The Greater Wellington region/Te Upoko o te Ika is home to around 506,814 people. The Greater Wellington Regional Council is responsible for environmental management, flood protection and land management, provision of regional parks, public transport planning and funding, and metropolitan water supply. There are various hazards that face the Wellington region including earthquake, tsunami, flooding, storms, and landslides. The Wellington Region’s physical geography and topography, with mountain ranges running north-south and dynamic river systems, mean that during a major earthquake it’s likely the local council areas will be isolated from each other. Within the region there are 4 cities (Wellington, Porirua, Lower Hutt and Upper Hutt), and 4 districts (Kāpiti, South Wairarapa, Carterton and Masteron).
Wellington City has a population of approximately 202,737 people, and is home to Central Government. There are four iwi within the Wellington City area; Muaūpoko, Ngāti Toa Rangatira, Taranaki Whānui ki te Upoko o te Ika and Te Atiawa.
The city is nationally important with the main port link between the North and South Islands, the nexus of State Highways 1 and 2, national railway lines, and the home of the country’s third largest airport. Approximately 80,000 people commute into Wellington City during the business week from across the region. Wellington is subject to various natural hazards including earthquakes, tsunami, storms, flooding and landslides.
Lower Hutt City is administered by the Hutt City Council and has a population of around 104,532 people. There are three iwi within the Lower Hutt area; Te Atiawa, Muaūpoko, and Taranaki Whānui ki te Upoko o te Ika.
The city sits in the lower southern valley of the Te Awa Kairangi/ the Hutt River which is fed by two catchments. Heavy rain along the length of the Tararua can create a potential high flood risk for Hutt Valley. The western edge of the city runs along the same fault line that passes through Wellington city, posing a major threat of earthquake-related damage, including landslides. There is also tsunami threat to a large section of Lower Hutt.
Upper Hutt City is centred on the northern valley of Te Awa Kairangi / Hutt River and is home to around 43,980 people. The city is administered by the Upper Hutt City Council.
While the main areas of urban development lie along the Te Awa Kairangi /Hutt River valley floor, the city extends to the top of the Remutaka Pass to the north-east and into the Akatarawa ranges to the north-west. There are three iwi within Upper Hutt; Te Atiawa, Muaūpoko and Taranaki Whānui ki te Upoko o te Ika. Like most of the region it faces hazards like earthquakes, storms, fires, flooding and landslides. However, Upper Hutt is the only district in the Wellington region with no tsunami risk.
Porirua City sits on the western side of the Wellington region and is largely formed around the arms of the Porirua Harbour. Porirua is home to around 56,559 people with the most populated areas being coastal. There are two iwi within Porirua; Muaūpoko and Ngāti Toa Rangatira.
The city is administered by Porirua City Council. Porirua has vulnerable links to adjoining cities due to the steep hills that define the edge of the Porirua basin. Various natural hazards could affect the city including earthquakes, tsunami, storms, flooding and landslides. Porirua Stream and Horokiwi Stream run through the city and coastal and Harbour area are at risk from tsunami.
The Kāpiti Coast is home to around 53,673 people and stretches from Paekākāriki to Ōtaki. The hazards facing Kāpiti range from earthquakes, tsunami and landslides, to floods from both major river systems; the Ōtaki River and Waikanae River.
The combination of heavy rain along the length of the Tararua ranges can create a potential high flood risk for the area. Kāpiti tangata whenua have a history dating back around 1000 years.
There are three iwi within the Kāpiti Coast district; Ngāti Raukawa ki te Tonga, Āti Awa ki Whakarongotai and Ngāti Toa Rangatira.
The South Wairarapa District is home to around 10,575 people. There are three iwi within South Wairarapa; Ngāti Kahungunu, Ngāti Kahungunu ki Wairarapa - Tāmaki Nui ā Rua and Rangitāne.
The district comprises the floodplain of the Ruamahanga River and the associated Lake Wairarapa. Ruamahanga is the longest awa/river in the region at 124km, and feeds from Mt Dundas in the Northern Tararua ranges and discharges into the sea at Lake Ferry. The Wairarapa fault runs along to the west of the district and has seen large earthquakes in the past. Similarly to the rest of the Wairarapa, the South has also been affected by drought in the past.
Carterton is home to around 9,198 people and stretches from the Tararuas in the west to Flat Point in the east. The district is administered by the Carterton District Council.
There are three iwi within Carterton; Ngāti Kahungunu, Ngāti Kahungunu ki Wairarapa - Tāmaki Nui ā Rua and Rangitāne. There is risk of flooding across the floodplain. Like the rest of the Wairarapa, it has also been affected by drought in the past. The Wairarapa fault runs along to the west of the district. This fault is one of five major active faults in the Wellington region.
Masterton is Wairarapa's largest town being home to around 25,557 people. The district is flanked by the Tararua ranges to the west and extends to the east coast just beyond Mataikona.
There are three iwi within Masterton; Ngāti Kahungunu, Ngāti Kahungunu ki Wairarapa - Tāmaki Nui ā Rua and Rangitāne. The Wairarapa fault runs along to the west of the district. This fault is one of five major active faults in the Wellington region.