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Christchurch City Council considers changing coastal hazard LIM listings

The Christchurch City Council is considering subjecting a controversial report on coastal hazards to a second peer review.

The Christchurch City Council is considering changing the wording on property records regarding coastal hazards.

Council staff have also recommended the controversial Coastal Hazard Assessment report by Tonkin and Taylor – which found 18,000 properties could face coastal inundation – be subjected to a second peer review.

The move followed a report from Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment Jan Wright on sea level rise, which suggested the wording on Land Information Memorandum (LIM) reports were "not sufficiently clear".

Wright stated the information about coastal hazards on a LIM must be "clear, fair and accurate".

The Tonkin and Taylor report, which was publicly released in July, used computer modelling to identify 6000 properties that could be susceptible to erosion and nearly 18,000 that could face coastal inundation over the next 50 to 100 years.

Affected residents strongly opposed the report, questioning the science behind it.

Christchurch Coastal Residents United group spokesman Mark Munro said he welcomed a peer review, but wanted the report withdrawn completely and any reference to coastal hazards on LIMs to be removed.

"There is enough information out there now that makes it very clear the report is just not fit for purpose and if that report goes, then the LIM notices must go."

A staff report said the council was legally obliged to keep hazard zone information on the LIMs, but the council had discretion in relation to the wording used to convey the information.

The Tonkin and Taylor report had not been discredited or subjected to a detailed review by the commissioner for the environment, council staff said.

The review, if approved by council on Thursday, would ideally be carried out by Niwa and would take into account comments made in Wright's report on the appropriate levels of risk and range of uncertainty in the modelling results.

Mayor Lianne Dalziel said a second peer review would provide the council with the direction it needed before it developed a process for engaging with the community on the issues.

Council regulation and consents committee chairman Cr David East said his concerns regarding the connection between the LIM notation, the Tonkin and Taylor report, and the Building Act process needed to be addressed.

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