Building damage in the Reefton area

  • D. I. D. Bird
  • S. C. Gentry
  • J. P. Hollings


This paper covers building damage occurring in the area between Inangahua Landing (approximately 14 miles north of Reefton,) Reefton itself and down to Totara Flat (approximately 16 miles south-west of Reefton). Reefton is an old mining town on the upper reaches of the Inangahua River some 20 miles above and to the south of Inangahua itself. It is administered as a County Town. The township of Reefton and in fact practically all structures in the area were situated on alluvial river flats, a fact of some significance in the damage observed. Almost without exception every property owner in the area suffered some damage.
The degree of damage was greatest in the Rotokehu area, north of Reefton, but the extent of damage was of course greatest in the Reefton Township. There were in all some 665 claims against the Earthquake and War Damage Commission totalling some $205,000. There were few structures of significance and most buildings in the area were old or very old, but a number of new structures have been built in the last few years. On account of age and arrears of maintenance many buildings in the area were in poor condition before the earthquake, although their age indicates they must have survived previous earthquakes.

How to Cite
Bird, D. I. D., Gentry, S. C., & Hollings, J. P. (1969). Building damage in the Reefton area. Bulletin of the New Zealand Society for Earthquake Engineering, 2(1), 130-134.