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Coastal hazards group continues to lobby for LIM change

photo (c)

Christchurch Coastal Residents United (CCRU) is working with Christchurch Mayor Lianne Dalziel over coastal hazard issues.

A Christchurch group is continuing to lobby for the removal of coastal flooding and erosion information from thousands of property records.

The Christchurch City Council on Monday altered 18,000 Land Information Memorandum (LIM) reports after a panel of scientific experts last month said coastal hazard information should be removed because maps used to identify at risk properties could be "legally unsound".

One notation replaced the earlier four notations, but still identified the properties as possibly being susceptible to coastal hazards.

Christchurch Coastal Residents United (CCRU) spokesman Darrell Latham said initial legal advice highlighted an issue with the new wording. The group would spend the next two weeks working on its preferred LIM wording.

The group met with Christchurch Mayor Lianne Dalziel on Wednesday and the two parties announced on Thursday they were now working together to find a solution.

"The mayor has opened the door for us to engage in the process and wants this to happen ASAP," Latham said.

"This is an excellent outcome."

Dalziel said only the council's chief executive, Karleen Edwards, had the ability to change the LIM wording, but she was acting as a conduit to try defuse the situation and get both sides talking.

"I wanted to meet with them to understand some of the issues they had," Dalziel said.

She could not say if the wording would change in light of CCRU's latest concerns, because it was not her decision.

The council was legally obliged to add information it held about any special features of the land to LIMs, including potential natural hazards that might affect the land.

A report on the latest LIM changes was due to be discussed at Thursday's council meeting, but Dalziel let it lie on the table until the council's September 22 meeting.

Latham criticised the Government for its lack of guidance on coastal hazards.

"Coastal communities throughout New Zealand are or will be facing similar issues and we believe the Government now needs to step up and work with both councils and affected communities to ensure a way forward."

LIM reports were changed last year to reflect the potential risk of flooding or erosion as identified in Tonkin & Taylor's Coastal Hazard Assessment Report.

The report, released in July 2015, identified 6000 Christchurch properties that could be susceptible to erosion and nearly 18,000 at risk of coastal inundation over the next 50 to 100 years.

The report was subjected to a second peer review after residents questioned the science behind the report. The peer review found problems with aspects of the report and recommended changes be made.

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