Natural Hazards and Land Damage
What is a natural hazard - according to the Building Act
The Building Act defines a natural hazard as land subjected to:
- erosion (including coastal erosion, bank erosion, and sheet erosion)
- falling debris (including soil, rock, snow, and ice)
- inundation (including flooding, overland flow, storm surge, tidal effects and ponding)
A review of Council's District Plan is now underway, starting with a review of the natural hazards provisions.
More information available here District Plan Review - Our Homes, Our Hazards
Hazards such as tsunamis or earthquakes are not regarded as natural hazards under the Building Act.
Occasionally natural hazards may not be identified in Project Information Memorandums (PIMs) associated with your building consents, and there may be a need for the BCA to determine whether or not natural hazard provisions apply.
The Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE) have recently produced a "Natural Hazards Decision Tree" associated with Determination 2017/048, which provides useful information in determining Natural Hazards Responsibilities.
Council worked closely with Government agencies to address land damage and properties affected by natural hazards as a result of the 2016 earthquake. Work has largely focused on two key groups: properties issued s124 notices prohibiting entry because the rockfall hazard posed a risk to life, and properties affected by land damage along Lyell Creek.
Without assistance, Council was not in a financial position to provide financial assistance to affected landowners. In mid-May 2018 the government announced it would contribute an estimated $1.5million towards addressing natural hazards risk.
On 11 December 2018 Council announced decisions outlining how we will use the available funding to assist those facing intolerable life risk from rockfall. Ongoing work is required to implement the decisions.
Update December 2018
The Council has decided the following:
- for three of the properties, the risk from rockfall is now considered to be tolerable meaning no further action is required;
- for three properties where the affected buildings have suffered extensive damage and the risk can be addressed by rebuilding elsewhere on the property, no further action is required;
- for three properties where uncertainty about whether the level of risk is tolerable remains and there are questions about the practicality and long-term effectiveness of options for protection, the owners were offered financial assistance to retreat from their properties;
- for seven properties where uncertainty about whether the level of risk is tolerable remains but practical and effective options for reducing the life risk to those properties to a tolerable level have been identified, the owners were offered financial assistance to protect their buildings.
Cost estimates suggest the package will require all of the $1.5 million set aside by Government.
Council took great care in making these decisions, balancing various considerations, including: allowing people to move forward; creating good long-term outcomes for the district; and providing timely, pragmatic solutions for addressing the life risk.
The decisions follow September meetings with the owners of properties facing intolerable life risk from rockfall and draw on the latest geotechnical assessments and new risk information across the district. All of this feedback and information was considered together, to come up with pragmatic solutions that balance all the issues.
The decision making process
To keep our decisions about the properties affected by elevated risk from land damage/natural hazards responsible, affordable and fair, Council considered what it wanted to achieve (our objectives) and who it would apply to (our intervention criteria) and how we’d be getting involved (our intervention options).
Our objectives were to:
- protect people at an unacceptable level or risk from harm and enable property owners and residents to move on
- get certainty for homeowners, residents, business owners and the community about what happens next as soon as we can
- ensure the community has greater resilience to future events
Our intervention criteria:
Our intervention criteria helped guide Councils work around natural hazards and land damage. If a property meets one or more criteria, Council considered intervention options for that property. There are three different types of intervention criteria:
- life safety risks: where people were placed in situations of unacceptable life risk from natural hazards; and
- land damage: where land was damaged to such an extent that it is no longer fit to be built on; or there is a high risk of further land damage; and
- wellbeing risk: there is no effective or practical options for remediation of damage or avoiding future damage within a reasonable timeframe.
- Tonkin and Taylor Report 2018
- Golder Geotech Report for 270-277 Esplanade
- Golder Geotech Report for 335 East Lane
- Golder Geotech Report for 93 Waitane Road
- Golder Geotech Report for 1800 & 1802 SH1
- Golder Geotech Report for 2021 SH1
- Golder Geotech Report for 2023 SH1
- Golder Geotech Report for 2025 SH1
- Golder Geotech Report for 2027 SH1
- Golder Geotech Report for 2029 SH1
- Spreadsheet of natural hazard related documents from October 2017 to November 2018 (released under LGOIMA 31 January 2019)
- Reports and minutes from July 2017 to November 2018 (released under LGOIMA 31 January 2019)
- Appendices July 2017 (released under LGOIMA 31 January 2019)
- Appendices October 2018 (released under LGOIMA 31 January 2019)
- Appendices October 2018 PX (released under LGOIMA 31 January 2019)
- Appendices November 2018 Council meeting
Council staff and geotechnical engineers have been working to assess damage caused by the earthquake along Lyell Creek. This work involved a series of discussions with property owners to assess their individual situations and help them prepare for the future.
As a result of the land damage, some of these properties may require additional building consent requirements for any rebuilds or future work. The Council will work through these processes as necessary with individual property owners.
The Council has agreed to contribute half of the cost of work proposed by Environment Canterbury to repair the creek and cycleway along Lyell Creek. Planning for this work will get underway in the new year.
General guidance for property owners in Kaikoura
If your ability to live in our use your property has been affected, we recommend you contact the following agencies and seek their advice and support:
- Your insurer and EQC to discuss your options
- Ministry of Building Innovation and Employment (MBIE) for temporary accommodation information and help: phone 0508 754 163 / Email / Online
- Ministry of Social Development (MSD) for wider social housing needs: phone 0800 559 009 / Online
- Council’s Rebuild Navigator 03 319 5026 for help understanding and navigating your rebuild process.
- Council’s building and regulatory staff 03 319 5026 for building advice.
The Papatea Fault starts around 5km offshore and goes inland in the northern part of our district.
Check out GNS's video below with some scientific information about the fault and the changes to the landscape when it ruptured.
- Media release: Dec 2018 Natural hazard responses help property owners move forward
- Media release: Council welcomes Government funding for key recovery and rebuild work
- FAQ’s about Section 124’s
- Housing in Kaikōura
- Demolition and waste minimisation guidelines - ECan
- Building Information and Consents
- Rates help 2018/19
03 April 2020