Frequently Asked Questions

Why do we need to update the tsunami evacuation zones?

The coastal townships of Woodend Beach, Waikuku Beach, The Pines Beach and Kairaki were already known to be potentially at risk and were included in the previous tsunami evacuation zones.

Scientific modelling completed recently shows that in event of a tsunami, flooding could travel further inland than previously thought. In rare, worst-case scenarios, parts of Kaiapoi, a small section of Pegasus and other residential areas near the coast, may be at risk of flooding.

As a result, we’ve introduced a yellow evacuation zone and updated the red and orange zones.  This three-colour approach is consistent with evacuation zones across the rest of Canterbury.

How accurate is the modelling?

This is the most accurate tsunami risk modelling completed for our coastline. It uses the best modelling available in the world and has been produced by GNS Science, one of New Zealand’s principal organizations for modelling tsunami risk. It has also been internationally peer reviewed.

You can find out more about the modelling on Ecan’s website.

Will this affect my properties LIM?

A Land Information Memorandum (LIM) is a document containing information that the Council holds about a property.

All known Natural Hazards information in the Waimakariri District is publicly accessible and included with a LIM. The new tsunami evacuation zones will be reflected in the LIMs of affected properties.

What other work is being done?

We are currently working with local emergency services, Canterbury Civil Defence Emergency Management and other local Councils to prepare new tsunami response strategies for our affected communities.

The Council will be mailing all residents and property owners in the evacuation areas shortly and are planning a public education campaign around tsunamis which will include community meetings.

Canterbury Civil Defence Emergency Management are leading an initiative to update tsunami warning signage across Canterbury.

Will Kaiapoi and Pegasus get tsunami warning sirens?

The Council will review warning systems including sirens and signage as it prepares new tsunami response strategies. However it’s important to note, that the largest risk to Kaiapoi and Pegasus comes from a rare, distant-source tsunami in which we would have at least 12 hours’ notice.

Where can I read the underlying reports?

The review of Tsunami Evacuation Zones and underlying technical reports are available on Environment Canterbury’s website.