Story: Floods

No. 4 camp after the flood

A devastated landscape with broken buildings and river debris.

This photograph shows the camp the day after the flood. In the early morning of 19 February 1938, a flash flood raced down the Kōpuawhara Stream. A wall of water, estimated at 5 metres high, washed all the huts away and left the ground covered with large boulders. Twenty-one people were killed here, while another person drowned in the Maraetaha Stream further north as a result of another flood caused by the same weather system.

Using this item

Alexander Turnbull Library, C. A. Jeffery Collection
Reference: 1/2-60159; F

Permission of the Alexander Turnbull Library, National Library of New Zealand, Te Puna Mātauranga o Aotearoa, must be obtained before any re-use of this image.

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How to cite this page:

Eileen McSaveney, 'Floods - The Kōpuawhara flash flood, 1938', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, (accessed 29 May 2024)

Story by Eileen McSaveney, published 12 Jun 2006, reviewed & revised 1 Feb 2024