Our region is exposed to a range of natural hazards including earthquakes, coastal erosion, volcanic eruption, landslides, tsunami and flooding.

These natural hazards can have major consequences on people, property and infrastructure. Regional Council is working to improve our understanding and management of these risks to support safe and resilient communities.

What we can expect

Natural hazards and climate change are closely linked. While natural hazards have always been a risk in the Bay of Plenty, we know that global changes in climate will directly influence their frequency and severity leading to:

  • More severe rainfall and flooding events
  • More frequent coastal erosion and storm surge events
  • Rising sea levels and coastal groundwater levels

Mapping the natural hazards across our region and managing risk to communities is a key focus of our work.


BayHazards Viewer

BayHazards is the Bay of Plenty natural hazards map viewer. Explore our interactive maps to discover information on the natural hazards that impact our region.  

Bay of Plenty's natural hazards

earthquake crack in earth

Active faults

A fault is a crack in the earth’s surface that was formed by movement of the earth’s crust, and is likely to become the source of another earthquake sometime in the future.

waihi beach erosion

Coastal hazards

Coastlines are forever changing with wind and waves influencing the shape of the shoreline. These processes also generate hazards that pose risks to human life and property such as erosion and flooding.

Natural hazards are a part of living in New Zealand. Managing our risk to these hazards is critical to ensuring safe and resilient communities. 


Liquefaction happens when the energy from an earthquake increases ground water pressure, causing soil to lose strength and temporarily behave like a liquid.


A tsunami is a series of extremely long waves that involve the whole depth of the ocean. As a result, each wave contains a large amount of energy and a much greater destructive force.



A landslide is the mass movement of rock, debris or mud down a slope. They occur when the strength of a slope is overwhelmed by stresses imposed on it such as heavy rain, earthquake or erosion.

mount putauaki

Volcanic hazards

The Bay of Plenty contains three active volcanic areas:Ōkataina Volcanic Centre, Tūhua (Mayor Island) and Whakaari (White Island).

flooded road


Flooding is the most common natural hazard in Aotearoa, with a major flood event occurring on average every eight months.

Why have these maps been produced?

The purpose of the Resource Management Act (RMA) is to promote the sustainable management of natural and physical resources. Achieving this requires a number of nationally important matters to be recognised and provided for, including the management of significant risks from natural hazards. 

The avoidance or mitigation of natural hazards is one of the key functions of a council in giving effect to the RMA. The Bay of Plenty Regional Council (BOPRC) have a set of natural hazard provisions in the Regional Policy Statement (RPS) that provides a framework for natural hazard risk management. The RPS gives the BOPRC responsibility to map natural hazards and understand the risk to buildings, infrastructure and health and safety.

Will this information affect my property value or insurance?

We are required to make information, such as the technical assessments relevant to hazards, available upon request. We cannot advise about any effect this information may have on property value or insurance.

It is recommended that professional advice is sought from a property valuation or insurance expert about any concerns you may have about these matters.

What will the council use this information for?

The information allows us to improve our existing natural hazard information. We will use it to determine potential consequences across the region and to support an integrated risk management approach.

The information may also be used at the local council level to support the resilience planning of new subdivisions and design of new building developments.  


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