Issue 105 - June 2023

What’s On at Waka Kotahi

Slope Assessed Risk Level Course(s)

The first two courses were run in February in the middle of cyclone Gabrielle which provided additional realism and ‘in the field’ authenticity! It was certainly challenging ensuring the safety of the participants and providing access to suitable sites (as several of the intended sites were impacted and had moved into the Firth of Thames thereby being unavailable!). 

Well done to all the participants with everyone receiving a level of accreditation.

The next courses are in the planning stage and from feedback there seems to be sufficient interest to run another two courses. If you are interested and want to attend a course, it is essential that you register at so that we know the numbers which dictates when the next courses will be offered.

NZ Country Amendment: NSW RMS Guide to Slope Risk Analysis

A country amendment has been through ratification which identifies the sections of the NSW RMS Slope Risk Analysis v4 that Waka Kotahi is adopting and a few minor amendments to bring aspects in line with New Zealand standards. This document is provided to all course attendees and is required to be adopted when undertaking ARL assessments in New Zealand. We expect this to be published on the Waka Kotahi Highways Information Portal (HIP) in early July 2023.

For those who administer the outcome of the ARL assessment, Waka Kotahi will be running a one-day session for network managers and others outlining what the system is, what the results mean and what to do with them. If this is you and you’re interested in attending, get in touch!

Update on S7 Geotechnical structures and other significant structures inspection policy

The policy was released in December 2022 with funding sought for full implementation in the 2024-2027 NLTP period.

The next phase of this process is an inspector’s course, somewhat similar to the bridge inspectors’ course but geotechnical structure focused. This is anticipated to be of two days duration. Dates have not been identified yet. 

We are looking for interesting images of geotechnical structures under duress: if you have some, we’d be keen to hear from you: quick way to get your name in print (photo credit)!

Unstable slopes and rocks!

The Waka Kotahi Rockfall Protection Systems Maintenance Guide and Rockfall Projection Structures Design Guide noted in the last edition of Geomechanics, have been ratified and are expected to be published on the Waka Kotahi Highways Information Portal (HIP) in early July 2023. Those of you registered for notification of TANs (Technical Advice Notes) will receive a TAN notification when they are published. 

Founded on the great work done by NCTIR following the Kaikoura earthquake, the documents have been developed with many contributors including local authorities. Many thanks to all of you who took time to look at and comment on the documents.

Once published we will be doing a review after twelve months, so if you have any comments that you didn’t get around to sending or comments following use of the guidance, please forward those for inclusion. Contact either myself or

Slope Hazard Documents

With the completion of the RPS design guide and maintenance guide, the S7 policy and the NSW RMS slope risk analysis adoption, how do all these fit together? The figure below illustrates the document linkages. In the coming months we are aiming to provide guidance, or possibly a technical memorandum, on temporary control measures completing the suite of documents.

Tags : #Waka Kotahi

Issue 105 - June 2023, NZ Geomechanics News
Stuart Finlan
Issue 105 - June 2023, NZ Geomechanics News
New Zealand
Project News / Case Study

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