Wednesday 11 June 2014

A Wellington House-Hunting tool

Oh my, but does Wellington have one very useful little house-shopping tool.

Wellington Region Combined Earthquake Hazard on Koordinates

Put in any address, and it will tell you the combined earthquake hazard risk.

I expect it would be easy for TradeMe Property to scrape this data via the API; it's Creative Commons 3.0.

While I'd appreciate it if TradeMe got this running while I'm house-hunting, their implementing it might lead to a price premium on quake-safe housing. I'd consequently prefer that they hold off until after I've purchased, despite the minor inconvenience of having to manually search each address.


  1. Added thing to factor in. Your house in unlikely to really hurt you, but in an earthquake in Wgtn, everything stops working and you have to walk home. Think about that when you make a decision.

  2. Oh, yes. I'm ruling out anything more than a 90 minute walk from Lambton Quay. That defines an area, then, stretching out just past Khandallah to the north-west, down as far as Island Bay to the South, and farther East than I'd care to go. All of that would then also be within a half-hour bike ride (or thereabouts); I'll have to see whether there's room at the office for an emergency cycle.

    I worry as much about "Council will do something stupid post-quake banning me from living in a safe house because of notional risk from adjacent hillsides" as I do about actual hillside collapses. I'm not touching anything that isn't a 2 on the combined risk map, except perhaps weatherboard places in Karori on the flats exposed only to shaking risk and not liquifaction.

  3. I think liquefaction would only be a worry in parts of the Hutt Valley, and maybe a couple of other low lying areas you would be unlikely to find a house anyway. Previous quakes have lifted and dropped the land level, so dont get too near to the coast (parts of Thornden). Tsunami's are said to be a risk, but I doubt that. Houses have slid down hillsides in heavy rain, while others are built in such silly places they deserve to.
    Do you care about the climate, some parts of Wellington are ruined by a north wind that ruins otherwise nice days. What's your workplace building like?
    Two nice things about Wellington - all the schools are OK or better, and there are no Rich areas/Poor Areas the way you will have seen in ChCh.

  4. Oliver assures me they've had great engineering reports. The underlying land is "moderate - 3" risk, with low-moderate land across the street.

    Wind varies so much street to street...hard to get a sense for it from Christchurch.

  5. Sounds good to go. In my experience Wgntn building owners and businesses do take sensible emergency precautions and have usually made preparations for things like earthquakes. Will be interested to read your experiences regarding the move - I will be surprised if you dont find it an improvement.

  6. I'm really really looking forward to being there.