Emergency management

Arrowtown is relatively well protected from many types of natural disaster – there’s not much chance of a tsunami or a tropical cyclone here – but there are some events that could cause severe damage to buildings and/or transport, electricity, water and wastewater infrastructure. These incidents might require you to evacuate your home or be self-sufficient for a while.

  • Earthquakes. This is Arrowtown’s most significant hazard by far. There is a 30 per cent chance that during the next 50 years the Alpine Fault will produce a major earthquake that could damage buildings and infrastructure, and the parts of Arrowtown closer to the river are susceptible to liquefaction.
  • Extreme weather. Climate change is increasing the probability and severity of extreme weather events, including snowstorms, windstorms, drought and rainstorms.
  • Wildfires. The wooded hillsides above Arrowtown are a volatile fuel source in a vegetation fire. Although the river is a natural fire break, it is mostly overhung by trees and a major forest fire could threaten buildings and require evacuations.
  • Human pandemic. The Queenstown Lakes District has a greater chance of being affected by a pandemic than many places because of the high visitor numbers. A human pandemic – the most likely type is influenza – may mean you need to stay at home for up to two weeks.


Be prepared

An emergency could happen tomorrow so now is the time to get ready. The best thing you can do for yourself and your family is to download Arrowtown’s Community Response Plan so that you can learn about natural disasters, how to create a household emergency plan, assemble emergency survival items and make up a getaway kit in case you have to leave in a hurry.


If it happens

If the worst happens and there is a major natural or man-made disaster, emergency services, Civil Defence and social service organisations will swing into action. The Arrowtown Community Response Group, a group of local residents, will be involved in managing operations.

If a Civil Defence emergency is declared, one or more Civil Defence Centres will open up and will be marked by flags. These centres can be set up as information booths, drop-in centres, evacuation centres, welfare centres and very rarely as emergency shelters. Emergency accommodation would normally be provided at existing accommodation facilities such as campgrounds, motels and hotels.

Possible Civil Defence Centre locations are:

Arrowtown Golf Club
166 Centennial Ave
03 442 1719

Arrowtown School (Hall)
9 Chalmers Place
03 442 1854

Athenaeum Hall
37 Buckingham Street
03 442 1824

Lakes District Museum
49 Buckingham Street
03 442 1824

St John's Church Hall
26 Berkshire Street, Arrowtown

Arrowtown Holiday Park
12 Centennial Avenue, Arrowtown
03 442 1876

Millbrook Resort (for visitors)
Streamside Lane, Arrowtown
0800 800 604

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