The Wellington region's flood hazard information could be put online for the public to freely access, but the move could cause a fuss among property owners if past experience is anything to go by.

In previous years when the Greater Wellington Regional Council has publicly provided such information, it has led to upset property owners complaining about their dropping house prices.

But flood protection manager Graeme Campbell said research showed the information did not affect property prices in the long term.

In fact, if any properties were negatively affected, things would return back to normal in about six months, he said.


The Greater Wellington Regional Council plans to release the information on a website so people can easily check where flood hazards exist.

The tool would be helpful for people planning to buy property or undertake activities in a certain area, Campbell said.

In a presentation to environment committee members today, senior engineer Sharyn Westlake said flood protection departments produced flood maps for the region, information that is already available to the public on request.

But some of the risks of putting the information online included upsetting people who didn't believe the information was correct or who did not want their property values to decrease.

Campbell told the Herald the website would only tell people if a property had an identified flood hazard, but would likely not provide further detail unless requested.

He said the perception the information might not be accurate related to the way it was gathered. Some of the information was gathered with "sophisticated computer modelling and ground contouring and all that", while other parts of the information were gathered through facebook and photos of flooded areas.

People had said in the past the release of the information "detrimentally" affected property values, but Campbell said the situation was shown to right itself.

"All of our research has really shown that it doesn't in the long term. There may be a short-term drop or slow in the property value.


"We've had a number of reports prepared from different valuers, which really just show that within six months, generally, it's all settled back down again."

The council's target is to have the flood hazard maps available to the public online by July 1.