Hazard and climate risk report winner

Ben France-Hudson, of the University of Otago, has received a national award for a report he co...
Ben France-Hudson, of the University of Otago, has received a national award for a report he co-authored. PHOTO: SUPPLIED

A report about reducing natural hazard and climate change risk, co-authored by Dunedin academic Ben France-Hudson, has won a national award.

Dr France-Hudson, of the University of Otago Faculty of Law, said the New Zealand Planning Institute’s John Mawson Award of Merit recognised the importance of discussing how the Resource Management Act affected communities in at-risk coastal areas.

He provided legal analysis for the GNS Science-backed report.

The report, titled ‘‘Reducing risk through the management of existing uses: tensions under the RMA’’, was produced with Emily Grace, of GNS Science in Lower Hutt, and Margaret Kilvington, of Independent Social Research, Evaluation and Facilitation.

Researchers interviewed RMA practitioners, analysed regional policy statement documents and the planning system under the RMA and sought to better understand the tensions between managing existing uses and reducing risk to existing developments under the RMA.

The report encouraged local authorities to pursue policies under the RMA to achieve risk reduction where required, and encouraged central government to provide the tools and help to support those efforts.

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