Coastal flood risk management project

This directory page provides information on plans to mitigate the risk of coastal flooding at high-risk schools around the country.

Level of compliance Main audience Other


  • Boards
  • Principals and Tumuaki
  • Property Managers
  • Caretakers


The Ministry of Education oversees more than 2500 schools across the country, and many are near the coast. That means they are potentially at risk from flooding.

We want to have a better understanding of these coastal flooding risks and how they may change in the future.

Climate change increases these risks. It’s difficult to predict the impact climate has on sea level rise, and when it may happen.

This uncertainty means we need to be prepared with options for several different scenarios for schools that are at highest risk from climate change.

Using data from a variety of sources, and some historic flooding information, we’ve established that 103 schools – 50 in the South Island and 53 in the North Island – might be at risk from coastal flooding.

We know that extreme sea levels (due to storms or high winds) could have an impact on 48 of these schools, without allowing for climate change or sea level rise. If the sea level rises less than one metre, a further 22 of these schools may be impacted by coastal flooding. The remaining 33 schools may experience coastal flooding if sea levels rise by more than one metre.

View the list of 103 schools identified by the programme [PDF, 137 KB]. For further information, please contact the project team at

We want to develop a management approach for schools that are facing coastal flooding challenges. We will do this by conducting a pilot study of on-site assessments at five schools in Wellington and the same number on the West Coast of the South Island. This will provide us with a variety of school settings, a combination of open coast and harbour locations, and a mix of school sizes. We will use the information to develop and test our assessment methodology and advise on mitigation options for all the schools we’ve identified as potentially at-risk from coastal flooding.

What we’ll be looking for

When we visit schools, we will be looking for these details: 

  • the school’s elevation above sea level
  • the levels of main building floors
  • any structures built to prevent flooding
  • any evidence of, or anecdotes about, previous flooding
  • location of critical infrastructure (power, heating, data storage)
  • school access e.g., key bus routes and access roads.   


Wellington cluster

  • Muritai School
  • Paremata School
  • Evans Bay Intermediate School
  • Seatoun School
  • Randwick School

West Coast cluster

  • Granity School
  • Paroa School, Greymouth
  • Blaketown School, Greymouth
  • Karamea Area School
  • Haast School

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