29 Sep 2016

The Mayor is calling on the Government for help in developing a sensible way forward for working with communities on coastal hazards.

The Council today approved Christchurch Mayor Lianne Dalziel’s proposal to write to the Minister for Local Government and the Minister for the Environment to alert them to the difficulties that arise from Council’s statutory obligations to include hazard information on Land Information Memorandums (LIMs), and fully engaging communities in discussions about coastal hazards.

An aerial shot of part of Christchurch's coastline.

An aerial shot of part of Christchurch's coastline.

“Notifying hazards on LIMs needs to happen, but we lose the goodwill of people to engage in the wider discussion about hazards and how we respond to them when we get caught up in the conflict over LIM notations,'' Mayor Dalziel said.

In the letter, the Mayor asks the Ministers to consider the “safe harbour” concept, suggested in a recently released report Risk Based Approach to Natural Hazards Under the RMA, prepared for the Ministry for the Environment.

“The report talks about the need for a mechanism to create a “safe harbour” to allow information on natural hazards to be obtained, shared, explored and communicated to all parties. I have put in an urgent request to ask the Ministers for their help in developing this mechanism as a sensible way forward when dealing with future risk from coastal hazards,'' Mayor Dalziel said.

At today's meeting the Council also agreed to a work programme to address the recommendations of the peer review of the Coastal Hazard Assessment Report prepared by Tonkin & Taylor in 2015. That report that identified areas in Christchurch and Banks Peninsula that could be vulnerable to coastal erosion and flooding by the sea, taking into account the likely rise in sea levels over the next 50 and 100 years.

This further work, and the updated Coastal Hazard Assessment, which will form the technical basis for planning around coastal hazards, is expected to be finished by March 2017.

Council General Manager Strategy and Transformation Brendan Anstiss said the Council was committed to working with communities to develop a shared understanding of the risk from coastal hazard and the potential options for responding to those risks.

“We want to build on the work done by the original community reference group, set up to support the peer review process, and work closely with the community to come up with an agreed response to the coastal hazards we are likely to face,’’ Mr Anstiss said.

Today the Council also received a report outlining the revised coastal hazard LIM notation, which references the Coastal Hazard Assessment Report and the peer review report. LIM notations will be revised as new information is received by the Council.