Natural hazards management

Waimakariri District is susceptible to a number of natural hazards including flooding, erosion in our coastal areas, earthquake faults, and liquefaction.

These hazards are now much better understood than in the past. This is because we have tools like rainfall and river flood modelling, fault lines and liquefaction areas identified on maps, and have a greater awareness of coastal hazard within the coastal area of Waimakariri District. Some of this information has been prepared by Council and others by agencies such as Environment Canterbury and GNS Science.

The key information that draft proposed District Plan Change 27 is based on is flood modelling for the whole of the district, identification of areas susceptible to liquefaction which affects the eastern part of the district, and also identification of fault lines. These background reports can be found under 'Documents' below. Further information is available on the Flood hazard areas, Fault lines and liquefaction and Coastal hazards pages.

Council has a range of functions in relation to natural hazards, that include civil defence preparation and response, rural fire, provision of information through Project Information Memoranda (PIMs) and Land Information Memoranda (LIMs), building consents and infrastructure planning to promote resilience and preparation for natural hazard events. Council also has obligations in terms of its District Plan, which is the document that manages land use, subdivision and development within the district. These requirements stem from legislation and also regional planning documents, in particular the Canterbury Regional Policy Statement.

Draft proposed District Plan Change 27

Management of natural hazards in the Waimakariri District

Information relating to flood risk, location of fault lines, areas that are susceptible to liquefaction, and coastal erosion have been factored into draft proposed Plan Change 27 – Natural Hazards Management. Draft proposed Plan Change 27 reviews parts of the Waimakariri District Plan so that the impact of natural hazards on people, property and the environment can be assessed and managed. This is particularly important in relation to the use of land in those areas that have been identified as being especially vulnerable to the impact of natural hazards. It includes provisions on buildings, infrastructure and subdivision.

Flooding, fault lines, liquefaction and coastal hazard areas have been mapped. These areas are subject to draft changes to the District Plan. The areas featuring identified fault lines, and areas now known to be vulnerable to liquefaction, now require a different - and more appropriate - design for building and development to be considered. For flood hazard areas, new requirements for building and development such as minimum floor heights are proposed. Within flood areas now considered to be ‘high hazard’, additional requirements are proposed as the potential impacts from flooding are greater within these areas. Specific considerations around the hazard risks relating to the district’s coastal areas, on the exposed seaward side of the coastal dune system, have also been factored into the plan change proposal.

Council made available the draft proposed plan change for comment. The plan change is not being formally notified under the relevant legislation, as it is required to be in order to be enacted, at this time. We appreciate that much of the hazards information we are dealing with is of a technical nature. We are also aware that the proposed provisions have a significant bearing on individual properties in parts of the district, specifically around requirements for building and development. The hazards information, along with the proposed response within the plan change, forms a body of information that needs to be considered by the community as a whole. We asked for comments on the draft, so that these views can be taken into account before the formal plan change submission process.

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Draft proposed Plan Change 27

Background/technical reports

Useful links

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Comments on the draft proposed Waimakariri District Plan Change 27 were open from 23 June 2016 to 1 July 2016.