Natural hazards in Canterbury : planning for reduction, stage 2

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Forsyth, P.J. 2008 Natural hazards in Canterbury : planning for reduction, stage 2. Lower Hutt, N.Z.: GNS Science. GNS Science report 2008/17 41 p.

Abstract: This report reviews the coverage of natural hazards in planning and related documents and the linkages between these documents. It analyses documents from the Canterbury Region and five districts within it (Kaikoura, Ashburton, Timaru, Mackenzie and Waimate). This is the second study of natural hazard planning in Canterbury - the first report (Forsyth 2006) covered the Canterbury Region generally, together with Hurunui, Waimakariri and Selwyn districts, and Christchurch City. Documents consulted include: the Canterbury Civil Defence Emergency Management (CDEM) Group Plan, Canterbury Regional Policy Statement and regional plans, district plans, long term council community plans (LTCCPs), annual plans, council websites, growth and development strategies, and floodplain management strategies. The inclusion of risk Reduction measures for natural hazards has been analysed in each document. This report specifically refers to hazards of a geological nature or those whose impact can be gauged from the geological record. At the regional level, the ten-yearly review of the Regional Policy Statement, with a significant re-write of the Natural Hazards chapter, should result in better strategies for dealing with natural hazards at regional and district levels. The Canterbury CDEM Group has also reviewed parts of its plan, resulting in an updated Recovery section (Reduction has become a larger part of this process). The Hazards section is due to be revised in the near future. At the district level, planning documents vary in their coverage of natural hazards. All District Plans studied cover natural hazards to some degree, give data and management strategies, and contain statements and rules about risk Reduction. LTCCPs generally have little natural hazard coverage, and Annual Plans tend to be very close to their LTCCPs. Most growth strategies, apart from the Greater Christchurch Urban Development Strategy, have minimal coverage of hazards and risk Reduction. Council websites generally have some coverage of natural hazards on their Civil Defence pages. The Regional Coastal Environment Plan is being used by districts to a limited extent; in one case the hazard lines published by Environment Canterbury (ECan) are shown on planning maps and in another, rules for the coastal area are delegated to ECan. Two older District Plans pre-date the Regional Coastal Environment Plan, and one district in the study does not have a coastline. Flood hazard is a major concern in all districts studied, and all have some coverage of this hazard on maps. Local floodplain management strategies vary in content and approach, from the old “catchment board” style of plan to modern formats integrating structural and nonstructural measures. All the District Plans studied use setbacks from waterways, stopbanks and/or the coast, but none apply to active fault lines. Methods of analysing hazard and risk are not stated and many plans require an expert to d etermine risks at particular sites. Sources of information on hazard planning maps are not given on the maps themselves; some plans give this information elsewhere and others not at all. However, many examples of good planning practice were noted during the study. (auth)