Author(s): Graham Hutchins
Despite the prescence of natural hazards in New Zealand such as volcanoes and earthquakes, the most common Civil Defence emergency visiting New Zealand citizens relates to flooding. New Zealand is a flood-prone company, occupying a narrow, spiny series of islands astride two active weather systems. Surrounded by ocean, New Zealand receives air masses laden with moisture. Those masses, on encountering the hills and mountains, dump their moisture in the form of rain, often heavy and prolonged. Floods are a natural outcome. Over the years since European settlement, New Zealand has experienced many severe floods. This book records and discusses most of the more remarkable deluges and inundations. Barely a corner of New Zealand has escaped a serious flood over the years - flooding is very much the 'egalitarian' disaster. With the impact of current weather changes, some areas are now experiencing torrential rain and devastating flooding very few New Zealanders can rest assured in the knowledge that they will remain exempt form the 'watery hand of God.'