NCTIR Kaikōura Earthquake Recovery Alliance

Moving Mountains to Reconnect Communities

Beca helped reconnect the Kaikōura community following the devastating Canterbury earthquakes of November 2016, as part of the North Canterbury Transport Infrastructure Recovery (NCTIR) Alliance project, ‘Moving Mountains to Reconnect Communities’.

Kaikōura and the North Canterbury region was hit by a Magnitude 7.8 earthquake just after midnight on 14 November 2016.  

Considered one of the ‘most complex earthquakes’ ever recorded with modern instruments at the time, the earthquake caused hundreds of landslides and severely damaged essential community and transport lifelines.  Kaikōura was effectively cut off from road and rail access, which limited the emergency response to air and sea.

The NCTIR Alliance saw more than 20 agencies and organisations – with around 80 people from Beca – come together with the New Zealand Transport Agency and KiwiRail to restore access, and rebuild vital roads, railways and the harbour.

Beca played a key role from the outset, as a critical partner in both the design and construction site teams.  Our initial input supported the rapid development and locking-in of remediation concepts.  

With a strong focus on engineering geology and geotechnical services, our services included slope risk assessment and mitigation, surveying, design and peer review, construction site support, and project and team leadership.  Extraordinary efforts from everyone involved resulted in the re-opening of the railway in September 2017, and the highway in December 2017.   

“New Zealand is our home, and many of our people were impacted by the 2016 earthquakes in the region. The NCTIR project therefore had a special place in our hearts, as we worked collaboratively with a range of consultants to restore access to the region as quickly as possible,” says David Rowland, Central Shared Path Project Lead.

Beca and the Alliance’s efforts were also recognised internationally, with the NZ$1.2 billion dollar NCTIR project winning the prestigious 2018 Institution of Civil Engineers (ICE) People’s Choice Award. NCTIR was the only Southern Hemisphere finalist, competing against other outstanding engineering projects from across the globe.

KiwiRail Acting Chief Executive Todd Moyle said the win highlighted New Zealand’s expertise in civil engineering and earthquake recovery, and was a “testament to Kiwi ingenuity and engineering excellence”. “This is well deserved recognition of the hard work, dedication and determination of the thousands of people who so quickly rebuilt the rail line and roads, reconnecting communities and restoring critical New Zealand freight networks," he says, in comments first published on Stuff.

Read more about the award here.

PHOTOS COURTESY OF NCTIR

7.8

Magnitude earthquake

$1.2b

NCTIR project value

80+

Beca staff involved

Our team says

Many of our people were impacted by the 2016 earthquakes in the region. The NCTIR project therefore had a special place in our hearts as we worked collaboratively with a range of consultants to restore access to the region as quickly as possible.

David Rowland,

Senior Geotechnical Engineer and Coastal Structures Lead

Our client says

KiwiRail, our partners NZTA and the NCTIR alliance brought together the best civil engineering and construction capability in New Zealand to deliver what was a massively complex project.

Todd Moyle,

KiwiRail Acting Chief Executive

Services We Provided

Our People

What We've Done