Natural Hazards

If you’re thinking about carrying out building works, consider whether there may be any natural hazards present, and how they could affect compliance with the Building Act 2004 and the New Zealand Building Code.

Natural hazards include:

  • 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

Land Information Memorandum (LIM) or Project Information Memorandum (PIM) will identify hazards that the Council knows about.

When a building consent is granted on a property that contains natural hazards the Council may arrange to endorse the Record of Title advising the consent has been issued on land subject to natural hazards. Endorsements may refer to Section 72 of the Building Act 2004.

If there is a Section 72 endorsement (or similar) on the Record of Title and the building is subsequently damaged by a hazard event, then the owner and subsequent owners may not be insured for that damage. Refer to Clause 3(d) of Schedule 3 of the Earthquake Commission Act 1993.

We advise contacting your solicitor, insurance company or the Earthquake Commission if you are purchasing a property where the land is subject to natural hazard or you are planning to alter or add to the property in the future.

Further information can be found on the Building Performance website.

Moeraki land stability issues

The Moeraki area has a long and extensive history of land instability. This is caused by large, slowly creeping landslips in the underlying mudstone. In some parts of Moeraki, this poses a high risk of damage to structures. 

If you own a property in Moeraki, or plan to build there, you need to be aware of the issues and how they may affect your property or building project. Please refer to the information below for more information .

Tonkin Taylor Moeraki hazard mapping report (2012)

This report presents the results from a hazard mapping study of Moeraki and the surrounding area which was undertaken by geotechnical engineering consultants Tonkin & Taylor Ltd. 

They have mapped the Moeraki area in terms of landslip risk, with five categories ranging from ‘very low risk’ to ‘very high risk’.  The report also provides some considerations for responding to the issues, along with recommendations for further investigations. 

Document Links

Building Consents Natural Hazard Guidance Information.pdf(PDF, 137KB)

Tonkin Taylor Moeraki Final Report June 2012.pdf(PDF, 3MB)

Tonkin Taylor Moeraki map 2012.pdf(PDF, 934KB)

Building consent procedure for Moeraki 

Because of the land stability issues at Moeraki and level of risk, special consideration needs to be made of any building consent applications. A consistent approach to considering consent applications ensures: 

  • Council’s risks are managed
  • future property owners are advised of the natural hazards affecting the property 
  • development is not unnecessarily restrained, and 
  • the health and safety of building residents, subject to one or more natural hazards, is not unduly compromised