Govt invests in West Coast hazard management

  • Nick Smith
  • Simon Bridges

Economic Development Minister Simon Bridges and Environment Minister Dr Nick Smith today announced that a tender has been awarded to Tonkin and Taylor to assess options for managing flood and earthquake hazards in Franz Josef.

“The Franz Josef area is a significant domestic and international tourist destination. This funding will assist the community and local businesses so they can make the best decisions for the town’s long-term development,” Mr Bridges says.

“The West Coast region has experienced 13 per cent growth in visitor spend over the year to January 2017. It is critical that the township protects its livelihood in the long term and continues to keep the region’s residents and visitors safe through effective hazard management.”

“Franz Josef is situated on an active fault line and adjacent to the Waiho River which is prone to flooding,” Dr Smith says.

“This investment recognises that State Highway 6 and Franz Josef play an important role in the regional and national economy. A GNS Science report commissioned by the West Coast Regional Council reviewed the area’s natural hazards and recommended that a risk management strategy be developed, including a thorough analysis of the options. The Government is supporting this next stage of work by Tonkin and Taylor.”

The work is supported by the Government’s Regional Growth Programme and involves the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment; the Ministry for the Environment; the Department of Conservation; the Ministry of Civil Defence and Emergency Management; and the NZ Transport Agency.  

The tender process was led by the West Coast Regional Council. The value of the tender is approximately $200,000.

The work will be completed by the end of July 2017. Once the options have been fully assessed, the relevant agencies and the community will discuss next steps.