 
  • Environment Canterbury will lead removal of debris from rivers; this will take some time. 
  • Extensive imagery has been captured to assist with engineering assessment and design work. This will be supported by lidar work, which will be completed over the next 2 - 4 weeks.  
  • We will provide updates on current works 

Volunteers  

  • Farmers may need assistance with feed, grazing, housing or clean up. If you are willing and able to assist, please register here.

Public health

Have a safe weekend  

  • Use extreme caution when navigating Canterbury rivers in any type of vessel, as flood-related hazards below the surface may not be visible. See our hazard notices for more information.  
  • The wild weather has closed or damaged some Department of Conservation tracks. You can find details on the Department of Conservation website. 
Update: 5 June 1.00pm

Long weekend weather forecast

MetServiceis forecasting rain for the Canterbury high country this weekend. 

  • There is a moderate chance of 60-100mm of rain forecast near the main divide over Saturday afternoon to Sunday morning. This will mainly affect alpine rivers(Ahuriri, Rangitata, Rakaia, Waimakariri, Hurunui and Waiau) and may result in some increased flows. We do not expect this to cause any problems for these river systems. 
  • For Sunday, MetService forecast a front moving across the Canterbury foothills.  Rainfall total of 15-20 mm is forecast from Sunday morning to evening for north of Christchurch, with lesser amounts forecast (10-15 mm) south of Christchurch.  
  • On Monday, there is a low chance of rainfall on the plains south of Darfield of up to 10mm. This forecast will be updated by Metservice over the coming days. 
  • River levels may rise by small amounts, but we do not expect any significant out-of-river issues.  We will be watching the rainfall in the South Ashburton and Ashley/Okuku catchments and others that were worst affected in the flooding.
  • Environment Canterbury will continue to monitor rain and river levels closely and we have response teams on standby in case they are needed.
  • Keep an eye on rainfall and riverflow information on our website.  

Key roading updates

    • Last week’s rainfall and flooding has caused damage to roads around Canterbury, so please be patient and prepare for your journey to take longer than expectedIf you are travelling over the long weekend, expect delays, especially around Ashburton.  
    • The Ashburton River/Hakatere Bridge on SH1 is open to traffic (light vehicles and trucks but not vehicles with an Overweight permit) during daytime (7am–7pm), but overnight it is restricted to light vehicles only (7pm–7am). During overnight hours, heavy vehicles should take the Arundel-Rakaia Gorge Road/Inland Scenic Route. There is some damage on this route, so please follow signposting and take care. 
    • For specific information on State Highways, visit the Waka Kotahi NZTA website. 
    • For information on other roads, please refer to the local council:

Where to get support   

      • Canterbury Civil Defence Emergency Management is coordinating assistance to communities affected by flooding. Visit this Canterbury Civil Defence Emergency Management webpageto find out what help is available, including information about returning to flooded homes, rural communities and animal welfare, and financial support and insurance. 
      • The Ministry of Social Development’s helpline for people needing assistance after the floods is 0800 752 102, or visit the Work and Income Te Hiranga Tangata.   

Rural  

      • We are providing specificupdates for farmerstohelp respond to the region's flooding. 

Rivers 

      • Environment Canterbury staff and contractors are out assessing damage and responding to priority issues. We are currently assessing significant flood repairs on the Selwyn/Waikirikiri, Ashburton/Hakatere, Hinds/Hekeao, Orari and Waihi Rivers. Ashburton is particularly hard hit so we will have a full time dedicated Senior River Engineer onsite for at least the next week.  
      • Contractors will be working through the weekend on the most urgent sites, and river engineers have been brought in from other regional councils to help. 
      • Environment Canterbury will lead removal of debris from rivers; this will take some time. 
      • Extensive imagery has been captured to assist with engineering assessment and design work. This will be supported by lidar work, which will be completed over the next 2 - 4 weeks.  
      • We will provide updates on current works 

Volunteers  

      • Farmers may need assistance with feed, grazing, housing or clean up. If you are willing and able to assist, please register here.

Public health 

Have a safe weekend  

    • Use extreme caution when navigating Canterbury rivers in any type of vessel, as flood-related hazards below the surface may not be visible. See our hazard notices for more information.  
    • The wild weather has closed or damaged some Department of Conservation tracks. You can find details on the Department of Conservation website. 
Update: 4 June 6.00pm

Long weekend weather forecast

MetService is forecasting rain for the Canterbury high country this weekend. 

  • There is a moderate chance of 60-100mm of rain forecast near the main divide over Saturday afternoon to Sunday morning. This will mainly affect alpine rivers (Waitaki, Rangitata, Rakaia, Waimakariri, Hurunui and Waiau) and may result in some increased flows. We do not expect this to cause any problems for these river systems. 
  • For the foothill rivers, MetService is forecasting lesser amounts of rain over the same period, including 20mm for Mt Somers from Saturday afternoon to Sunday morning. 
  • For all foothill rivers south of Darfield, rainfall may be 10-20 mm. 
  • On Monday, there is a low chance of rainfall on the plains south of Darfield of up to 10mm. This forecast will be updated by Metservice over the coming days. 
  • Some foothills river levels may rise by small amounts, but we do not expect any significant out-of-river issues. In particular, we will be watching the rainfall in the South Ashburton catchment as this may catch some of the NW rain. 
  • Environment Canterbury will continue to monitor rain and river levels closely and we have response teams on standby in case they are needed. 

Keep an eye onrainfalland riverflowinformation on our website.  

Key roading updates

    • Last week’s rainfall and flooding has caused damage to roads around Canterbury, so please be patient and prepare for your journey to take longer than expectedIf you are travelling over the long weekend, expect delays, especially around Ashburton.  
    • The Ashburton River/Hakatere Bridge on SH1 is open to traffic (light vehicles and trucks but not vehicles with an Overweight permit) during daytime (7am–7pm), but overnight it is restricted to light vehicles only (7pm–7am). During overnight hours, heavy vehicles should take the Arundel-Rakaia Gorge Road/Inland Scenic Route. There is some damage on this route, so please follow signposting and take care. 
    • For specific information on State Highways, visit the Waka Kotahi NZTA website. 
    • For information on other roads please refer to the local council:

Where to get support   

      • Canterbury Civil Defence Emergency Management is coordinating assistance to communities affected by flooding. Visit this Canterbury Civil Defence Emergency Management webpageto find out what help is available, including information about returning to flooded homes, rural communities and animal welfare, and financial support and insurance. 
      • The Ministry of Social Development’s helpline for people needing assistance after the floods is 0800 752 102, or visit the Work and Income Te Hiranga Tangata.   

Rural  

      • We are providing specificupdates for farmerstohelp respond to the region's flooding. 

Rivers 

      • Environment Canterbury staff and contractors are out assessing damage and responding to priority issues. We are currently assessing significant flood repairs on the Selwyn/Waikirikiri, Ashburton/Hakatere, Hinds/Hekeao, Orari and Waihi Rivers. Ashburton is particularly hard hit so we will have a full time dedicated Senior River Engineer onsite for at least the next week.  
      • Contractors will be working through the weekend on the most urgent sites, and river engineers have been brought in from other regional councils to help. 
      • Environment Canterbury will lead removal of debris from rivers; this will take some time. 
      • Extensive imagery has been captured to assist with engineering assessment and design work. This will be supported by lidar work, which will be completed over the next 2 - 4 weeks.  
      • We will provide updates on current works 

Volunteers  

      • Farmers may need assistance with feed, grazing, housing or clean up. If you are willing and able to assist, please register here. 

Public health 

Have a safe weekend  

    • Use extreme caution when navigating Canterbury rivers in any type of vessel, as flood-related hazards below the surface may not be visible. See our hazard notices for more information.  
    • The wild weather has closed or damaged some Department of Conservation tracks. You can find details on the Department of Conservation website. 
Weather and river update: 4 June 2.00pm

Long weekend weather forecast

MetService is forecasting rain for the Canterbury high country this weekend.

  • There is a moderate chance of 60-100mm of rain forecast near the main divide over Saturday afternoon to Sunday morning. This will mainly affect the alpine rivers (Waitaki, Rangitata, Rakaia, Waimakariri, Hurunui and Waiau), and may result in some increased flows. We do not expect this to cause any problems for these river systems.
  • For the foothill rivers, MetService is forecasting lesser amounts of rain over the same period, including 20mm for Mt Somers from Saturday afternoon to Sunday morning.
  • For all foothill rivers south of Darfield, rainfall may be 10-20 mm.
  • On Monday, there is a low chance of rainfall on the plains south of Darfield of up to 10mm. This forecast will be updated by Metservice over the coming days.
  • Some foothills river levels may rise by small amounts, but we do not expect any significant out-of-river issues. In particular, we will be watching the rainfall in the South Ashburton catchment as this may catch some of the NW rain.
  • Environment Canterbury will continue to monitor rain and river levels closely and we have response teams on standby in case they are needed.

Keep an eye on rainfall and riverflow information on our website. 

Update: 3 June 6.00pm

Key roading updates 

  • The Ashburton River/Hakatere Bridge on SH1 has opened to pedestrians and light vehicles, as well as 50MAX and high productivity permitted motor vehicles (HPMV). 

 - Specifically, 50MAX and HPMV vehicles will have bridge access from 7am to 7pm, daytime hours.  

 - Any overweight trucks still need to take the alternate routes on local roads to get south of Ashburton. 

 - For more information visit Waka Kotahi NZTA’s latest update. 

  • The SH73 Porter’s Pass/Arthur’s Pass route between Canterbury and the West Coast has reopened. There is traffic management in place – please slow down and factor in a slower than usual trip from Springfield through to Porter’s Pass, with several single lane sections. 
  • If you plan to travel in the South Island for Queen’s Birthday weekend, take extra care and expect delays, especially travelling through Canterbury. Several sections of the road will be impacted and crews will be working over the long weekend. Please slow down and adhere to the temporary speed limits. 
  • If you're planning to travel, please check both Waka Kotahi NZTA channels and local council channels for information on road closures.  For up-to-date diversions and closures on local roads please refer to your local councils.  See links below: 

Caution when excavating/digging 

  • It’s understandable that people will be keen to get out and start clearing away debris and clearing dirt as soon as water has receded, but it’s important to make sure it’s safe to do so. 
  • If you’re thinking about doing some works, call your local council for advice, or before U dig, who can help you understand where cables, pipes and other utility assets are, in and around the proposed dig site. Doing this will help protect yourself and valuable assets during works. 

Support available 

  • The Ministry of Social Development has a helpline available for people needing assistance after the floods. If you or your family need help, please call 0800 752 102 or for more information visit the Work and Income Te Hiranga Tangata. 

Evacuations 

  • Most evacuees around the region can now return home. Those that have had flood water in their property are strongly advised to call their local council as there may be health and safety considerations. 

Health and safety 

  • Although river levels may be lowering in some areas, there's still a lot of floodwater – please avoid coming into contact with it and treat it like it is contaminated. 
  • See Canterbury District Health Board for what to do if you do come in contact with floodwater.  
  • There are boil and preserve water notices throughout the region. Please check in with your local council if this applies to you. 
  • Extreme caution is advised navigating Canterbury rivers in any type of vessel. All rivers affected by the floods may have hazards below the surface that are barely visible. Until a full assessment is carried out, extreme caution is advised over the coming months. Visit our hazard notices for more information.

Insurance 

  • To assist with insurance assessments, those whose properties have flood damage are advised to take photographs of the damage, and in particular photos that show the height of the water level.More information. 

Rural 

Pets  

  • If you need help with domestic or lifestyle animals please contact the SPCA on03 349 7057. For commercial farm assistance call MPI on0800 00 83 33.  

Rivers  

Volunteers 

  • There are a number of groups keen to get on farm and help with the clean-up response. 
  • If you are willing and able to assist, please register here. 
Update: 3 June 11.30am

Key roading updates

  • Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency announced this morning that the Ashburton River/Hakatere Bridge on SH1 has opened to more vehicles, including 50MAX and high productivity permitted motor vehicles (HPMV), from 10.15 am.
  • Heavier vehicles will have bridge access during the first week from 7am to 7pm, daytime hours. Any overweight trucks need to take the alternate routes on local roads to get south of Ashburton. See alternate routes here. For more information visit Waka Kotahi NZTA’s latest update.
  • The SH73 Porter’s Pass/Arthur’s Pass route between Canterbury and the West Coast reopened at 8pm last night. There is traffic management in place – please slow down and factor in a slower than usual trip from Springfield through to Porter’s Pass, with several single lane sections.
  • If you're planning to travel, please check both Waka Kotahi NZTA channels and local council channels for information on road closures.  For up-to-date diversions and closures on local roads please refer to your local councils.  See links below:

Caution when excavating/digging

  • It’s understandable that people will be keen to get out and start clearing away debris and clearing dirt as soon as water has receded, but it’s important to make sure it’s safe to do so.
  • If you’re thinking about doing some works, call your local council for advice, or before U dig, who can help you understand where cables, pipes and other utility assets are, in and around the proposed dig site. Doing this will help protect yourself and valuable assets during works.

Support available

  • The Ministry of Social Development has a helpline available for people needing assistance after the floods. If you or your family need help, please call 0800 752 102 or for more information visit the Work and Income Te Hiranga Tangata.

Evacuations

  • Most evacuees around the region can now return home. Those that have had flood water in their property are strongly advised to call their local council as there may be health and safety considerations.

Health and safety

  • Although river levels may be lowering in some areas, there's still a lot of floodwater – please avoid coming into contact with it and treat it like it is contaminated.
  • See Canterbury District Health Board  for what to do if you do come in contact with floodwater. 
  • There are boil and preserve water notices throughout the region. Please check in with your local council if this applies to you.

Insurance

  • To assist with insurance assessments, those whose properties have flood damage are advised to take photographs of the damage, and in particular photos that show the height of the water level. More information.

Rural

Pets 

  • If you need help with domestic or lifestyle animals please contact the SPCA on 03 349 7057. For commercial farm assistance call MPI on 0800 00 83 33

Rivers 

Volunteers

  • There are a number of groups keen to get on farm and help with the clean-up response.
  • If you are willing and able to assist, please register here.
Update: 2 June 6.30pm

Key roading updates

  • The SH1 Ashburton River/Hakatere bridge has been opened to light vehicles only. However, it will be temporarily closed 6pm-8pm Wednesday 2 June.
  • Selwyn District Council have advised that Whitecliffs Bridge on Whitecliffs Road is now open for light vehicles only (cars and utes), but please take care on this bridge.
  • Selwyn District Council also advise that contractors have repair work underway on key routes, including the Leeston Road bridge at Chamberlains Ford.

Stay up to date with State Highway conditions

The Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency advises motorists to use the journey planner interactive traffic map, given the changing situation across Canterbury. The route information shown only reflects closures and warnings on our state highways.

If you’re planning to travel, please check BOTH Waka Kotahi NZTA channels AND local council channels for information on road closures.

For up-to-date diversions and closures on local roads please refer to your local councils. See links below:

Evacuations

  • Most evacuees around the region can now return home. Those that have had flood water in their property are strongly advised to call their local council as there may be health and safety considerations.

Health and safety

  • Although river levels may be lowering in some areas, there's still a lot of floodwater – please avoid coming into contact with it and treat it like it is contaminated. See Canterbury District Health Board  for what to do if you do come in contact with floodwater. 
  • There are boil and preserve water notices throughout the region. Please check in with your local council if this applies to you.
  • Selwyn District Council advise that the Dalethorpe water supply has been restored this afternoon and water is again flowing into the system. Due to the impacts of the recent adverse weather, the quality and safety of the water cannot be guaranteed, and a boil water notice has been issued.

Insurance

  • To assist with insurance assessments, those whose properties have flood damage are advised to take photographs of the damage, and in particular photos that show the height of the water level. More information.

Rural

  • We have provided an update for farmers to help respond to the region's flooding. This has also been updated throughout the day. 
  • Please share with others who may need to know.

Pets 

  • If you need help with domestic or lifestyle animals please contact the SPCA on 03 349 7057. For commercial farm assistance call MPI on 0800 00 83 33. 
  • We are standing by with rescue teams and resources such as transport, food and bedding. We will do our best to assist with short term emergency shelter or grazing for your animal if needed.
  • This has been an extreme situation and if you find your pets are struggling, please reach out to us. We have team members available to talk you through a plan. Sometimes it’s just a matter of talking things through and problem solving with the resources you may already have at hand. 

Rivers 

Update: 2 June 11.30am

Roading updates

SH1 Ashburton River Bridge  

  • The SH1 Ashburton River bridge re-opened to light vehicles at 11.30pm last night. 
  • The bridge is temporarily closed again from 10am-2pm today while further load testing is undertaken. During this time, all traffic is being detoured via SH72. 
  • The alternate route (SH72) is expected to be busy during load testing from 10am-2pm. Please only travel if necessary during this time, and take care when travelling.  
  • From 2pm, the bridge is expected to be open again to two-way light vehicle traffic at reduced speed.  
  • After 2pm, two routes will be available – one for heavy vehicles and another for light vehicles. Please follow the intended route based on your vehicle type.  

Other highway closures: 

  • SH73 Springfield to Castle Hill – Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency are working on opening this route as soon as possible. 
  • Multiple road closures and restrictions remain in place across Selwyn district with many roads and bridges damaged by the floods. For the latest Selwyn road closures go to Selwyn road closures – but please avoid any non-essential travel, drive to the conditions and observe any road blocks or restrictions. These are in place for your safety. 
  • Hurunui District Council have advised of closures to Hurunui Bluff Road; Bakers Road; Homeview Road; Gilberts Road; Cathedral Road; Gore Bay Road; and all fords remain closed. 

Stay up to date with State Highway conditions 

You can stay up to date with State Highway conditions by checking Waka Kotahi NZ Transport's interactive Traffic Map.  

Where to find the latest road closure information: 

Evacuations 

  • Waimakariri District Council have advised that people can now return to all evacuated areas. The two evacuation centres are now closed. 

Health and safety 

  • Although river levels may be lowering in some areas, there's still a lot of floodwater – please avoid coming into contact with it and treat it like it is contaminated. See Canterbury District Health Board  for what to do if you do come in contact with floodwater. 
  • There are boil and preserve water notices throughout the region. Please check in with your local council if this applies to you. 

Insurance 

  • To assist with insurance assessments, those whose properties have flood damage are advised to take photographs of the damage, and in particular photos that show the height of the water level. More information here. 

Rural 

  • We have provided an update for farmers to help respond to the region's flooding. This has also been updated this morning. 
  • Please share with others who may need to know. 

Pets 

  • If you need help with domestic or lifestyle animals please contact the SPCA on 03 349 7057. For commercial farm assistance call MPI on 0800 00 83 33. 
  • We are standing by with rescue teams and resources such as transport, food and bedding. We will do our best to assist with short term emergency shelter or grazing for your animal if needed. 
  • This has been an extreme situation and if you find your pets are struggling, please reach out to us. We have team members available to talk you through a plan. Sometimes it’s just a matter of talking things through and problem solving with the resources you may already have at hand. 

Rivers 

Update: 1 June 7.00pm

Roading updates

  • There are SH1 closures at the Ashburton bridge and Coopers Creek, Hinds. (Updated 9pm) An alternate route has been established, detouring around the closed Ashburton Bridge.  Further closures to the Ashburton bridge are planned between 10am and 2pm Wednesday 2 June.
  • Following a prior road closure, SH1 between Norwood and Dunsandel is now open to one lane under stop/go traffic management with a 30km/h temporary speed restriction in place. Drive with caution.
  • The Chamberlains Ford bridge on Leeston Road remains closed due to the bridge being compromised.
  • Multiple road closures and restrictions remain in place across Selwyn district with many roads and bridges damaged by the floods. For the latest Selwyn road closures go to Selwyn road closures - but please avoid any non-essential travel, drive to the conditions and observe any road blocks or restrictions. These are in place for your safety.
  • SH 77 Methven through to Rakaia is now open.
  • Hurunui District Council have advised of closures to Hurunui Bluff Road; Bakers Road; Homeview Road; Gilberts Road; Cathedral Road; Gore Bay Road; and all fords remain closed.

Other highway closures:

  • SH1 Temuka from Donald St to Lynnford Rd in Hinds
  • SH73 Springfield to Castle Hill
  • SH77 Darfield to Mount Hutt
  • SH79 is closed north of Geraldine
  • Route 72 from Upper Orari Bridge

Stay up to date with State Highway conditions

You can stay up to date with State Highway conditions by checking Waka Kotahi NZ Transport's interactive Traffic Map and by visiting MetService weather warnings

Where to find road closure information:

Evacuations

  • Waimakariri District Council have advised that people can now return to all evacuated areas. The two evacuation centres are now closed.
  • Pines Beach/Kairaki remain on standby (approx. 25 homes).

Health and safety

  • Although river levels may be lowering in some areas, there's still a lot of floodwater - please avoid coming into contact with it and treat it like it is contaminated. See Canterbury District Health Board for what to do if you do come in contact with floodwater.
  • There are boil and preserve water notices throughout the region. Please check in with your local council if this applies to you.

Insurance

  • To assist with insurance assessments, those whose properties have flood damage are advised to take photographs of the damage, and in particular photos that show the height of the water level. More information here.

Rural

  • We have provided an update for farmers to help respond to the region's flooding.
  • Please share with others who may need to know.

Weather

Pets

  • If you are separated from your pets due to the weather/road closures, please call your local council and ask for the Animal Control team.
  • MPI, SPCA, HUHA and Animal Evac NZ have teamed up to provide support to any animal affected by the Canterbury weather event.
  • If you need help with domestic or lifestyle animals please contact the SPCA on 03 349 7057. For commercial farm assistance call MPI on 0800 00 83 33.
  • We are standing by with rescue teams and resources such as transport, food and bedding. We will do our best to assist with short term emergency shelter or grazing for your animal if needed.
  • This has been an extreme situation and if you find your pets are struggling, please reach out to us. We have team members available to talk you through a plan. Sometimes it’s just a matter of talking things through and problem solving with the resources you may already have at hand.

Rivers

Update: 1 June 12.00pm

Roading updates

  • SH1 is closed at the Ashburton River (Hakatere) Bridge. There is currently no alternate route south. Please see Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency's interactive Traffic Map for updates as the situation develops. Selwyn District Council  is advising access from SH1 to the Leeston, Doyleston, Southbridge area is OPEN from 7.30am this morning. This is for residents and essential travel only.
  • Following a prior road closure, SH1 between Norwood and Dunsandel is now open to one lane under stop/go traffic management with a 30km/h temporary speed restriction in place. Drive with caution. Burnham to Dunsandel is closed as it is only one-way traffic heading north.
  • Motorists should stay on Selwyn Lake Road through to Leeston Road. Side roads may be affected by flooding. Please keep speeds down for safety.
  • SH1 south of Selwyn Lake Road will remain closed due to the dangerous road conditions.
  • The Chamberlains Ford bridge on Leeston Road remains closed due to the safety of the bridge being compromised.
  • Multiple road closures and restrictions remain in place across Selwyn district with many roads and bridges damaged by the floods. For the latest Selwyn road closures go to Selwyn road closures  - but please avoid any non-essential travel, drive to the conditions and observe any road blocks or restrictions. These are in place for your safety.

Other highway closures:

  • SH1 Burnham to Dunsandel (SH1 between Norwood and Dunsandel is open under stop/go single lane traffic management)
  • SH1 Temuka remains closed with the closure now from Donald St to Lynnford Rd in Hinds.
  • SH73 Springfield to Castle Hill
  • SH77 Darfield to Mount Hutt

Stay up to date with State Highway conditions

You can stay up to date with State Highway conditions by checking Waka Kotahi NZ Transport's interactive Traffic Map  and by visiting MetService weather warnings

Where to find road closure information:

Evacuations

  • Most residents can now return home, apart from a small number of properties evacuated in The Pines Beach, Kairaki and Okuku.

Health and safety

  • Although river levels may be lowering in some areas, there's still a lot of floodwater - please avoid coming into contact with it and treat it like it is contaminated. See Canterbury District Health Board  for what to do if you do come in contact with floodwater.
  • There are boil and preserve water notices throughout the region. Please check in with your local council if this applies to you.

Rural

  • We have provided an update for farmers to help respond to the region's flooding. 
  • Please share with others who may need to know.

Weather

Pets

  • If you are separated from your pets due to the weather/road closures, please call your local council and ask for the Animal Control team.
  • MPI, SPCA, HUHA and Animal Evac NZ have teamed up to provide support to any animal affected by the Canterbury weather event.
  • If you need help with domestic or lifestyle animals please contact the SPCA on 03 349 7057. For commercial farm assistance call MPI on 0800 00 83 33.
  • We are standing by with rescue teams and resources such as transport, food and bedding. We will do our best to assist with short term emergency shelter or grazing for your animal if needed.
  • This has been an extreme situation and if you find your pets are struggling, please reach out to us. We have team members available to talk you through a plan. Sometimes it’s just a matter of talking things through and problem solving with the resources you may already have at hand.

Rivers

River updates are available at our flood warnings webpage.

Update: 31 May 7.30pm

Road closures throughout the region

The Canterbury Civil Defence Emergency Management Group declared a state of local emergency in Canterbury on 30 May, extending emergency powers across the entire region. Here is an update on the situation. 

As always, we are encouraging people to stay connected with local updates through their local council Facebook and website pages.

 Evacuations:

  • Residents of low-lying areas of The Pines Beach are advised to continue to evacuate in advance of the high tide at 9pm tonight. A flood gate is stuck open and low areas are likely to flood. See Waimakariri District Council Facebook  for more information. 

Health & safety

  • Although river levels may be lowering in some areas, there's still a lot of floodwater - please avoid coming into contact with it and treat it like it is contaminated. See CDHB for what to do if you do come in contact with floodwater.
  • There are boil and preserve water notices throughout the region. Please check in with your local council if this applies to you.
  • If at any point you are anxious or worried, please self-evacuate to stay with friend or whanau.
  • High tide is between 9.15 and 9.30pm tonight and is expected to be lower than the previous tides. Some surface flooding is expected in coastal areas where this is already happening, but not in any new areas. 

Road closures - where to find information:

 Rural

  • We have provided an update for farmers to help respond to the region's flooding. 
  • Please share with others who may need to know. 

Weather

  • MetService has extended the red weather warning until 7pm tonight, between Amberley and Geraldine. Keep up to date at MetService New Zealand .

 Pets

  • If you are separated from your pets due to the weather/road closures please call your local council and ask for the Animal Control team.
  • MPI, SPCA, HUHA and Animal Evac NZ have teamed up to provide support to any animal affected by the Canterbury weather event.
  • If you need help with domestic or lifestyle animals please contact the SPCA on 03 349 7057. For commercial farm assistance call MPI on 0800 00 83 33.

 Rivers

Update: 31 May 2.50pm - Rural community update

Rural community update

We’ve pulled together information for farmers to help respond to the region’s flooding. Please check out the Farmer’s hub for contact details for various support groups. 

It’s important that you look after yourself and your families at all times. Please take extra care when on farm and inspecting infrastructure. Be especially careful around ponds, dams, culverts and stopbanks and around water and infrastructure that may have been compromised.

Your safety is the priority, followed by livestock. 

Please ensure you maintain contact with staff and family on farm. Raise an alert if you have any concerns in relation to safety of family and staff.

Please see information below on;

Welfare

Support for households is being coordinated by Civil Defence and delivered by local agencies.

Stress is a major concern, and this will be increasing as the days go by. Keep in contact with family, friends, rural support groups and other networks. If you need assistance contact your local Civil Defence centre in the first instance.

Dairy moving day/movements to winter grazing

There will be numerous issues with farms not able to complete transfers of families, stock and businesses as planned. Farm owners, sharemilkers, dairy staff and graziers are urged to review situations and work together as best they can to develop plans for the coming days and weeks. Each case will be unique and the parties on the ground will be best placed to make decisions. 

  • Only move stock from one property to another if you have confirmed that both:

 - The entire transport route is open; and

 - The destination property and staff are able to receive the stock being transferred. 

  • Feed stocks are in very short supply given the recent dry conditions. In the short term, farmers should not rely on external feed coming into the district.

 Water

  •  Rural water supplies may have been compromised as a result of flooding. If there are any concerns about domestic water supplies, water should be boiled before drinking.

Environmental compliance

  •  The significant weather event will have compromised the systems and infrastructure that farmers rely on to ensure environmental requirements are met.
  •  Environment Canterbury wants farmers to note:

 - Only when it is safe to do so, and people and stock have been cared for, should landowners try and mitigate adverse environmental impacts arising from the weather. 

 - Any scheduled farm audits, consenting or compliance activity impacted by the weather event can be deferred for the time being. Environment Canterbury will work with consent holders and auditors to reschedule to an appropriate time, once the emergency and recovery have passed.

 - There are three tests farmers need to consider when undertaking actions that would otherwise require a consent and/or breach the Resource Management Act. These tests are:

i. Actions are required to protect life and property;

ii. Actions are reasonable in the circumstances; and

iii. Actions are taken to fix / remedy the situation as soon as possible.

  •  For farmers winter milking, milking cows needs to continue for animal welfare reasons. This may result in milk that may need to be dumped (see notes below). Farms may have effluent infrastructure that is damaged or compromised (e.g. effluent ponds with torn/damaged liners). Where there is no other option, farmers can use compromised infrastructure – but need to pay attention to the considerations above (e.g. ensuring that actions are taken to address as soon as possible – through repair, or modified operations to minimise the impact).

 Milk disposal

  •  Advice for handling of milk where transport has been disrupted, the preferred disposal methods (in order of preference):

1. For processors to have milk processed by alternative facilities / factories (may not be practical in short term)

2. Hold milk until it can be sprayed onto dry paddocks on-farm

3. If milk cannot be sprayed onto dry paddocks, it should be (carefully) dispersed into large volume of flowing water.

  •  Actions for processors:

 - Expect proceeding with 2) or 3) above

 - When practicable – to inform ECan the details of farms that are disposing of milk on-farm (in case complaints are received from the public).

 - Following the event – to prepare a report for ECan detailing what emergency disposal actions were undertaken - note – individual farmers do not need to do this.

 Insurance

  •  Key messages from insurance providers are as follows:

 - Please do not do anything that puts your safety at risk

 - You can carry out emergency repairs (for example: making buildings safe and weatherproof)

 - Take photos of any damage you’re repairing as this will likely make up part of your insurance claim

 - Contact your insurer before carrying out non-essential repairs

 - If you need to throw items out, (such as food which has perished), take photos of these first

 - Where you can, take photos of any damage to assist with your insurance claim.

Feed available/wanted

Contact feed coordinator Kate Wood on 027 455 5204 or kate@ruraldirections.co.nz

Feed planning flier

Update: 31 May 1.05pm

Roading: State Highways update

The Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency are advising people to avoid travel in Canterbury today given the still-changing situation. They are watching the Hurunui area and bridges over the Hurunui River with the ongoing rain in North Canterbury and the current reliance upon SH7 the Lewis Pass.

A summary of closures at 12pm noon today, 31/5:

  • SH73 Darfield to Castle Hill
  • SH77, the inland route Darfield to the Rakaia Gorge
  • SH75 the Akaroa highway – closed from Barrys Bay to Birdlings Flat.
  • SH1, south of Christchurch – closed at the Selwyn River/ Waikirikiri, Dunsandel.
  • SH1 closed several places through mid to south Canterbury – Hinds to Temuka.
  • SH77 Methven to Windwhistle and Darfield - the inland scenic route.
  • SH79 Rangitata to Fairlie and Geraldine.
  • SH8 Fairlie to Tekapo via Burkes Pass.

For further information visit: 

Update: 31 May 12.40pm

Floodwater contamination

Potentially contaminated water is now mixing with floodwater downstream from Wilkins Road outside Tinwald and wastewater from the Ashburton wastewater treatment system near Wilkins Road may be flowing into Carters Creek, which feeds into Lake Hood.

Please avoid all floodwater and assume that it is contaminated.

Ashburton District Council will provide updates when they're available. If you do come into contact with floodwater, change out of any wet gear and wash your skin. Wash your hands as soon as you can or use an alcohol-based hand sanitiser. If you're concerned, call Healthline on 0800 611 116 or your local GP. If it's an emergency, call 111.

Stay up to date through your local council’s website and Facebook pages. 

For further information visit: 

Update: 31 May 11.35am

MetService advises that a red warning for heavy rain in Canterbury is still in place this morning. Heavy rainfall has resulted in severe flooding across Canterbury.

Ongoing dangerous river conditions and further flooding are expected. Slips and floodwaters will continue to disrupt travel, making some roads impassable and possibly isolating communities.

Stay away from floodwater

Floods and flash floods can happen quickly. If you see rising water do not wait for official warnings. Head for higher ground and stay away from floodwater. Advice from Canterbury District Health Board is to treat avoid contact with flood waters if you can and assume they will be contaminated by sewage

Do not travel unless absolutely necessary. Never try to walk, swim or drive through flood water. Many flood fatalities are caused by people attempting to drive through water.

If water enters your home, turn off the electricity to avoid short-circuits sparking a fire.

Check on your neighbours and help anyone who might need assistance if it is safe to do so.

If life, health or property is in danger, call 111.

Your local council is your key point of contact for issues including boil water notices and evacuation centres if you need help. Stay up to date by checking your local council’s website and Facebook page where they are posting regular updates.

For further information visit: 

Update 30 May 11.09pm

Evacuation orders in place as heavy rainfall to continue overnight across much of Canterbury

The Canterbury Civil Defence Emergency Management Group has declared a state of local emergency in Canterbury, extending emergency powers across the entire region, as heavy rain continues to fall. Here is an update on the situation.

Evacuations

If you are required to evacuate, you will receive an emergency SMS message. Please keep an eye on your local council’s communications channels for more information.

An evacuation order is currently in place for an area close to the banks of the Eyre River and for Fernside residents between Mt Thomas Road, Oxford Road and Merton Road. Check the Waimakariri District Council website for more details.

If you are in an area that could be asked to evacuate, please consider making a plan for you and your pets to safely leave the area.

Roads

Surface flooding is affecting roads across the region and residents are advised to avoid all non-essential travel.

In addition to local road closures, several parts of the State Highway network are currently closed:

  • SH1 Temuka near intersection with Arowhenua Rd
  • SH1 Hinds River Bridge
  • SH1 Ashburton near intersection with Saunders Rd
  • SH79 Fairlie to Rangitata
  • SH77 Rakaia Gorge to Methven
  • SH77 Glentunnel to Windwhistle
  • SH73 Springfield to Castle Hill
  • SH8 Fairlie to Tekapo (Burkes Pass)
  • SH1 and SH8 Timaru to Fairlie

The Waka Kotahi website will have updates on State Highway closures.

Weather updates

Another 80-100mm of rain is expected about the Canterbury High Country and foothills.

A further 30-50mm of rain is expected on top of what has already fallen about the Canterbury plains and coast.

Peak hourly rainfall rates of 10 to 15mm per hour are expected about the High Country and foothills.

Rainfall south of the Rangitata River is expected to ease from mid-morning Monday and from mid-afternoon Monday farther north. Check theMetService website for weather updates.

Rivers

Environment Canterbury is monitoring river flows across the region. The main concerns are currently:

Kaikoura District

Further heavy rain is expected overnight.

Hurunui District

Some overflow from the Hurunui River is expected to low lying farmland in the lower reaches of the river.

Waimakariri District

An evacuation order is currently in place for an area close to the banks of the Eyre River and for Fernside residents between Mt Thomas Road, Oxford Road and Merton Road. Check the Waimakariri District Council website

Selwyn District

The Selwyn River is starting to overtop into the Irwell River above State Highway 1. Breakouts are anticipated on the Selwyn River throughout the night.

Ashburton District

Environment Canterbury staff are monitoring the Jessops Bend area of the Ashburton River, which is the main break out point of concern for Ashburton town. Overflows upstream are taking place towards Greenstreet and surface flooding is possible to the south of the South branch of the Ashburton River.

Timaru District

Out of river flooding will continue to affect low lying areas between Geraldine and Temuka, including around the Hae Hae Te Moana and Kakahu rivers and in the Arowhenua area. There has been overtopping of the Waihi River on both sides below Beeby Road.

Mackenzie, Waitaki and Waimate Districts

There is some out of channel flooding in the Mackenzie, but no extensive flooding.

Update: 30 May 8.10pm

State of local emergency declared in Canterbury

The Canterbury Civil Defence Emergency Management Group has declared a state of local emergency in Canterbury, extending emergency powers across the entire region, as heavy rain continues to cause flooding.

Chair of the Joint Committee Lianne Dalziel made the declaration at 4:45 p.m., extending the state of emergency across Canterbury, following local declarations of emergency in the Timaru, Ashburton and Selwyn districts.

Dalziel said that the group felt that it was important that they declare an emergency for the entire Canterbury region, which will give local authorities the ability to take any action required as the situation unfolds.

“It also means all of the region’s resources are available, and we don’t have to worry about territorial boundaries,” she said.

For further information visit:

Update: 30 May

Ashburton and Selwyn districts 

Environment Canterbury Rivers team have flown over part of the Ashburton and Selwyn districts.  

Some of the highest flows on record have been in the Upper Hinds, Ashburton/Hakatere and Selwyn catchments. There are now a number of breakouts around the Ashburton District and out of river flooding is also anticipated on the Selwyn/Waikirikiri River.  

South Canterbury district 

In South Canterbury there has been significant rainfall overnight in the Waihi, Kakahu and Geraldine areas. River levels will be high throughout Sunday and early Monday.  

Overflows have occurred on both sides of the Waihi River between Geraldine and just north of Temuka. The Temuka River has also overflowed to the southwest into the Arowhenua area. Rivers in the rest of the South Canterbury region are high but currently not causing significant out of river problems. Staff are monitoring the situation. All smaller streams on the plains area are carrying high flows and there is extensive surface flooding. Numerous road closures have occurred and are expected to remain into Monday.  

North Canterbury district 

We continue to monitor rainfall and flows across the rest of the North Canterbury area. The Ashley/Rakahuri River is currently rising quickly in its lower reaches but is expected to remain within its stopbanks. Monitoring will continue later when the high tide is due and people are asked to stay well away from the river area.  

Farmers 

The local civil defence is coordinating the local responses. Local Rural Support Trusts, Federated Farmers, Ministry for Primary Industries, and other rural agencies are providing support to Civil Defence.   

Regional Parks update 

The Waimakariri River and Ashley Rakahuri regional parks have been closed.  

Advice for all Canterbury residents 

We recommend all residents to: 

  • Try to keep an idea of where everyone is on your property and have a conversation now about which route you’ll take to get out to safety 
  • Exercise caution when travelling through flood water on roads – this may be deeper and faster flowing than it looks and the terrain may have changed under water 
  • All flood water must be assumed to be contaminated, contact and ingestion could make you sick, so please avoid where possible. When working in the area ensure you wash your hands before drinking or eating 
  • Keep a close eye on the weather over the next few weeks by visiting: