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Cost of natural disasters

New Zealand has experienced more than 150 severe weather events and natural disasters since ICNZ began keeping records in 1968.


Cost of natural disasters

Natural hazards cost New Zealanders millions of dollars. Fortunately, New Zealand property is extremely well insured compared to other countries, which means the insurance industry bears most of the costs when disaster strikes.

The table below lists natural disasters which have occurred in New Zealand since 1968, and the cost to the insurance industry in paying claims for damage resulting from those events.

CPI is calculated as at 30 June 2017.

*Numbers marked with an asterisk are provisional.

YearEventDayMonthCost ($m)Inflation adjusted cost ($m)More info
2018 New Plymouth-Whakatāne tornadoes 20August2.9
2018 Northland-Bay of Plenty flooding 14-15July3.7i
2018 Gisborne-Hawke's Bay flooding 11-12June4.0i
2018 Upper North Island-Hawke's Bay flooding 3-4June4.3i
2018 Nationwide severe weather including flooding in Rotorua 27-29April21.3i
2018 Severe weather including tornadoes 10-11Apr74.4i
2018 Ex-Tropical Cyclone Gita 20Feb35.6i
2018 Cyclone Fehi 1Feb45.9i
2018 Nationwide severe weather 4-7Jan34.2i
2017 South Island flooding 20-22Jul31.2
2017 Nationwide snow/wind/rain 12-14Jul12.5
2017 Cyclone Cook remnants 13-16Apr17.2
2017 Cyclone Debbie remnants 3-7Apr91.46
2017 Upper North Island flooding 7-12Mar61.7
2017 Port Hills fires 13-17Feb18.3
2017 Dunedin flooding 13Feb1.7
2017 Nationwide severe weather 18-23Jan8.6
2016 Lower North Island Flooding and Wind 14-17Nov9.19.2
2016 Kaikōura earthquake 14Nov2,122*
2016 Flooding - Auckland to Waikato and Hailstorm Hawke's Bay 2-3Oct0.60.6
2016 Heavy Rain and Flooding - Coromandel, Bay of Plenty, Gisborne and Hawke's Bay 25-30Sep1.21.2
2016 Nationwide Storm 7-9Sep3.83.9
2016 Flooding and Gales - Auckland 29Jun2.42.4
2016 Flooding- Lower North Island 5May3.94.0
2016 Flood - Coromandel and Auckland 17Apr0.60.6
2016 Flooding and Wind - North and South Islands 23-24Mar30.230.9
2015 Flood - Gisborne 21Sep0.80.8
2015 Flooding and Storm - Upper North Island 18-19Jul6.26.3
2015 Flooding and Storm South Island West Coast 19-22Jun8.48.6
2015 Flooding and Storm Lower North Island including Whanganui 18-21Jun41.542.4
2015 Flood and Storm - North and South Islands excluding Otago 2-5Jun3.03.1
2015 Flooding and Storm - Otago 2-4Jun28.228.8
2015 Extreme Weather Lower North Island 13-15May21.922.4
2015 Bay of Plenty Tornado 14May2.82.9
2015 Cyclone Pam 15-18Mar2.22.2
2015 Flooding and Storm North and South Islands 6-7Mar1.31.3
2014 Hailstorm - North and South Islands 4Nov4.95.0
2014 Auckland Power Outage 5Oct2.62.7
2014 Northland - Coromandel Storms 8-10Jul18.819.3
2014 Severe Weather North and South Islands 9-11Jun37.638.6
2014 Nelson-Tasman Floods 25Jun2.72.8
2014 Easter Weekend Storm and Floods 17Apr55.356.9
2014 Cyclone Lusi 15-16Mar3.63.7
2014 Canterbury and Lower North Island storm 4-5Mar22.523.2
2014 Canterbury storm 23Feb4.84.9
2013 Cook Strait earthquake 21July14.915.5
2013 Nationwide storm 14-16Oct12.412.8
2013 Nationwide storm 11-12Sep74.577.1
2013 Cook Strait earthquake 16Aug16.216.8
2013 Nationwide storms 20-22Jun39.341.0
2013 North Island Floodsn 4-7May2.93.0
2013 Nelson/Bay of Plenty storm and floods 19-22Apr46.248.2
2012 Auckland Tornado 6Dec8.79.1
2011 Nelson Floods 15-16Dec16.817.8
2011 Taranaki tornados 19Jun1.61.7
2011 Auckland tornado 3May6.06.4
2011 Flooding, Hawkes Bay 26-27Apr6.46.8
2011 Storm/FloodingBay of Plenty to Northland 29Jan19.821.3
2011 Flooding Mid-Upper North Island 23Jan6.97.4
2011 Canterbury earthquakes 2010-2011 - accumlated (insurers only) 22,481*
2010 Gisborne Flooding 13/14Oct0.30.3
2010 Southland Storm 89Sep49.354.5
2010 Flooding - Northland/Coromandel/Eastern BOP 1Jun12.514.0
2010 Flooding North & South Islands 24-27May5.56.1
2010 Wellington Thunderstorm 12Mar1.21.3
2009 North Island Storms 11-12Jul1.71.9
2009 Taranaki Tornado 21Jul0.50.6
2009 Fiordland Earthquake 15Jul1.51.7
2009 Kaitaia Tornado 4Jul0.00.0
2009 Bay of Plenty Hail Storm 11May2.32.6
2008 Nationwide Storms 30-1Jul/Aug46.353.2
2008 Canterbury hail storm 17Nov11.212.8
2008 Cambridge Tornado 17Oct1.01.2
2008 Flooding Nth Canterbury and Marlborough [prelim.] 26Aug0.80.9
2008 Hastings Earthquake 25Aug0.20.3
2008 North Island Storms 26-27Jul26.730.7
2007 Gisborne earthquake 20Dec30.536.1
2007 High Winds Event, Central North and Lower South Islands 23-24Oct4.85.7
2007 Storm event - Far North / Auckland / Coromande 10-12Jul60.572.7
2007 Frost claims - Otago & Canterbury 7-9Jul7.08.4
2007 Tornado events 4-5Jul8.310.0
2007 Flooding Hawkes Bay 17Jul1.11.3
2007 Flooding - Nelson & New Plymouth 23May1.11.3
2007 Storm event - Far North 29Mar12.515.2
2006 Windstorm damage - Mid to Upper North Island 9Nov3.44.1
2006 Storm/Flood events - Wellington, Manawatu, Wairarapa 5-7Jul2.73.3
2006 Storms North & South Islands 12Jun42.552.3
2006 Flooding - Oamaru / Dunedin 26Apr1.82.2
2005 Flooding - Gisborne/East Cape 23Oct0.70.9
2005 BOP Tauranga / Matata 18May28.536.5
2005 Christchurch Hailstorm 23-24Mar13.016.7
2005 Flooding - Lower Nth Island 31Mar0.60.8
2005 Storm damage Bay of Plenty 25Mar0.91.2
2005 Greymouth Tornado 10Mar9.211.8
2005 Rain Storm - Dunedin 7Feb5.06.4
2005 Flooding - Wellington Region 6Jan2.53.2
2005 Coastal erosion - Haumoana H.B. 0.00.0
2004 Flooding - Hawkes Bay 18Oct4.86.2
2004 Storms - North and South Islands 15-20Aug8.711.4
2004 Eastern Bay of Plenty Floods 17-19Jul17.623.0
2004 Wanganui Hailstorm 6Apr1.31.7
2004 Storm Damage - Lower Nth Island 15-16Feb112.0148.3
2004 Storm Damage - North Island 20-21Jan0.81.0
2003 North & South Islands / Storms & Floods 3-4Oct2.33.1
2003 Lower North Island Flooding / Storm Damage 9-10Jun1.01.3
2002 North Island Flooding / Storm Damage 21Jun21.529.3
2002 Dunedin Flooding 17Jan0.30.4
2002 Canterbury Flooding 14Jan0.30.3
2002 Wellington / Wairarapa Flooding 10Jan0.60.8
2002 Canterbury Hail Storm 5Jan3.04.2
2001 Wellington / Wairarapa Floods 10Dec0.60.8
2001 Storm Damage North Island 4Nov0.50.7
2001 Masterton Hailstorm 7Jan1.52.1
2000 Canterbury Storms 12Oct9.413.4
2000 North Island Severe Weather 26Sep4.26.0
2000 Auckland / Coromandel Floods 3Jul7.611.0
2000 Tauranga / Eastern Bay of Plenty Floods 14Apr1.92.8
1999 Queenstown Lakes District Floods 1Dec46.167.6
1999 South Canterbury Storms 2Jul0.60.9
1999 Whangarei / Rotorua Floods 1May2.13.1
1999 Dargaville Floods 18Apr1.72.5
1999 Northland & Pukekohe Floods 22Jan5.07.4
1998 Upper North Island Storms 29Nov5.07.3
1998 North & South Islands Storms 30Oct2.02.9
1998 North & South Islands Storms 22Oct6.29.1
1998 North & South Island Floods / Storms 1Jul11.817.3
1998 Mercury Energy Crisis 1May10.215
1997 South Island Windstorms 19Dec0.20.3
1997 North & South Island Windstorms 1Dec2.94.3
1997 Southland & Otago Wind & Hail 13Nov0.40.6
1997 Auckland Floods 28Sep0.71.0
1997 Coromandel Floods 25Sep0.50.7
1997 Northland Floods 30Jun1.21.8
1997 Wairoa Floods 3Jun0.50.8
1997 Auckland Floods 24May3.75.5
1997 South Island Storms 21Jan1.11.6
1997 Cyclone Dreena 11Jan3.24.8
1996 Cyclone Fergus 30Dec1.62.4
1996 Weather related losses 1Dec2.13.1
1996 Weather related losses June & July 3Jul8.112.2
1995 Thames / Kaiaua Floods 18Jul2.84.3
1995 North & South Island Floods 2Jul4.56.9
1995 New Plymouth Floods 25Apr3.65.6
1995 Whangarei & District Floods 1.72.6
1994 North & South Storm / Floods 1Nov6.09.5
1994 South Canterbury Floods 19Feb1.52.4
1994 Hastings Hailstorm * 10.817.4
1993 Kaikoura Flood 24Dec7.612.3
1992 Canterbury Snowstorm 28Aug7.011.5
1992 Auckland Tornado 1.11.8
1991 Otago Floods 18Feb1.62.7
1991 Albany Tornado 1.52.5
1990 Taranaki / Wanganui Floods 8Aug1.83.1
1988 Greymouth Floods Sep13.425.6
1988 Manawatu Floods 25Jul2.54.8
1988 Greymouth Floods 1May3.26.2
1988 Cyclone Bola 8Mar3772.1
1987 Bay of Plenty Earthquake 192392.9
1986 North Otago / South Canterbury Floods 13Mar18.546.5
1986 Auckland Floods 0.41.0
1986 Nelson Floods 0.41.0
1985 South Auckland 1May2.98.0
1985 Thames / Coromandel / Te Aroha 5.915.9
1985 Wellington / Hutt Valley 1.43.8
1985 Auckland Floods 3.69.7
1985 Chatham Islands 0.82.1
1985 Gisborne Floods 1.74.6
1985 Hawkes Bay / Wairarapa 0.92.4
1984 Invercargill / Southland Floods 1Jan45.8147.7
1984 Greymouth Floods 3.511.0
1984 Auckland Floods 1.85.6
1983 Christchurch Storm 3.511.5
1983 Marlborough / Golden Bay Floods 2.37.5
1981 Thames / Coromandel / Paeroa Floods 1Apr7.030.2
1981 Keri Keri Floods 1Mar2.08.7
1980 Onehunga Tornado 1Aug1.04.7
1980 Taieri / Otago / New Plymouth Floods 5Jun8.038.7
1980 South Island Summer Floods 17Jan2.311.8
1978 Otago Floods 16Oct10.363.5
1976 Wellington / Hutt Valley Floods 6.250.3
1968 Canterbury Storms 1Aug7.066.1
1968 Wahine storm 10Apr3.560.8
1968 Loss of Wahine 10Apr10173.6