Revivifying the Grey
The West Coast of the South Island is geographically isolated from the rest of New Zealand, divided by the Southern Alps. Small West Coast towns have developed to service the exploration and extraction of natural resources as well as forestry and agriculture. Constantly in a state of flux, these service towns are transitioning from their industrial past to the technological age, while their location means they are also likely to be subject to a significant natural disaster in the foreseeable future, as tectonic movements on the alpine fault indicate a large earthquake is predicted to strike the West Coast region. This earthquake threat, the economic decline created by the lack of work, and urban drift, resulting from the transition from its industrial heritage, have fuelled the decay of these small service towns and impacted on the livelihoods of the communities of ‘coasters’ who live there.