Realtors, lawyers apprised of natural hazards

Dunedin's house buyers are demanding - and being given - much more information about things such as tidal waves, floods and landslides than ever before.

The Otago Regional Council has been visiting real estate agents and conveyancing lawyers since late last year to make sure they know the risks in their area and how to get that information.

Chief executive Peter Bodeker said the council was often accused of ''scaremongering or doomsdaying'' but natural disasters such as the Christchurch earthquake showed the benefit of being forewarned.

''It is not to scare existing residents, it is to make them aware. It is to make future house purchasers aware.''

Council staff had been in contact with most real estate businesses and branches of the New Zealand Real Estate Institute as well as conveyancing lawyers.

''I think, once they are aware of these things, they are duty-bound or legally required to make sure their clients know.''

Real Estate Institute of New Zealand spokeswoman Liz Nidd said any knowledge was good to have and they were quite reliant on land information memorandums (Lim) provided by Dunedin City Council.

''People are becoming more conscious of everything and more risk-averse than they have ever.

''Disclosure is now incredibly important and we have to make sure we have as much information as humanly possible and ... disclose it to the purchasers.''

Lim reports incorporate natural hazard information from the regional council butit also has an online database.

Mr Bodeker said the information was based on observations, including floods and landslides, or predictions when it came to liquefaction, which had not happened in Dunedin's modern history.


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