Update: Heavy Swells – Wellington south coast and Wairarapa coast

13:30 29 June 2021

What do we know? 

  • Currently, we are seeing 6m swells which will likely rise and get bigger, these will likely have significant impacts on roads and homes.   
  • Swells will reach their strongest at 9pm tonight through to Wednesday morning. 
  • The impacts of these large swells are likely to be somewhere between Owhiro Bay last year and the Matariki Storm in 2013. In that event, we saw flooded roads, damage to property and even to sea walls. 
  • So far, we’ve received great feedback that people in the affected areas are generally taking the required actions to be prepared.  

What are we doing? 

  • We’re receiving frequent updates from MetService and NIWA to understand any changes in the weather and ocean patterns. 
  • Council teams and life line utilities are on stand-by and are ready to respond. Our Emergency Coordination Centre is activated – our team will continue to monitor the situation and keep the public informed on what they need to do. 

What does the public need to do? 

  • We’re urging people along the Wellington’s South and East coast, and the south and east Wairarapa coast to stay vigilant and avoid listed coastal areas. 
  • We’re going to see the biggest of the waves beginning at 9pm, and continuing through the night, until Wednesday morning. 
  • People within these high risk areas should prepare a 24-hour grab bag with supplies relevant to your family in case you have to leave with short notice. 
  • If your home has been impacted by past swell and storm events or have concerns, arrange accommodation with friends and family from Tuesday late afternoon to Wednesday afternoon you can.
  • If you cannot arrange accommodation, call your local council for assistance.
  • If evacuations are determined necessary, we will let the public know through our communication channels. We are working with councils and emergency services on the details of this.  
  • Keep up to date with the latest warning information through the WREMO Facebook and MetService Twitter and Facebook, or contact your local council if you have any questions. 


Wellington Region Emergency Management Office – WREMO

Marine Metservice for Wairarapa (Kapiti-Wellington)

10:00 29 June 2021

From Wellington Regional Emergency Management Office (WREMO):


This evening from 9pm we expect the swells to be at their heaviest. Currently, we’re monitoring the situation and preparing for the expected impacts this evening. We advise people to avoid coastal areas where possible. Please stay out of the water and avoid walking on or near beaches and shorelines. Take extra care if you have to drive along the coast.

If you live on the Wellington South Coast, and South and East Wairarapa Coast be prepared for heavy swells and waves: – Prepare a 24-hour grab bag with supplies relevant to your family in case you have to leave with short notice. – If you can, find a safe place to stay overnight if you live in the potential at risk areas (listed below).

If you cannot arrange accommodation, call your local council for assistance –

Move important items out of harm’s way, including pets. If evacuations are determined necessary, we will be advising the public through our communication channels. Potential at risk coastal areas: The WELLINGTON SOUTH COAST areas include: Owhiro Bay, Island Bay, Houghton Bay, Lyall Bay, Moa Point, Reef, Flax, Eve and Breaker Bays, Seatoun and Karaka Bays. Large waves are expected in the inner harbour area, Petone and Eastbourne, however the impacts are not expected to be as significant as that for the South Coast. T

The SOUTH AND EAST WAIRARAPA COAST include: Ocean Beach – Palliser Bay, Lake Onoke (mouth and spit), Lake Ferry, Te Kopi, Whatarangi, Ngawi, Mangatoetoe, Cape Palliser, Riversdale, Castlepoint, Whakataki, Mataikona, and Mataikona Road. More information to follow this afternoon –
WREMO Duty Team

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