Human-made hazards are also called technological hazards. They are caused by the interaction of people with the environment and human systems. Some examples are:
Chemicals, or hazardous substances, are a concern in the Wellington region. We have a major port in the Wellington harbour and concentrated industrial areas at Seaview and in the Hutt Valley where hazardous chemicals are stored.
Storage sites of these chemicals or transportation routes are considered to be a high risk if a spill or fire would harm large numbers of people or threaten a sensitive natural area.
Lifelines are the essential utility systems that serve communities - water supply, transportation (road, rail, sea and air), electricity and gas supply, communication networks (telephone, television, cable and radio) and sewerage or wastewater.
Lifelines groups are voluntary associations of utility companies working to reduce the vulnerability of their systems to natural hazards and improve performance during and after a disaster.
There are two lifelines groups in the Wellington region, the Wellington Lifelines Group and the Wairarapa Engineering Lifelines Association.
Tens of millions of litres of petroleum are stored in the Wellington region, mostly in bulk storage tanks at Seaview, Kaiwharawhara and Miramar. Over 800 million litres are transported along roads, railways and across the sea every year.
Petroleum storage sites or transportation routes are considered to be a HIGH risk if a spill or fire would harm large numbers of people or threaten a sensitive natural area.
Seaview, some sites in the Hutt Valley and Wellington City and the pipeline that runs along the Kaiwharawhara stream, are considered high risk.
High-risk transportation routes include the Hutt Road, some parts of SH 1 near Porirua and the Kapiti Coast and SH 2 near Upper Hutt.
Opus International Consultants, 2000. Natural Hazards Risk Associated with Petroleum Storage, Wellington Region: Risk Assessment Report, a Report prepared for Greater Wellington Regional Council. Wellington: Opus International Consultants
Opus International Consultants, 1999. Petroleum Transportation Hazards in the Wellington Region, a Report prepared for Greater Wellington Regional Council. Wellington: Opus International Consultants.
The use of hazardous substances is primarily governed by the Hazardous Substances and New Organisms Act 1996 (HSNO).
Hazardous substances are often called dangerous goods or chemicals. Under HSNO, many substances that might not seem dangerous are termed 'hazardous'. For example, in large quantities, milk may not hurt people - but a large spill of milk into a stream could harm wildlife.
Chemical storage sites are scattered around the Wellington region, usually near areas of heavy industry. Explosives are used at quarries and are stored by the military. Chlorine is used in water treatment plants and swimming pools. Ammonia, solvents, caustic soda, corrosives and toxic substances such as lead are used in industry around the region.
Opus International Consultants, 2001. Risk Associated with Hazardous Substances in the Wellington Region. Scoping study report prepared for Greater Wellington Regional Council. Wellington: Opus International Consultants.
Greater Wellington has numerous hazard maps, fact sheets, reports and other publications. Some publications are available as PDF files on the website, but you can request paper copies. There may be photocopying charges for paper copies.
There are several options for finding reports, maps or other information: