West Coast’s natural hazard risk assessment underway

The government has awarded Tonkin and Taylor a NZ$200,000 contract to assess options for managing flood and earthquake hazards in the West Coast’s Franz Josef.

Franz Josef’s spectacular glacier scenery has earned the village and glacier a place among World Heritage sites. However,  the popular tourist destination is situated on an active fault line and lies adjacent to the Waiho River, which is prone to flooding.

Franz Josef’s economic contribution to the region, which experienced 13 per cent growth in visitor spend over the year to January 2017 , has made natural risk hazard management a priority. This is particularly in light of a recent GNS Science report that recommended a risk management strategy be developed, including a thorough analysis of the options.

The assessment work will be completed by the end of July 2017. Once the options have been fully assessed, the relevant agencies and the community will discuss next steps.

The work is supported by the Government’s Regional Growth Programme and involves the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment; the Ministry for the Environment; the Department of Conservation; the Ministry of Civil Defence and Emergency Management; and the NZ Transport Agency.