Natural Hazards

Updated: September 2020

Like many places in New Zealand, Waimakariri District is geographically diverse, reaching from the mountain ranges to the ocean. Because of this, the District is susceptible to a number of possible Natural Hazards including flooding, erosion in coastal areas, earthquake faults and liquefaction.

As part of its District Plan Review, Waimakariri District Council is updating 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.

Last year the Council held a two-stage consultation to invite feedback from the community on natural hazards. This enabled the most up-to-date and robust information to be made available through the District Plan Review maps and provisions, and will help to support the protection of Waimakariri District’s environmental, physical and social interests.

In August 2020 Council received updated maps and models showing the latest information on the possible extend of natural hazards in the District. These models and maps are updated every few years to provide the best possible information for landowners looking to buy, build or develop.

View Maps

At this stage, the Council is still deciding how best to respond to the updated information, both in terms of reviewing planning rules, as well as considering how it will affect the community and its assets into the future. It will take some time to understand the full impacts of the updated information, and how the Council and the community is to best respond.

The next step in this process is through the District Plan Review which will be looking at how we should respond to this new info by setting future planning rules and restrictions, so any future development is done in as safe a way as possible. We will be back in touch to get your feedback on this in early-mid 2021.

When the Natural Hazards maps and provisions are completed, these will be included in the District Plan and help to guide development. In the interim, the information will be on Council’s website, Land Information Memoranda, and property files, and will also be used by the Council when processing resource and building consents to ensure any new information is taken into consideration.

Background information

Managing the effects of Natural Hazards is required under the Resource Management Act 1991 as a matter of national importance. Council needs to give effect to Natural Hazards management directions in the Canterbury Regional Policy Statement within the District Plan.

In 2016, the Council responded to new information on a variety of Natural Hazards by preparing a draft plan change – PC27.  This was supported by technical assessments, updated now, which will be used as part of the District Plan Review.

Climate change is also an important long-term conversation between Council and community – specifically, how we respond to it. Council’s engagement with community about climate change will be a separate process.

Public Reports (as at August 2019):

    Name Description
    ECan Stop Bank Breach Waimakariri River Kaiapoi North Bank Flood Hazard Assessment Prepared for Environment Canterbury by DHI Water and Environment Download
    Review of liquefaction hazard information in eastern Canterbury Report prepared by GNS Science, 2012 Download
    Assessment of active fault ground deformation hazards associated with the Ashley Fault Zone Prepared by GNS Science. In addition to the District report, more detailed mapping of the Ashley Fault Zone near Rangiora was undertaken because of the higher likelihood of movement on this fault compared to others in the District. Download
    General distribution and characteristics of active faults and folds in the Waimakariri District Fault trace report with faults at the ground surface compiled by GNS Science Download
    Waimakariri District Localised Flood Hazard Assessment July 2015 Prepared by the Project Delivery Unit, Waimakariri District Council Download
    Waimakariri District Localised Flood Hazard Assessment July 2015 - appendices Appendices Download
    Ashey River floodplain investigation 2016 update Prepared by Environment Canterbury Download
    Canterbury's Tsunami Hazard (ECAN) Download

    In progress

    Much of the above information has been updated including reports on coastal erosion and inundation as well as groundwater.