Canterbury Rebuild

Our involvement in Christchurch and Canterbury began with the September 2010 earthquake and then grew quickly following the second major earthquake in February 2011.
In March 2011, our then Managing Director, Barry Brown, drove a survey vehicle laden with water, food, face masks, hand sanitiser and basic medical supplies donated by Manurewa residents and businesses to Christchurch with his son-in-law as the “advance guard” to the structural and geotechnical engineers we sent to Christchurch over the ensuing months to inspect damaged buildings and property for the Earthquake Commission.

Our office and accommodation was a rented house in Burnside, with many of our staff spending months balancing life and work between Auckland and Christchurch, until a decision was made to open a permanent office in the city in February 2013 to assist with the Canterbury recovery and rebuild works.

Soil Liquefaction
Fundamental to our work in Canterbury has been the appropriate assessment of the liquefaction potential of the soils in Christchurch city and the broader Canterbury region.  Although soil liquefaction risk is not unique to Canterbury, the liquefaction induced ground deformations experienced in Christchurch in response to the 2010/2011 Canterbury sequence of damaging earthquake events  has brought this particular geotechnical hazard to the forefront in Christchurch.

Fraser Thomas engineers are familiar with the most up-to-date methods of liquefaction risk assessment, and are therefore able to provide recommendations for the most appropriate foundation systems for liquefiable soils.  We are also familiar with the latest ground remediation  techniques, which are used to mitigate the risk of soils being subject to liquefaction.

In particular, we have specialist geotechnical engineers in–house who understand the geomechanics associated with liquefaction induced ground deformation, we are able to provide foundation design solutions that are appropriate for the site conditions, and that are normally more cost effective than other foundation solutions offered by other consultants.

Our Christchurch work includes:

  • Geotechnical and structural investigations and assessments of residential, “hillside”, commercial, institutional and industrial sites for insurance purposes and in support of applications for subdivision and building consent.
  • Engineering design of appropriate repair works, addressing liquefaction and seismic strength issues.
  • Geotechnical and structural design works for new multi-storey and multi-unit buildings
  • Pavement design works


  • Topographical land surveying works and boundary redefinition survey works
  • Building set out survey works
  • Civil and environmental engineering services
  • Soil contamination assessments for residential and commercial sites and proposed subdivisions
  • Construction observation works (civil, geotechnical and structural) and provision of PS4 documentation
  • Provision of expert evidence for court hearings
  • Car Park Design, Observation and Certification

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  • Ground Remediation Works

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  • Canterbury Earthquake Recovery – Big Picture Issues

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  • Geotechnical Assessments of Sites Affected by the Canterbury Sequence of Earthquakes

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  • Peer Review For Canterbury Schools Reinstatement

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  • Detailed Site Investigation – Complex Industrial Site, Christchurch

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Our Head Office is in Highbrook, Auckland
We also have two other office in NZ

View Our Office Locations
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