Hawkes Bay Civil Defence Emergency Management Group

Hazards in Hawke's Bay

Photo: Heretaunga Plains by Peter Scott April 2011
Photo: Heretaunga Plains by Peter Scott April 2011
Hawke’s Bay is a community often reminded of the impact of disasters, whether it is in the form of earthquakes, flooding, drought or volcanic eruptions.

In 1931 parts of Hawke’s Bay were devastated by an earthquake, which caused the loss of 256 lives and damage to property.  The community showed its resilience at that time by rebuilding itself, along with assistance from outside the region.  Later events, such as Cyclone Bola and the Ruapehu eruptions have also highlighted our vulnerability to a range of geological and meteorological hazards.  We also face risk from biological and technological hazards.

On this page

Top 10 Hazards

The Hawke’s Bay Civil Defence Emergency Management Group adopted its first cooperative Plan in March 2005 and assessed 38 different hazards have the potential to impact Hawke’s Bay. As a result, the Group identified a Top 10 hazard list for Hawke's Bay:

  1. Earthquake (includes liquefaction)
  2. Human pandemic / infectious diseases
  3. Flooding / heavy rainfall
  4. Fire involving hazardous substances
  5. Electricity failure
  6. Pests or diseases affecting agriculture, forestry, or horticultural
  7. Local Tsunami
  8. Rural Wildfire
  9. Hazardous chemical incident (release of fumes)
  10. Coastal Erosion

It is important that the Hawke’s Bay community knows about the hazard risks we live with daily, so that people and organisations, can be prepared, and recover quickly from the disruption to their lives.

Online Natural Hazards Database

You can learn more about our hazard risks on this website or go to the Hawke's Bay Regional Council "Online Natural Hazard Resources Database" where you can search a register of online hazard documents, research material, and publications related to Hawke's Bay.

Hazards in Hawke's Bay, by Johnston & Pearse 2007 (ISBN 1-877405-13-2)

The hazard information on this website is also available in an informative book describing the hazards in Hawke's Bay and the risks they pose. It details historic and recent occurrences of the Top 10 hazards for our region and aims to teach Hawke's Bay people how to be better prepared. It has been provided free for use in Hawke's Bay schools and libraries through sponsorship from the New Zealand Earthquake Commission. Copies of this book can be purchased from the Hawke's Bay Regional Council at $10.00 a copy + GST. Email info@hbrc.govt.nz  to ask for a copy providing your contact details and address.

HB Joint Hazard Strategy for Local Authority Land-use Planning

HB Planners and CDEM staff decdied in 2010 to develop a strategy that sets out a framework to achieve better integration and a commonality in the treatment of hazard risks in the land use planning environment.

After a workshop with planners and series of review, the CEG passed a resolution on 16 August 2011 to endorse, in principal, the ‘Hawke’s Bay Joint Hazard Strategy for Local Authority Land Use Planning.’

This Strategy sits outside the statutory plans and decision-making but provides guidance to them, seeking to achieve community risk reduction. The Strategy has been developed recognising appropriate levels of statutory planning are necessary for avoidance and mitigation of hazards risks in the region. It can also assist non-statutory planning strategies for the mitigation of hazard risks, such as research and information, urban design and construction, early warning systems, education and participation and communciation and consultation.

Click here to read the HB Joint Hazard Strategy

Click here to read the Support Document for the Strategy
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