A. Development and subdivision for the purposes of accommodating and/or servicing people and communities should avoid areas of known natural hazard risk unless the risk of damage to property and infrastructure, community disruption and injury and potential loss of life can be adequately mitigated.
a. Further subdivision and development shall not be permitted in areas of severe known natural hazard risk where the risk to buildings, infrastructure, people and communities cannot be avoided or adequately mitigated.
b. Community awareness shall be encouraged as to the extent of natural hazards, their consequences and potential adverse impacts in Westland.
c. The Council shall work with the West Coast Regional Council, other agencies, local communities and stakeholders to facilitate the identification, adoption and implementation of a comprehensive “package” of measures, statutory and non-statutory, to avoid, remedy or mitigate the adverse effects of natural hazards in the District.
Explanation / Reasons
Natural hazards can severely constrain development in some areas and can have disastrous impacts on existing resources. Mitigation measures can incur high costs on the community. A less costly option in many cases is to direct development away from hazard prone areas. In this way, potential adverse effects of hazards on natural and physical resources, and on people, can be avoided. Flood hazards maps held by the West Coast Regional Council can be referred to in order to identify areas of higher risk. Mitigation, is in come cases, more practical than moving an existing settlement or not allowing further development. Hokitika is prone to flooding, but it is considered that flood prevention measures are more practical then directing development elsewhere. At Franz Josef, the Waiho River has aggraded significantly over the last 60 years, to the extent that an acute flood event is considered likely. In the area of severe hazard immediately south of the Waiho Bridge, further development and subdivision, other than farming and forestry not involving buildings, is subject to a non-complying resource consent application. It is extremely unlikely to be approved unless it can be established beyond reasonable doubt that the proposed development will not be subject to natural hazard risk. These provisions are incorporated into the Waiho River Severe Flood Hazard Policy Unit and corresponding Zone.
The wider Waiho Flats area is also at risk should the Waiho River change course by breaching its south stopbank. Whilst research to date has identified possible breakout options, it is not possible to accurately predict the location of a breakout, or, if the River changes course, the location of the new course. The area is zoned Rural, but with additional assessment matters relating to flooding in the case of dwelling applications, and subdivision, than in the balance of the zone, in recognition of the potential flood hazard.
Different mitigation or planning methods will be appropriate for each hazard, be it flooding, coastal erosion or land instability. The Building Act 1992 also requires the Council to take into account the risk from natural hazards on any site. Under Section 36 of that Act any known hazard which could adversely affect the site must be registered on the Certificate of Title if building consent is issued in respect of a known hazardous site.
Anticipated Environmental Outcomes
Implementation of the above policies and parent objective is expected to achieve
the following outcomes.
I A reduction in the magnitude and scale of impacts of natural hazards on built resources, infrastructure and people and communities.
II Increased levels of community awareness of natural hazards and their potential impacts on community and people.