More ''stringent'' approach to development on hazard-prone
land is being signalled by the Otago Regional Council.
The regional council has been providing the Dunedin City
Council with information on hazards within the city.
Regional council natural hazards manager Michael Goldsmith
said in a recent report to the policy committee the aim was
to help the city council develop rules to manage land use
activities so the adverse effects of natural hazards and
climate change could be avoided or mitigated.
The information would also be used to inform the development
of the regional council's Regional Policy Statement. All the
region's territorial local authorities' district plans had to
be consistent with the statement.
Cr Gretchen Robertson said some hazards had caused
''intolerable'' conditions for some people and communities
should not have to live with the ongoing stress and risk.
''We are signalling it isn't the way we want to see
communities planned into the future.''
A series of guiding principles had been developed by the two
councils' working group.
The principles included creating communities where people
could live, work and use the land without ongoing stress or
fear of natural hazards and creating and building
infrastructure which took into consideration the risks from
hazards while still being affordable.
An adaptive management approach was needed to allow for
improvements in understanding hazards and climate change, the
One of the principles stated some risks were intolerable and
another that the exacerbation of risks should be avoided by
new development or hazard management measures.
Planning considerations had also been developed by the two
councils' working group.
''Any planning response will depend on the nature of the
hazard and may include avoidance of new, or restrictions on
existing development, or design standards to avoid or
mitigate negative effects.''
Chairman Stephen Woodhead said the key was utilising the
expertise of both councils to ensure the outcomes came
forward in the plans.
''I hope the city is able to support and endorse these
Cr Gerry Eckhoff said the council needed to be careful about
the ''moral hazard'' of this approach as too much emphasis on
hazards could affect the value of people's homes.
''It's an issue we need to tread very carefully around.''
The committee also adopted the GNS report assessing the
hazard significance of landslips in six areas in Dunedin
The report would be provided to the city council for use in
its natural hazard planning for the District Plan and put on
the regional council's online Otago Natural Hazards Database.