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Natural Hazards

New Zealand is subject to a range of natural hazards. These include natural events such as earthquakes, river flooding, coastal erosion and coastal inundation. These  events create natural hazards when they affect people, property and the environment.

One of Nelson City Council’s responsibilities is to manage risk from natural hazards. Council is required by law not only to investigate natural hazards, but to make the relevant research available to anyone who is affected or interested.

Council fulfils this function in various ways, including:

View the Hazards Map

  • the Nelson Resource Management Plan
  • building consents
  • placing statements on property files noting that a property is potentially affected by a natural hazard (LIM and PIM)
  • managing infrastructure assets
  • civil defence responsibilities

Council has undertaken various technical studies to better understand where particular natural hazards may occur. This includes research and modelling for potential fault hazard, liquefaction hazard and flood hazard. Further information on each of these hazards is provided below.

Council is in the process of undertaking technical studies in relation to coastal erosion, coastal inundation and slope stability. More information will become available on this page as this work is completed.

Information regarding tsunami, including Tsunami Evacuation Maps and frequently asked questions, is held on the Nelson Tasman Civil Defence Emergency Management (CDEM) website.

Council’s natural hazards work will be used to inform the development of the Nelson Plan (resource management) which is currently being prepared and will replace the Nelson Regional Policy Statement, the Nelson Resource Management Plan, and the Nelson Air Quality Plan.

Civil Defence

For information on civil defence and emergency management in the Nelson Tasman region please visit the Civil Defence website.

Flooding, Fault and Liquefaction Hazards: Community Feedback

Between April and June 2017, Council gathered community feedback regarding Nelson’s flood, fault and liquefaction hazards, and how we should be responding to these in the review of our resource management plan, the Nelson Plan. Natural hazards are an issue New Zealand is coming to terms with and the information the community gave us was of much value.

The feedback gathered from this community engagement has been summarised into a report:

Next Steps

The Draft Whakamahere Nelson Plan outlines how Nelson will grow and develop, and how we will manage our environment in the future. 

A broad approach to hazard management has been proposed for feedback. Engagement will be undertaken in phases to enable the community to contribute to the development of the Plan.

During Phase one - October through December 2020 - the public were invited to provide feedback regarding fault, liquefaction and coastal hazards. Flooding and other parts of the Plan not released in Phase one will be open for public engagement planned for 2021.

A third phase of formal consultation will occur in 2022 as part of the formal notification process.

Please note: The sections are provisional until technical work is finalised and public feedback has been considered.