Natural Hazards

Nelson, like much of New Zealand, is susceptible to a range of natural hazards. Natural hazards that may affect the Nelson region include earthquakes (causing fault rupture, shaking and liquefaction), river flood and coastal inundation, slope instability and coastal erosion. Natural hazards pose a risk when they affect people, property, and the environment.

You can search on our geotechnical hazards maps for a closer view of the following:

  • Fault
  • Liquefaction
  • Slope Instability

View the Geotechnical Hazards Map

For river flooding information and to view the latest flood hazard maps go to:

For information about coastal inundation, please go to:

One of Nelson City Council’s responsibilities is to manage risk from natural hazards. Council is required to investigate natural hazards, and to make available the relevant research.

Council fulfils this function in various ways, including:

  • commissioning studies of natural hazards that potentially affect Nelson
  • including information on property files for potential purchasers
  • developing and implementing resource management documents including the Regional Policy Statement and the Nelson Resource Management Plan 
  • considering natural hazards when processing applications for building and resource consents
  • managing infrastructure assets
  • undertaking our civil defence responsibilities.

Council has commissioned various technical studies to better understand areas that may be susceptible to natural hazards. This includes assessments of fault hazard, liquefaction, slope instability, river flooding and coastal inundation. Further information on each of these natural hazards, and mapping of natural hazards, can be accessed through the links provided below.

Our understanding of natural hazards in Nelson continues to evolve as new areas are assessed and we undertake more detailed studies in areas known to be susceptible to natural hazards. Methodologies for undertaking assessments also change over time. Therefore, the information provided on these webpages may change as we receive new and updated information.

Information regarding tsunami, including Tsunami Evacuation Maps and frequently asked questions, is held on the Nelson Tasman Civil Defence Emergency Management (CDEM) website.