Natural Hazards & Your Build

Like many places in New Zealand, the Waimakariri District is susceptible to a number of possible natural hazards. Before you start planning your build, it’s important to check if the land has any issues with natural hazards.

The Building Act defines a natural hazard as land subject to:

  • Erosion (including coastal erosion, bank erosion, and sheet erosion)
  • Falling debris (including soil, rock, snow, and ice)
  • Subsidence
  • Inundation (including flooding, overland flow, storm surge, tidal effects and ponding)
  • Slippage

Hazards like tsunamis or earthquakes are not viewed as natural hazards under the Building Act 2004.

If there are any potential natural hazards on your property this information it will be indicated in either your Project Information Memorandum (PIM), Land information Memorandum (LIM) or Record of Title, which will detail if there is a natural hazard on your land.

Please note: If your property is part of a new subdivision, some natural hazards may not yet be identified.

Natural hazards and Building Consents

Building consents can still be approved if there is a natural hazard on your property, as along as specific measures are in place to protect the land, building work and property from the hazard.

The Council will only decline a building consent if the land on which the building work is to be carried out is subject to one or more natural hazards, or if the work is likely to accelerate, worsen, or result in a natural hazard on that land or any other nearby property.

Natural hazards and the District Plan

As part of its District Plan Review, the Council is updating the natural hazard provisions (objectives, policies and rules) to help manage risk and uncertainty.

The District Plan is a statutory document that provides the rules for how people can build on or develop land, whether it is residential, commercial or rural – it’s essentially the planning rulebook for building and development in the District.

Visit our natural hazards page for more information.

Last reviewed date: 02 Aug 2023