17 Feb 2020

Should buildings be more prepared for natural hazards?

From First Up, 5:37 am on 17 February 2020

Researchers say councils should be doing much more to ensure homes and buildings aren't wiped out when a mega-tsunami eventually strikes the east coast of the North Island. The one-in-1000 year event would start with an earthquake from the offshore Hikurangi trench and be one of the most destructive and deadly events since humans came to New Zealand. It's up to the National Emergency Management Agency to get communities ready and prepare local emergency responses. While councils should be ensuring buildings and lifeline infrastructure are built to cope with natural hazards - and their land use doesn't put communities at risk. But a recent study by Massey University's Joint Centre for Disaster Research found eight out of ten councils in the firing line don't acknowledge tsunami risk in any of their policies. One of the researchers, Miles Crawford, told RNZ reporter Katie Todd councillors tend to take a generalised approach to all natural hazards.