Multi-hazard analysis and mapping of coastal Tauranga in support of resilience planning

  • Steve Raynor Tauranga City Council, Tauranga, NZ
  • Megan Boston University of Waikato, Hamilton, NZ


High growth is increasingly forcing development of hazard prone land in the coastal city of Tauranga.  A multi-hazard mapping tool developed to guide strategic growth planning in this natural hazard rich environment gives direct comparison of total hazard levels across the city. By aggregating individual hazards into a summative multi-hazard rating for each part of the city, urban planners and engineers have a decision support tool to aid city planning over the next 100 years.

Tauranga growth requires 40,000 new homes over the next four decades in addition to the existing 57,000 homes. This 70% growth must squeeze within tight geographic constraints as Tauranga's 137,000 residents nestle around a harbour and are bound by open coast to the north and steep terrain to the south.

This research quantifies Tauranga’s natural hazards of sea level rise, storm surge, coastal erosion, tsunami, earthquake shaking, liquefaction, landslides volcanic ashfall and flooding. Each hazard is spatially represented through hazard maps. Individual hazards are combined into a multi-hazard model to represent the aggregated hazard exposure of each point of the city. The multi-hazard exposure is spatially mapped using GIS allowing an area with tsunami, liquefaction and storm surge as dominant hazards to be directly compared with an area of different hazards such as flooding and landslides. Mapping of these hazards provides strategic input for building city resilience through land use planning and mitigation design. A pilot study area of 25 km2 selected from the Tauranga City Council total area of 135 km2 demonstrates the accumulated mapping approach. The pilot area contains a thorough representation of geology, elevation, landform and hazards that occur throughout the city.

Our findings showed the highest aggregated hazard areas in Tauranga are along the coast. As is common with many beach resort towns this corresponds with the most popular living areas. The lower hazard areas suitable for urban growth are distributed mostly away from the open coast in the slightly elevated topography.


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How to Cite
Raynor, S., & Boston, M. (2021). Multi-hazard analysis and mapping of coastal Tauranga in support of resilience planning. Bulletin of the New Zealand Society for Earthquake Engineering, 54(2), 176-183.