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Preparing New Zealand tourism for an Alpine Fault earthquake
Advising that “it’s only a matter of time before a rupture of the Alpine Fault” on New Zealand’s South Island, New Zealand Minister of Civil Defence and Associate Minister of Tourism Peeni Henare has advised the tourism industry to team up with emergency management partners to be better prepared.
Minister Henare yesterday opened the inaugural AF8 Tourism Forum in the Fiordland town of Te Anau, bringing the tourism sector, emergency managers and scientists together to prepare for widespread disruption arising from a natural disaster.
Advising that forward planning will play a big role in managing and mitigating the impacts of a large-scale earthquake such as an Alpine Fault rupture, Minister Henare stated “the stunning landscapes that attract international and local visitors to the South Island are products of the powerful natural forces that have shaped and continue to shape our country.
“But those natural forces also put our infrastructure, our communities, our people and our visitors at risk.
“New Zealand faces some of the greatest natural hazard risks of any country in the world and, among those, an Alpine Fault earthquake is one of the most significant.
“Our most dramatic tourist destinations are going to be some of the most difficult to support in the aftermath of a large Alpine Fault earthquake. This forum will enable tourist operators, emergency managers and scientists to anticipate those needs and challenges, and put plans in place,” Peeni Henare said.
Participating at the forum are tourism operators, Te Waipounamu runanga and ropu, South Island Civil Defence Emergency Management Groups, emergency services, central government agencies, universities and local businesses.
The forum is convened by Project AF8, which has brought together science and emergency managers to identify the consequences of a magnitude 8 Alpine Fault earthquake and to identify coordinated initial response actions and what needs to be done to be better prepared.
The Forum is part of an ongoing series of activities to continue conversation and knowledge sharing about a large Alpine Fault to ensure that communities and agencies are collectively better prepared and planning for a significant Alpine Fault rupture.
Click here to visit the Project AF8 website.
Image: The Alpine fault runs to the east (left) of the snowcapped ridge of the South Island alps. Courtesy of New Zealand Geographic Board Ngā Pou Taunaha o Aotearoa.
27th June 2019 - New Tourism Minister appointed in New Zealand Cabinet reshuffle
23rd November 2018 - New guide flags environmental changes in New Zealand’s highest mountains
31st January 2018 - Hot weather having big impact on New Zealand’s ‘water tower’ glaciers
29th November 2017 - Main stand at New Plymouth’s Yarrow Stadium closed over earthquake concerns
18th November 2016 - Reopened Hanmer Springs welcomes visitors
22nd November 2015 - Seven die in Fox glacier helicopter crash
14th July 2014 - New Zealand must protect its global adventure tourism reputation
19th August 2013 - Wellington earthquake threatens second Bledisloe Cup test at Westpac Stadium
6th September 2012 - International forum on tourism and emergency management to be staged in Sydney
25th May 2010 - Safety in New Zealand adventure tourism
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