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Council agrees to sea-level rise response

 

The Council has today agreed to a further peer review of its Coastal Hazard Assessment Report (Tonkin & Taylor 2015) and a subsequent review of the wording on LIMs for properties potentially affected by coastal hazards.

 

The Council was presented with a staff report of recommendations in response to the recent sea-level rise report by the Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment (PCE) Dr Jan Wright.

 

The Council agreed that a peer review will be undertaken as soon as practicable by a panel of scientific experts, with consultation with affected communities around the details of the review.

 

"In her report, Dr Jan Wright notes that sea-level rise is certain, but that there's uncertainty around just how rapid it will be, how different coastal areas will be affected, and how we should all prepare," Mayor Dalziel says. "The more complete a picture we can create of these uncertainties, the more effective our response can be."

 

The Council also directed staff to review LIM notations for properties potentially affected by coastal hazards following the peer review findings, to ensure the LIM information is fair, clear and accurate.

 

The Council also agreed to ensure the Council's submission on the Resource Legislation Amendment Bill include a recommendation to the Select Committee that the Building Act (004) and the Resource Management Act (1991) be amended so that there is better alignment and integration, reduced duplication and better consistency in the resource management system in relation to natural hazards to land.

 

"We believe that the Building Act Provision that requires land vulnerability to natural hazards to be taken into account sits under the wrong legislation, it should be under the RMA. The Resource Legislation Amendment Bill presents an opportunity for this to change."

 

Mayor Dalziel reiterated the PCE Report's recommendation for more guidance from Central Government around responding the challenges presented by sea-level rise.

 

"I want all councils with coastal communities to be provided with advice and support, then we can look at our own coastline and see how this advice applies here."

 

She thanked community groups for their continued advocacy around coastal hazards.

 

"There is a lot of work to do, and these decisions today give us a really stable platform for that work. We welcome Dr Wright's visit to Christchurch in February next year where we can discuss how we'll prepare for and adapt to climate change and sea-level rise. We look forward to extensive and appropriate conversations about the reality of living in a coastal environment, now and in the future."

 

The PCE's report, Preparing New Zealand for rising seas: Certainty and Uncertainty, can be read here: http://www.pce.parliament.nz/publications/preparing-new-zealand-for-rising-seas-certainty-and-uncertainty

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For more information please contact:

Jocelyn Ritchie

Christchurch City Council

027 241 0244

jocelyn.ritchie@ccc.govt.nz

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