Venture Southland has been responsible for delivering the aeromagnetic and radiometric survey of Southland. This includes managing the service contract with the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE) and New Zealand Petroleum and Minerals.
In December 2014 the Government announced it was planning to invest $8 million to acquire and analyse new aeromagnetic data, $6 million of this was set aside for data acquisition in Southland, Otago and Marlborough. This was aimed at developing a clear understanding of geological structures in specific areas within these regions.
Representatives from New Zealand Petroleum and Minerals visited Southland in February 2015 to discuss the planned work and the potential for the survey coverage to be extended though local involvement.
The government-funded areas that the New Zealand Petroleum and Minerals survey covered included a significant proportion of the Clutha and Gore Districts, and the Western and Northern Southland areas. Venture Southland, on behalf of the Regional Council – Environment Southland, Invercargill City, Southland District and Gore District Councils negotiated and facilitated the extension of the survey to cover the Southern Southland area, an area of 5,567 square kilometres, at the additional cost of $686,000. Southland’s local authorities have funded this survey area
The aeromagnetic and radiometric survey of Southland was conducted from the air by a fixed wing aircraft or helicopter, and was completed ahead of schedule during the summer of 2016-2017. The survey also came in $234,400 below budget.
The benefits of the aeromagnetic and radiometric survey
- Better quality natural hazards information was able to be obtained, particularly in relation to geological hazards such as fault lines and areas of potential geological slipping which could be avoided and/or mitigated when considering potential future developments.
- Southland’s water resources were identified, which will be of significant value for the region’s community, industry and agricultural water supplies in the future.
- When the survey data is combined with the topoclimate information, Southland will have comprehensive climate, soil, and geological mapping. This will enhance regional economic prosperity by assisting in making better land use and water allocation decisions.
- Council submissions to central government into the future will be informed of issues such as earthquake-prone building legislation and natural hazards management.
Venture Southland has committed $100,000 to interpret the data of the aeromagnetic and radiometric survey. This interpretation is currently in progress and will be made available once competed.