STORM EVENT #4 - Moutoa floodgates activated overnight

Horizons Regional Council EOC controller Craig Grant says the Moutoa floodgates were opened at 3.40am this morning as a result of high levels in the Manawatu River. 

“The floodgates are likely to stay open until Sunday morning. Other assets performed well overnight, with the Makino gates expected to open later today,” says Mr Grant. 

“Both the Makino Stream and the Mangaone Stream levels are currently on the decline, however these will rise again later today. We do not foresee any issues though, as the levels will be contained within their channels.

“State Highway 56 at the Opiki spillway is closed, with many other roads still closed throughout the Region. This is particularly significant in the Central Plateau and we ask that people check the NZTA website before travelling. If you need to go somewhere, please drive with caution.

“Horizons, Ruapehu District Council, Manawatu District Council, Tararua District Council and Palmerston North City Council Emergency Operations Centres remain in place, as we wait to see what today brings.

“All territorial authorities will participate in a conference call at 9am today.

“Power outages are still a problem in areas such as Ohakune, Whakapapa, and Raetihi, with many people spending the night without power. This includes approximately 500 people snowed in at the Skotel Alpine Resort and Chateau Tongariro. Pellets of food are being transported from Turangi, which local iwi will assist with unloading.

“Throughout the Region, we encourage people to check on their friends, families, neighbours, and animals, and share resources wherever possible. Our rural communities will be feeling particularly isolated,” says Mr Grant.

“There will continue to be a great deal of water around, and for now we can’t say how the snow will contribute to this once it starts melting. Our duty teams will be in place over the weekend.”

Our next media release will be around lunchtime, unless the situation changes.

Further information will be shared via our Manawatu-Wanganui Civil Defence social media pages:
Twitter: @MW_CivilDefence

Members of the public are advised to check the status of roads before they start their journey, as some are closed. People can call 0800 4HIGHWAYS (0800 44 44 49) or visit or

Up-to-date information on river heights and rainfall is available via Horizons 24 hour toll-free Waterline 0508 4 FLOOD or via our Environmental Data page.

For weather forecasting information please see