Man-Made Hazards

Aircraft Crashes


Between 1996-1999 there were approximately 40 aircraft accidents in Auckland, approximately 13% of the total accidents recorded throughout New Zealand over this period. The majority of accidents occur upon small aircraft. Since 1990 there have been 11 accidents involving moderate sized aircraft, four in 1990, two in 1991, one in 1993, three in 1995, and one in 1997.

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Agricultural / Horticultural


There are a large range of agricultural and horticultural hazards that if not controlled or avoided, could cause significant loss of life or severely affect New Zealand's economy, agricultural and fishery industries, health (human & animal), and infrastructure (e.g. water supply and treatment networks). Due to our economic dependence on horticultural, agricultural and forestry industries, and limited historical exposure to disease, New Zealand is very susceptible to biological hazards.

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Dam Failure


The Auckland region has a large number of dams for water supply, irrigation, farm waste treatment, stormwater treatment, sediment control, storing contaminated sediments and sewage treatment.

Most dam failures occur within the first few years of construction. In Auckland the majority of large dams in the region are more than 10 years old. Poor foundation materials, poor dam drainage, and weak construction materials are three primary factors associated with dam failure in New Zealand. The physical vulnerability of downstream features is determined prior to the dam construction.

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Hazardous Substances


Within the Auckland region, a variety of hazardous substances are transported, stored or utilised. Accidental release of these substances can cause harm to the health and safety of any person or the environment.

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Lifeline Utility Failure


Infrastructure failure in the Auckland region is not uncommon. Since 1994 the region has had two significant events: the 1993-1994 Water Crisis and the Mercury Energy Crisis in 1998. Infrastructure failure may result from natural or technological hazards, or from failure due to human error, simple equipment failure, or poor maintenance. The risks of infrastructure failure can be significant.

Find out more about the possible consequences of infrastructure failure in Auckland:

  • electricity supply failure
  • water supply failure
  • wastewater services failure
  • gas supply failure
  • failure of petroleum distribution
  • telecommunications failure
  • airport failure
  • port failure
  • highway blockage, bridge collapse.

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Public Health Crisis


An example of a Public Health Crisis is a Pandemic. Pandemic is an epidemic (a sudden outbreak) that becomes very widespread and affects a whole region, a continent or the world. Influenza is a major threat to public health worldwide because of its ability to spread rapidly through populations. Influenza pandemics are characterised by the global spread of a virus, and can cause unusually high morbidity and mortality for an extended period.

A pandemic can overwhelm the resources of a society due to the exceptional number of those affected. Three major influenza pandemics occurred in the 20th century, reaching New Zealand in 1918, 1957 and 1968. The Ministry of Health is working with the health sector and other Government agencies to ensure New Zealand is as prepared as possible for a potential pandemic.

A pandemic can also be caused by natural biological hazards. Click her for more information on biological hazards.

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Shipping Accidents


Although there are no records of major shipping accidents within the Auckland harbours this is still a risk in this coastal region.

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Vandalism and Terrorism


The risk associated with large-scale vandalism or terrorism is variable, and depends upon what is targeted and how badly it is damaged. If terrorism in Auckland was targeted at significant infrastructure providers or heavily relied upon systems, terrorism could have significant consequences.

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