Thames in Top Ten in NZ for Risk of Sea Level Rise

Thames 8th Most at Risk City/Town in New Zealand – Whitianga 14th

Often the conversations about climate change and rising seas don’t seem locally relevant because they relate to somewhere else – Houston, a low-lying Pacific atoll, or South Dunedin.  Now, new information has emerged which confirms that Thames and other low-lying Coromandel Peninsula towns are some of the most at risk places from rising seas in New Zealand.Read More »

Sea Level Rise – Will My Property Be Flooded?

How to Use Online Sea-Flooding Mapping Tool For Thames-Coromandel

What is the Coastal Inundation Tool?

The Waikato Regional Council has provided a very useful online sea-flooding / inundation tool on its website.  The purpose of this tool is to see what low lying coastal areas in Thames -Coromandel may be subject to inundation (sea flooding) from tides, storms and projected sea level rise. The tool uses a “Google maps” type system allowing the user to zoom in on a property, suburb or town and view various sea level rise and storm tide scenarios.Read More »

Mangrove Bill Not “Supported”

The Thames Coromandel District Council had their spin machine working overtime when it announced in a misleading press release that the Council’s Mangrove Management Bill was “supported by all the parties, apart from the Greens”.

Often, a majority of Members of Parliament vote for even really stupid Local Bills like this one at the First Reading so that the Bill can to be sent to the to the Select Committee and public submissions can be heard.  

That First Reading vote does mean that those same members “support” the Bill.  All they are doing in voting for a First Reading is to ensure that the public gets a say at the Select Committee.  Read More »

How earthquake safe are the mine tailings dams at Waihi?

The two tailings dams near Waihi are some of the largest structures in the country.

Size of Martha Mine Waihi tailings dam compared to Mount Eden suburbs Auckland

Should either of these dams fail in an earthquake, we could be facing potentially New Zealand’s worst ever environmental disaster, and loss of life and livelihoods on a significant scale.

Therefore it is perfectly reasonable to ask the question – would these structures withstand a large earthquake?  The question is even more pertinent because –

  • the Kaikoura quake unleashed thousands of huge landslides
  • a new GNS Science report on the nearby Kerepehi fault suggests a 7.4 magnitude  earthquake is possible near Waihi, and also estimates that the interval between large quakes is 1000 years rather than 6000-8000 years  as previously assumed.
  • the catastrophic failure of a tailings dam in Brazil in 2015 was due in part to a very small 2.6Mw quake acting as a triggering mechanism for the dam collapse

Read More »