WIT Press

Earthquake shake: a regulatory recipe for quake stricken Kaikoura, New Zealand


Free (open access)


Volume 7 (2017), Issue 4



Page Range

510 - 518

Paper DOI



WIT Press




Earthquakes and their aftermath have played a big part in the lives of many New Zealander’s over the past five years – and while Kiwis are resilient, the tourism sector (as our largest single export industry in terms of foreign exchange earnings) has suffered, particularly in the quake-hit areas of Christchurch and Kaikoura. An integrated approach between local and central government, tourism bodies, communities and civil defence is required in forming both pre-emptive and recovery methodologies.

Through the lens of the New Zealand regulatory planning framework, we will discuss the current situation (three months post-earthquake) in Kaikoura. In addition, we will be exploring strategies and tools to assist rather than constrain tourism operators and operations during, and subsequent to, any future natural disasters. Although seismic activity seems to have increased over the past ten years, it could be assumed that little has been done to refine or instigate regulatory measures to respond to the specific issue of maintaining and/or improving sustainable tourism in NZ.

A series of photographs by a top NZ social media photographer and environmental advocate are included to illustrate the scope and impact of the recent 7.8 magnitude Kaikoura earthquake (14 November 2016). We will outline problems encountered by tourism operators, the existing regulatory local and central government measures in place to avoid/remedy/mitigate effects of natural disasters on the tourism industry, and respond with potential long term strategic options to overcome these identified obstacles.


civil defence, local government, natural hazard, regulatory planning, resilience, sustain- ability, tourism.