Mitigating a storm’s aftermath with geotechnical expertise and rapid response
In August 2022, Nelson and the surrounding Tasman area experienced a 1-in-120-year rainfall event that triggered hundreds of landslides and immense flooding in the region—impacting state highways, local infrastructure, and almost 600 properties. The Maitai River, usually measuring two cubic metres, rose to 460 cubic metres overnight. As the number of landslides began to grow, Nelson Tasman Civil Defence asked us to organize and lead a geotechnical response unit.
Within 24 hours, we established an incident room, GIS capture tool, and digital dashboard, coordinating with local geotechnical engineers inspecting and assessing the landslides. Following initial success with these efforts, we soon added bridge and building inspections and riverbank assessments. We also provided technical leadership to the regional emergency management team, presenting at public and media briefings—this included escorting then Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern around damaged properties.
This unique opportunity to assist the region and collaborate with other local consultants, ultimately delivering an exceptional emergency response, allowed us to give back to our community when it mattered most.
At a Glance
- Nelson Tasman Civil Defence
- Tonkin & Taylor
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