The residents of a recently flood-ravaged community are calling on the council to improve the stormwater system or "someone is going to drown".
The northern Porirua suburb of Plimmerton was hit by heavy rain late last month, affecting 60 properties, leaving 30 with internal damage and 16 uninhabitable.
A group of 45 locals, the Plimmerton Flood Action Group was formed to lobby Porirua City Council and Wellington Water for urgent action. They spoke to the council on Wednesday, the final council meeting of the year.
Plimmerton Flood Action Group spokesperson Grace Allum said Porirua's stormwater system "desperately needed" work to better protect the community from flood damage.
"Years of underinvestment, poor design and neglect have left many parts of Porirua with a stormwater system that simply isn't up to the job," she said.
"This has now proven to have had a devastating impact on Plimmerton and Karehana Bay."
She said the rainfall of November 29 was not a "one-off event" with some homes flooding three times in the past five years.
The emergency of last month's flood had put residents' lives at risk, she said.
"On the morning of 29 November, residents climbed into dangerous culverts and overflowing drains to clear the debris and try to save their homes.
"With flood waters more than waist-deep across parts of Karehana Bay, this was a civil defence emergency that put lives at risk.
"This is our reality. If the council doesn't take action now then, one day, someone is going to drown."
The group requested a series of actions from council, including a review of Plimmerton and Karehana Bay catchment areas, action to address the failing WaStop check valve at Karehana Beach, and the public release of a maintenance calendar for the area's drains and culverts.
They welcomed the announcement of a review into the flooding events and also asked the council to examine similar work done by other councils in New Zealand.
"As part of the Waikanae Floodplain Management Plan, Greater Wellington Regional Council undertook work that has provided flood protection to over 450 houses," said spokesperson Jonathon Gear.
"A programme of house-raising was also undertaken in the Otaihanga area, to lift the worst-affected properties and protect them from a 1 in 100-year flood."
"How can Porirua City Council apply these learnings to Plimmerton?"
Earlier this month Porirua Mayor Anita Baker said the council hoped to double its investment into water infrastructure to help avoid future flood risk.
Porirua City Council was proposing to double the Three Waters infrastructure investment in their next Long Term plan to $800 million.
They had also asked Wellington Water to identify "flooding hotspots" that needed extra funding, on which they would also consult the public.