Natural hazards portal launched
11 Oct 2022, 8:43 AM
From children being unable to attend school due to flooding through to urupā crumbling into the ocean, the real-world effects of natural hazards are constantly evolving and becoming increasingly dangerous. Recent flooding events in Te Taitokerau have highlighted the need for people to be aware of the types of hazards that have the potential to effect them and their properties in the future.
Now, help is on the way with Northland Regional Council (NRC) launching a new online Natural Hazards Portal, focussing on projections and data around natural hazards and the risks they pose here in Te Taitokerau. All tangata whenua, property owners, prospective property buyers, and interested members of the public now have the ability to see the hazards, and how they affect specific locations throughout the region.
Council River Management Engineer Victoria Rowe says our coastlines are changing as a combination of sinking land and rising sea levels starts combine to affect various parts of Northland. “It’s important people are aware of the natural hazard risks in their areas and this new portal will really help people with that,” she says.
The portal allows non-technical users to access information about hazards present on a property or near a place. It is part of the NRC website and has built-in user instructions and links through to other resources for more information. The various maps show projections of areas that may be prone to coastal erosion and coastal flooding over 50 and 100-year timeframes.
Climate change, rising sea-levels, increasingly frequent and intense storm systems, coastal erosion, and severe flooding events are all examples of natural hazards that pose a risk in Te Taitokerau. Now, those concerned about natural hazards and their potential impacts have a one-stop resource to understand general information about natural hazards in the region.
“The portal translates a lot of complicated information and boils it down to images that people can see and use to help them understand the natural hazard risks,” says CEO of the Insurance Council of New Zealand - Te Kāhui Inihua o Aotearoa Tim Grafton.
“What’s important about a portal like this is that it helps everybody to be able to see the kinds of natural hazards that their properties are exposed to. It’s really important for people who are wanting to buy property to know about what the hazards are and for others to look at ways of reducing risks to their properties,” says Grafton.
Victoria Rowe says another hope for the portal is that it will help those most at risk prepare for and mitigate the effects of natural hazards in the near future. As the portal depicts, predicted sea level rise would lead to many residential areas in Northland being at high-risk of coastal flooding events.
“We hope that by improving the accessibility of this information, we can better enable those most at risk to take steps to mitigate some of those risks. Many people are aware that there may be some risks to their properties but are just unaware of the urgent risks they face, particularly with issues such as coastal erosion, sea-level rise, and tsunami,” says Rowe.
Access the portal at: www.nrc.govt.nz/hazardsportal