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Natural Hazards

Implementing the Natural Hazards Provisions of the RPS

BOPRC have developed a Natural Hazards Programme (Programme) to deliver the outcomes expected under the natural hazard provisions of the Regional Policy Statement.  The Programme started after the RPS natural hazard provisions were made operative in July 2016 and includes the following four workstreams:

  • Research
  • Risk Assessment
  • Integrated Management
  • Knowledge Sharing.

The first three workstreams flow from one to each other in stages.  The Research workstream is focussed on mapping areas susceptible to natural hazards across the region.  The Risk Assessment stage evaluates what the impacts or consequences are against the likelihood of the hazard occurring and identifies any high risk areas.  The Integrated Management workstream then aims to deliver risk reduction plans that cover land use, infrastructure and Civil Defence and Emergency Management actions.  BOPRC aims to share the knowledge gained across the Programme to make the best information available for decision making.

The Programme is based on the best practice risk management process, which is explained further here.  And the current Programme schedule for the next 3 years is outlined here.

Please contact Mark Ivamy ( or Martin Butler for more information.

Natural Hazard Risk Management Process 

The natural hazards provisions of the Bay of Plenty Regional Policy Statement (RPS) require a “risk-based approach” be taken to the management of natural hazards across the region. The RPS is very specific about what it means by a “risk-based approach”. Risk is the combination of the likelihood and the consequence of a hazard. For example a low likelihood event (local source tsunami) could have major impact (consequences) resulting in a high risk.

The figure below outlines the risk assessment process used for the management of natural hazards.



  1. Natural hazards research and mapping is completed first under the establishing the context stage.  An example is mapping the area of land expected to be flooded during a local source tsunami.
  2. The risk assessment stage overlays the hazard map over community assets like buildings and lifeline utilities to determine the consequences. Risk analysis and evaluation is also completed under this stage to test different likelihood events and mitigation scenarios.
  3. Risk treatment outlines the agreed mitigation actions to reduce risk to acceptable levels.  The actions should be integrated across Civil Defence and Emergency Management (CDEM), asset management and the Resource Management Act.  For example, CDEM actions could include improved awareness and preparedness through tsunami signs and warnings.  Asset management actions include improving evacuation routes and safe zones.  RMA actions are planning tools for restricting vulnerable activities or critical facilities within tsunami inundation areas.

Each of these three stages must involve communication and consultation of the results to obtain feedback and find acceptable risk reduction solutions.

For more information check the NH provisions of the Bay of Plenty Regional Policy Statement.