Quake report doesn't stretch over Rimutakas

By Amie Hickland amie.hickland@age.co.nz

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Wairarapa has been excluded from a report that analyses how long it would take to restore key utility services after a major earthquake, although similar work has been undertaken in the region.

The Wellington Lifelines Group, which comprises 20 utility operators and civil defence authorities from local and central government, released a report this week examining the restoration of key infrastructure after a major rupture of the Wellington Fault.

The report did not cover Wairarapa, as this area is covered by the Wairarapa Engineering Lifelines Association (WELA) - although the report does reference the Rimutaka Hill, which is one of the main routes to Wairarapa.

Wairarapa Regional Emergency Management Office senior adviser Craig Hamilton said Wairarapa was not included in the report as the Wellington Lifelines Group - which included the Hutt and Porirua - does not include Wairarapa.

This was because the areas have a "different infrastructure", although the groups have worked on projects together in the past.

He said WELA had undertaken it's own similar research although not to the extent of the Wellington report.

Mr Hamilton said Wairarapa would be affected differently to Wellington in a major earthquake.

"We haven't got a report like the Wellington one, but there are lots of pockets of work going on that do the same thing," he said.

"This report is based on a 7.5 magnitude earthquake of the Wellington Fault. The Wairarapa, in that kind of scenario, will have the same kind of issues, but it won't be on the scale we'll see in Wellington."

The group had been in discussions with the New Zealand Transport Agency about how major routes may be affected in a disaster and which alternative routes could be used.


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