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November rain: Napier storm response support

Geotechnical experts assess over 50 landslides


On Monday 09 November Napier went into a state of emergency when it experienced a 1-in-250-year storm event, causing flooding, slips, dozens of evacuations, loss of power, rescues, and widespread damage. Schools and businesses closed, and cars and a shipping container were seen floating down streets.

Due to the significant amount of rainfall manhole covers began to lift and the escaping water posed a public health risk.

On Tuesday morning Stantec’s Geotechnical Discipline Leader Grant Maxwell called Senior Roading Engineer Tony Mills at Napier City Council (NCC) to see if they needed help with landslides.

“Tony was very quick to get me on a plane and was grateful for the call,” said Grant.

Grant arrived in the newly setup ‘war-room’ to a hive of activity and immediately set to work alongside NCC and maintenance contractor staff assessing and carrying out make-safe works on landslides affecting the road network.

“With my colleague Joy Hoverd, a senior engineering geologist and the rest of the team we divided the known issues into sectors, set up a standardised reporting structure for pertinent information, and set out to undertake engineering assessments of the more than 50 landslides impacting the road network,” Grant explained.

Within two days they had collated the known issues, influenced temporary works required to open all roads impacted by landslides and rockfalls, defined permanent solutions, and developed rough costings for the funding application.

“This is a good lesson for us as consultants to have strong relationships with local authorities and contact them during storm events and emergencies. And to be prepared for future events we need to have good relationships with other consultants and contractors—to mobilise, catch information quickly, and have good decision makers on the ground,” said Grant.

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Communities are fundamental. Whether around the corner or across the globe, they provide a foundation, a sense of place and of belonging. That's why at Stantec, we always design with community in mind.

We care about the communities we serve—because they're our communities too. This allows us to assess what's needed and connect our expertise, to appreciate nuances and envision what's never been considered, to bring together diverse perspectives so we can collaborate toward a shared success.

We're designers, engineers, scientists, and project managers, innovating together at the intersection of community, creativity, and client relationships. Balancing these priorities results in projects that advance the quality of life in communities across the globe.

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Media Contact
Paul Bromiley
Communications & Public Relations Manager Asia Pacific
Ph: + 61 2 9493 9717

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