Issue 105 - June 2023


23 MAY 2023

Government project delivers more reliable and resilient water source to Northland


The Government has delivered the first of three significant water security projects in Northland, boosting regional business and climate resilience, with the opening of Matawii reservoir today, Regional Development Minister Kiri Allan announced.

A $68 million Government investment supported the construction of the reservoir, along with two other water storage and distribution projects being developed by Tai Tokerau Water Trust in Kaipara and the Mid North.

Once the remaining projects are complete Northland will have the infrastructure and water to develop approximately 7000ha of horticulture, creating more than 500 jobs and $400 million of annual regional output.

“The water storage projects will pump new life into these districts. As a result of the flood-and-drought cycle in Te Tai Tokerau, there needed to be a reliable water source to unlock the potential of the region’s land, which has rich soils and an incredible climate for horticulture,” Kiri Allan said.

“The Matawii water reservoir harvests water during peak flows to store for use during dry periods. When full, the reservoir retains 750,000 cubic metres of water – or 300 Olympic sized swimming pools. This project will facilitate a continued transition to higher value horticulture crops and to increased climate resilience in Northland.

“Although this summer was particularly wet, more frequent droughts and more variable rainfall are something we need to plan for to ensure our communities are positioned well for the future.

“Water plays an integral role in ensuring our regional economies are equitable, sustainable and productive. With many of our regions’ water allocation issues disproportionately affecting Māori landowners, this means the limiting of economic growth is felt disproportionately by Māori.”

“Today marks a milestone. Matawii was the first project to be approved through the Covid-19 Recovery (Fast-track consenting) Act. This ensured the vital piece of community infrastructure was able to be completed at pace, while providing immediate job opportunities during a time of great upheaval.

“The site was once a dairy farm and in just a few years, despite the Pandemic, the project transformed the land from paddocks to water.”

The reservoir is located in Ngawha, near Kaikohe, and will supply water to horticulture sites and the nearby Ngawha Innovation and Enterprise Park, as well as provide backup water supply for Kaikohe.

The Ngawha Innovation and Enterprise Park is due to open in coming weeks, as a result of $19.5 million financial support from the Government.

It brings together complementary businesses, from high-value primary sector producers to manufacturing outfits to research and development groups. Early site holders including Kaikohe Berryfruit and NorthTec / Te Pukenga.

“Our investment in Kaikohe has been about unlocking and enabling each of these assets so that together they can help this region thrive,” Kiri Allan said.

New geological map unveils details on faults, landslides, and extinct volcanoes in the Pukekohe area of South Auckland

GNS Media Release, 2 May 2023

GNS Science released new research findings and a new geological map centred around the town of Pukekohe, “Geology of the Pukekohe area”. The release indicates that three active faults, the “Pukekohe (Waiuku) Fault”, the “Paerata Fault” and the “Aka Aka Fault” have been identified; most have been previously inferred but this is the first time they have been mapped in detail at the land surface. The research also inferred 12 other “possibly active” faults. The research also discovered several hundred more historical landslides and more detailed understanding of the Pukekohe’s volcanic history. 

The new mapping is in form of a 2D geological map, a digital 3D model, and a landform map. All maps are available on the GNS website, and the information will also be available via the Auckland Council website. The fault findings were incorporated into the latest New Zealand National Seismic Hazard Model. 

Please refer to the media release for full details: New geological map unveils details on faults, landslides, and extinct volcanoes in the Pukekohe area of South Auckland – GNS Science | Te Pū Ao

New Zealand Claims Resolution Service (NZCRS) Launches

The Government, on 20 February 2023, announced the launch of the New Zealand Claims Resolution Service (NZCRS) to support homeowners with insurance claims following a natural disaster. The NZCRS replaces the Greater Christchurch Claims Resolution Service (GCCRS) and the Residential Advisory Service (RAS); it covers the entire country and all natural disasters as opposed to canterbury earthquakes which was the focus of the GCCRS. The service provides free expert advice to homeowners having difficulties with their insurance claims following natural disasters and aims to ensure timely settlement of claims.

Further details can be found on MBIE and EQC media releases below: New Zealand Claims Resolution Service launches | Building Performance Toka Tū Ake EQC welcomes launch of NZCRS Toka Tū Ake EQC

The Natural Hazards Insurance Act passed into law

21 February 2023 

The Natural Hazards Insurance Act (The Act) was passed into law on 21 February 2023 and comes into force on 1 July 2024. The Act replaces The Earthquake Commission Act 1993 and the Earthquake Commission (EQC) transitions to the new name, “Toka Tū Ake – Natural Hazards Commission”. 

“The Natural Hazards Insurance Act recognises that EQC’s mandate extends further than just helping people recover from earthquakes. In fact, its insurance scheme also covers storm, floods, landslips, volcanoes, tsunami and hydrothermal activity”, Hon Dr Deborah Russell said following the third and final reading of the bill.

The full media release article can be accessed below.

And an insight from one of the country’s top legal firms:

Natural Hazards Insurance Act passes into law – Bell Gully

Issue 105 - June 2023, NZ Geomechanics News
Issue 105 - June 2023, NZ Geomechanics News

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