Threats to NZ‎ > ‎

Geophysical


The threats to New Zealand from tectonic movements and volcanism range from minor to utterly catastrophic. An eruption of the Taupo supervolcano could conceivably make much of the North Island uninhabitable. It is also significant that many geophysical threats will manifest themselves without any warning whatsoever.

Threat Size
  Taupo Super Volcano The 186BC Hapete eruption was observed indirectly in China and Rome.
  Alpine Fault Four magnitude 8+ earthquakes in the past 1,000 years
 Auckland volcanoes Auckland is built on a Volcanic field and is linked to the Waikato, South Auckland field
 Earthquakes As noted before New Zealand has had one city devastated every 80 years
 TsunamiPaleotsunami studies show that 10m Tsunamis are not uncommon in our history. Some may be due to earthquakes, others due to submarine slips.

The only protection possible comes from 1) engineering which anticipates geophysical challenges and 2) civil defence planning and practice
Defence can assist with policing, reconstruction, reconnaissance, transport and evacuation. But as Christchurch demonstrated the civilian equipment and worker base is far larger and far more efficient. Defence assets were used simply because they were available but the expense of doing so rapidly resulted in officials using civilians. 
This is because defence is for fighting. It is not for civil defence. Using defence assets and human resources for civil defence is very expensive and unnecessary because there is no military threat.

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