Issue 106 - December 2023

What’s On at Waka Kotahi

Comments and opinions expressed in this article are not necessarily those of Waka Kotahi

Slope Assessed Risk Level Course(s)

The next two ARL courses are running in February 2024. If you are interested in attending, you should have your registration in place by now. If you haven’t, you might be lucky if someone has cancelled; contact

There have been a number of enquiries around the transfer of Australian accreditation to Waka Kotahi.

People who have undertaken the NSW/TfNSW course cannot directly become accredited for Waka Kotahi sites having not undertaken the New Zealand specific course. Whilst it is recognised that the NSW/TfNSW course is essentially similar, the site assessments differ.

Waka Kotahi has decided that transference is possible subject to understanding the Waka Kotahi country amendment and demonstrating competence on NZ sites.

In essence this means Australian accredited persons are not required to undertake the full Waka Kotahi course but are required to undertake a briefing on the country code and a site assessment, passing of which is required to become a Waka Kotahi accredited person.

In practical terms the opportunity to undertake the site assessment is being included as part of the two courses being run in February 2024 which would mean attendance on the final field day of the course and the evening before for the country amendment briefing. There are limited places so contact (rather than the ARL email) in the first instance.

Rockfall Hazard Rating Procedure (also known as RHRS)

Previously found in NZTA SMO18 (annual plan instructions) called ‘Appendix C: Rockfall Rating System), the procedure has migrated from SMO18 to the Highways information Portal (HIP).

Being undertaken as part of the annual plan process required through SMO18, inspections are carried out by appropriately experienced staff of the network maintenance contactor. 

The RHR is a first cut assessment of known instabilities on the network and is an important part of the emerging Waka Kotahi geo-hazard monitoring programme.

The document can be found here:

Note that the RHR is generally undertaken before, and instigates (where assessed so, and directed by, Waka Kotahi), an ARL assessment carried out by an accredited person. 

National Seismic Hazard Model 2022 (NSHM2022)

The updated NSHM2022 incorporates revised ground shaking parameters based on new information and improved scientific techniques. The modelled outputs do not require an automatic change, however, to how our infrastructure is designed. The position of Waka Kotahi is that the newly released National Seismic Hazard Model (NSHM) does not immediately affect Waka Kotahi issued design standards and guidance, including the Bridge manual. 

Waka Kotahi is closely working with MBIE who is currently engaged with partners and anticipates release of a technical specification in the future. In parallel, Waka Kotahi is assessing the implications for our infrastructure and anticipates issuing a TAN (Technical Advice Note) at a similar time, updating the current TAN #22-10 National Seismic Hazard Model and what it means for our design standards.

Stuart Finlan, Lead Technical Advisor Geotechnical, Office of the Chief Engineer, Transport Services, Programme and Standards

Tags : #Waka Kotahi

Issue 106 - December 2023, NZ Geomechanics News
Stuart Finlan
Issue 106 - December 2023, NZ Geomechanics News
New Zealand
Project News / Case Study

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