Ētahi atu Mōreareatanga Other Hazards
If you see smoke or fire and believe there is a risk to people or property, call 111 immediately and ask for 'Fire'.
Areas most at risk in Te Upoko o te Ika/ the Wellington region include the southern and western edges of Wellington City, Ngaio Gorge and Ngauranga Gorge, the eastern hills of the Hutt Valley, hills near Eastbourne and Wainuiomata, and areas along the Wairarapa coast.
The risk will vary depending on the weather, for example fire risk will be higher in times of low rainfall and drought.
Fire and Emergency New Zealand is responsible for fire prevention, response, and suppression.
For more information see Fire and Emergency New Zealand.
The Wellington region’s rugged landscape and climate make it prone to landslides.
Landslides can be caused by heavy rain, earthquakes, vegetation removal, leaking pipes, and earthworks. Small slips after heavy rain are common and may impact their immediate surroundings such as paths, roads and even houses. Larger landslides may cause extensive damage to roads, buildings, and other infrastructure, and could block access to parts of the region.
Warning signs of a landslide can include:
- Small slips, rock falls and subsidence at the bottom of slopes
- Sticking doors and window frames
- Gaps where frames are not fitting properly
- Outside fixtures such as steps, decks, and verandas moving or tilting away from the rest of the house
- New cracks or bulges on the ground, road, footpath, retaining walls and other hard surfaces
- Tilting trees, retaining walls or fences
Find out more
Further information on landslides is available here:
- Landslides (GNS Science)
- Landslides (Te Ara - the Encyclopaedia of New Zealand)
If your area is experiencing a drought, you can contact your local council for more information.
A drought is a prolonged period where rainfall is lower than normal for a particular place. This can affect water usage and increase fire risk.
Droughts are common in Aotearoa New Zealand, and their effects can cover a wide area and recovery can take several years. It is forecast that eastern parts of New Zealand will see increasing levels of drought through the 21st century.
The Ministry of Primary Industries is responsible for classifying droughts.
Find out more:
- Drought hazards (NIWA)
- Primary sector recovery - droughts (Ministry for Primary Industries)
Volcanic activity happens when hot molten rock rises to the earth’s surface. This activity can include ashfall, falling rocks, host gases and volcanic rock, lava flows and mudflows. Most of New Zealand’s volcanic activity is related to the subduction zone to the west of the country.
Risk to the Wellington region
There are no active volcanoes in te Upoko o te Ika/Wellingotn region, however, a large eruption from Mt Taranaki in a strong north-westerly wind could cause ash falling in our region. Ash particles are very abrasive, they can irritate the eyes and cause lung irritation if inhaled. Ash can also damage machinery and injure animals that eat ash coated food.
Effects from volcanic eruption
While a volcanic eruption in the central North Island is likely to only have a small direct effect on the Wellington region, there would be a number of indirect effects, such as delayed or cancelled flights, closure of central North Island roads, disruptions to power supply, and in a large eruption, an influx of evacuees from badly affected areas
Find out more
Further information about New Zealand’s volcanoes is available from:
- Science Topics: Volcanoes (GNS Science)
- Geohazards - Volcanoes (Geonet)
- Volcanoes (Te Ara Encyclopedia of New Zealand)
- Historic volcanic activity (Te Ara Encyclopedia of New Zealand)
- Volcanic Ash Impact Posters (GNS Science)
Lifeline utilities are the gas, electricity, petrol, transport, water, sewerage and telecommunications infrastructure we need to live.
These utilities can be disrupted through event such as earthquakes, fires or landslides. Disruptions can also occur through acts of terrorism or accidents that damage infrastructure.
Effects of a utility failure
Infrastructure failure may significantly disrupt a community and have a large economic impact. Depending on the time of year, disruption to utilities such as power could have a potentially serious effect for people trying to heat their houses in winter. People who rely on electrical medical equipment are especially vulnerable in a power failure.
Current utility disruptions
Power outage information is available from:
- Wellington Electricity (Wellington City, Porirua and Hutt Valley)
- Electra (Kāpiti Coast)
- Power Co (Wairarapa)
Water outage information is available from
- Wellington Water Outages – Twitter Feed (Wellington City, Porirua and Hutt Valley)
- Kāpiti Coast District Council Water Supply
- Masterton District Council Water Supply
- Carterton District Council Water Supply
- South Wairarapa District Council Water Supply
Lifelines utility groups
There are two groups in the Wellington Region that coordinate the reduction, readiness, response, and recovery of lifeline utility organisation:
Wellington’s main transport corridors, both road and rail, are in a Y shape, with few links between the main arterial routes. Several of the roads in the region, particularly the Remutaka Hill Road (State Highway 2), can be closed during storm events due to the associated high winds, rain, or snow.
Effects of a transport incident
Accidents are usually responded to and dealt with by the emergency services. Some disruption to transport links may occur, particularly if an accident is on a main transport route. However, an accident involving a passenger service vehicle, such as a plane, train, bus or ferry or a freight vehicle carrying hazardous substances could have wider impact on the region, with many people affected.
Current road information
Current information on State Highways is available from Waka Kotahi at the Transport For Wellington website, or you can follow them on Twitter or Facebook.
Public transport information
- Buses, trains, and the Wellington Harbour ferry call Metlink 0800 801 700 or see the Metlink website.
- For information on Cook Strait Ferries:
- Interislander: 0800 802 802 or Interislander website
- Bluebridge: 0800 844 or Bluebridge Cook Strait Ferries
- For information on flights, contact your airline or see the airport websites:
A hazardous substance means any product or chemical that has properties that are explosive, flammable, oxidising, corrosive, or toxic to the environment.
Fire and Emergency New Zealand is the lead agency for hazardous substance emergencies.
Risk of hazardous substance emergencies
Depending on the hazard they present, the use, storage and transport of hazardous substances is regulated. Storing, handling and transporting hazardous substances correctly, reduces the risk of adverse events.
Find out more:
Further information on hazardous substances is available from:
- Hazardous Substances (Fire and Emergency NZ)
- Hazardous Substance Emergencies (Worksafe)
- Transporting dangerous or hazardous goods (Waka Kotahi/NZ Transport Agency)
Always call 111 if there is a serious risk to life or property.
Terrorism is an act that has the intention of inducing terror in the civilian population, or forcing a government or organisation to do, or to abstain from, an act. Terrorism acts are often associated with an ideological, political or religious cause.
New Zealand Police assist in various emergency management and national security situations. They are responsible for law enforcement and crime prevention. They also help maintain public safety. Call 105 to report things that have already happened and don't need urgent Police assistance.
Find out more:
- Further information is available from the NZ Police website
- Know what to do: https://www.police.govt.nz/advice-services/protecting-crowded-places-attack/know-what-do