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Council report adversely affects a trillion dollars in CHC property- citizens lose out yet again...

We were given 10 minutes to speak. The speech Mark Munro, Chairman of Christchurch Coastal Residents United (CCRU) presented today at the CHRISTCHURCH CITY COUNCIL.


Audit & Risk Management Subcommittee Meeting

Thursday 10 December 2015

Presented by Mark Munro - Chairman, Christchurch Coastal Residents United (CCRU)



It is history now that the Coastal Hazards Policy was dropped in a joint agreement between Council and Government on Sept 28th

The Mayor advised in the Press of the 29th she was pleased at the removal of the plan and that she had wished it had happened 12 months earlier.

Unfortunately, against the spirit of the agreement as advised to us by the Government, the Tonkin and Taylor report and the resultant LIM notices, remain.

The Coastal Hazards Policy is the Tonkin and Taylor report, you can’t have one without the other and you can’t repeal one without the other.

The Tonkin and Taylor report was accepted by the Council by vote on the 3rd July 2015 by nearly a unanimous vote.

Cr East was the only councillor in attendance to vote against it.

Since this time Councillors have become aware that a report effecting Billions of dollars’ worth of property. (18000 properties with close to 47000 people) has been widely panned.

CCRU, as a group, is representing Residents affected by this policy, we were told that we would need to allow for between $300,000 and $500,000 to pay for the expert advice to challenge the Tonkin and Taylor report.

How the $32,000 Tonkin and Taylor report is deemed sufficient to visit what has been described as a “bureaucratic earthquake “on an already struggling population!

In CCRU’s opinion, the robust Terms of reference required for a report affecting the lives of 13% of the city’s population weren’t robust at all.

They involved a phone call from a senior Council employee to the report writer, who subsequently advised council by letter the terms in which they would “update the 1999” report which was written on a “BEST GUESS” basis.

Notwithstanding one of the world’s biggest recorded earthquakes and the resulting major land movements, no updated land measurements from the 1999 report would be undertaken.

Subsequently the Arnold report, which was a robust critique of the Tonkin and Taylor report, stated that there were mathematical errors, which have been confirmed by Tonkin and Taylor, who then claimed they had no effect on the report.

  • Why make mathematical calculations that aren’t relevant to the report?

  • How many other calculations weren’t relevant to the report?

  • The report doesn’t follow the 2010 Coastal Hazard legislation it was required to be written under.

  • How do the leaders of this City exercise a moral authority if they pick and choose which legislation to follow?

  • Council have acknowledged errors in Hazard lines, and there are other very strange anomalies in Hazard lines at North Beach.

There are many more deficiencies in the report, which CCRU is happy to document if required.

The Council Chief Executive Dr Edwards dismissed Mr Arnolds report on the basis it was “ Pro Bono”, which respectfully CCRU doesn’t believe is relevant.

CCRU are also aware of disquiet amongst council staff over the Tonkin and Taylor report.

We came here today with the intention of supporting Councillor Easts Notice of Motion to rescind the acceptance of the Tonkin and Taylor report.

However the late inclusion of the Supplementary paper on the Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment report has changed that.

We would support in principle a further peer review of the Tonkin and Taylor report subject to the recommendations set out below.

However, we believe there is sufficient information and reason already to remove the Tonkin and Taylor report, any references to it and the resultant LIM notices.

The supplementary report on the PCE report advises that the report is of low significance in terms of funding and impact on the community.

These points to something seemingly overlooked.

  • The Coastal Hazards issue is significant.

  • It has massive impacts on those people in Hazard zones.

  • It impacts the lives of people by, in many cases fundamentally changing people’s retirement plans, some at an age where they have no ability to adapt.

  • Most people own one property in their lives and anything affecting its value can have catastrophic consequences.

  • The Coastal Hazards Policy affected 18000 properties which is around 47000 people, close to 13% of the City’s population.

There is no way that anything to do with Coastal Hazards can be referred to as insignificant.

Once the New District Plan is in place, a new process will start on a Coastal Hazard Policy.

This will be challengeable unlike the previous proposal.

It is therefore important that the development of policy starts with major community consultation on the process to be followed.

There has been widespread acceptance of Dr Wright’s recommendations and with some better guidance from Government we have the chance for a policy that may not necessarily be welcomed by all, but hopefully can be accepted.

If the report is found to contain inaccuracies and omissions as described in the Arnold report, will it be rejected and all references and LIM notices emanating from the report be removed from individual properties.

What is the time frame for these reports?

We ask all Councillors here today to forget politics, forget personalities.

It’s not about winning or losing, it’s about doing what’s right.

CCRU was formed with the goal of overturning the Coastal Hazards Policy.

We haven’t taken a position on the science of climate change.

We do expect the new policy to be based on sound science, with mitigation where possible and compensation discussed.


The Parliament Commissioner for the Environment in her report is recommending that the Government and Local Government work together to develop an agreed scientific based framework that will allow the Christchurch City Council to carefully work with the residents to find an acceptable solution.

The Staff recommendation as set out here is essentially a modified version of the Council’s previous controversial truncated go it alone policy to deal with the effects of climate change.

The Government recognised that the go it alone policy was not a success and that it is why it has substantially changed the process the Council was to use.

The Environment Commissioner has recommended that work start, carefully and with great consideration, on a process for a National Framework that will allow local conditions to be accommodated.

The choice is:

  • Go it alone and be subjected to more controversy​

  • Follow the Environment Commissioners Advice for a national conversation and the development of framework that allows the Council(s) to partner with Central Government.

We can work in a careful considered manner and achieve a consensus for a framework and process that is rigorously scientifically based and acceptable to our City’s Residents.

With this in mind, we do not believe the proposed staff recommendations before are appropriate given the Government’s recent actions and the Environment Commissioners report and ask that ask you consider the following:

1- The Council receive the "Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment’s report Preparing New Zealand for rising seas: certainty and uncertainty;

2- The Council provisionally, subject to a Staff Report, adopt the "Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment’s report Preparing New Zealand for rising seas: certainty and uncertainty”;

3- The Council also include in any of the above work, the effects of changes to the Flood Plains due to the effects of Climate Change;

4- The Christchurch City Council formally Submit to the Government that it adopt the "Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment’s report Preparing New Zealand for rising seas: certainty and uncertainty” and that it work with the Councils and District Councils Territorial Local Authorities (TLE) etc. to prepare appropriate legislation, National Policy Statements and policy etc. to action the recommended course of action outlined in the Report;

5- The Council work with other TLEs and the Environment Commissioner to ensure that any proposed legislation, National Policy Statements, policy recommendations etc. to ensure the Christchurch City Council can work with Christchurch Residents to successfully resolve the problems that face this city in the next 100 years and beyond;

6- The Council direct Staff to reword the wording on LIM to reflect the Council’s actions as adopted by the above recommendations;

7- The Council recognises the Tonkin and Taylor Report was not meant to be directly used as a basis for RMA District Plan Review / CCC Policy but that it may be useful after rigorous Peer Review and Public Consultation to inform the Council in its submissions and activities in dealing with the Government; and

8- The Council invited Christchurch Coastal Residents United to nominate two other experts to be part of the peer review team.

9- CCRU legal advisers have input into the terms of reference for any such review

10- We would expect that any consultants would acknowledge any conflict of interest with Tonkin and Taylor and that these would be taken into account before any engagements are confirmed.

Thank you

Mark Munro


Christchurch Coastal Residents United (CCRU)

Ph: 03 322 1209

Mobile: 021 326 184


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