Please read the full chapter before giving us your feedback
What are the key issues we need to think about?
The Waitaki district is vulnerable to a wide range of natural hazards. These hazards can affect people, property, infrastructure and the wider environment. More significantly, natural hazards can lead to a loss of human life. Therefore, it is important to recognise these hazards and to manage activities in order to limit the exposure of people, property and the environment to risk.
The effects of natural hazards vary in terms of both their likelihood and consequence. Some natural hazards may occur relatively frequently and may damage property, whereas other natural hazards occur infrequently, but when they do occur, they pose serious risk to life.
We need to avoid subdivision, use and development in high hazard areas and protect people and property from the risks associated with identified natural hazards.
Updated natural hazards information and mapping is not provided for in the current District Plan. This results in a lack of clear and accessible information about areas that are potentially vulnerable to natural hazards.
The current District Plan does not contain any rules relating to the use and development of land subject to known natural hazards such as land instability, steep slopes or active fault lines.
Geotechnical matters are not specifically addressed for earthworks that take place on sites vulnerable to land instability or located on steep slopes. This can lead to earthworks that have the potential to exacerbate the risk from natural hazards and alter overland flow paths.
What are we suggesting in the Draft District Plan?
The Draft District Plan manages natural hazards through policies and rules attached to different hazards and overlays. The rules vary according to the type of natural hazard, the risk it poses, and the sensitivity of the activity proposed. The mapping of the natural hazard overlays is based on the best available information at the time of preparing the Plan.
A flexible risk-based approach has been adopted to address the risk associated with natural hazards. A risk-based approach to natural hazards balances allowing for people and communities to use their property and undertake activities, whilst also limiting the risk of harm to life or significant assets because of a natural hazard event. The Draft District Plan also advocates an adaptive management approach to managing natural hazards and the effects of climate change.
Natural hazards are addressed in two chapters; the Natural Hazards chapter covers non-coastal hazards and the Coastal Environment chapter covers coastal hazards. Both chapters take the same risk-based approach to natural hazards.
The key objective of the chapter is to recognise, avoid or appropriately manage the risks from natural hazards, including the effects of climate change, and their impact on people, property and the environment.
You can view the draft overlays for natural hazards and coastal hazards here.
Key changes from the current rules
Flooding is currently the only natural hazard that is mapped in the Operative District Plan. New mapping identifies the following natural hazard areas:
- Updated flood mapping
- Moeraki land instability
- Alluvial fans
- Surface Fault Rupture
There are new objectives, policies and rules being recommended for the above natural hazard layers.
The new chapter also includes provisions for activities in relation to wildfire risk.
What does it mean for me?
Any lawfully established existing businesses or activities have what is referred to as ‘existing use rights’ and could continue to operate unchanged.
Activities in areas subject to natural hazards would likely need a resource consent and additional technical reports may be needed in some instances to provide more information on the level of risk for what is being proposed. For example, in areas of steep slope, or where there is a risk from land instability, a geotechnical report could be required for earthworks.