Using RiskScape to inform section 32 assessments under the Resource Management Act 1991 : a pilot study

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Grace, E.S.; Horspool, N.A.; Williams, J.; Lin, S.-L.; Paulik, R. 2017 Using RiskScape to inform section 32 assessments under the Resource Management Act 1991 : a pilot study. Lower Hutt, N.Z.: GNS Science. GNS Science report 2017/52. 33 p.; doi: 10.21420/G2MD2K

Abstract: Land use planning decisions in New Zealand, including those that aim to manage levels of risk from natural hazards, are regulated by the Resource Management Act 1991 (RMA). The RMA includes a requirement to quantify costs and benefits of proposed policy options. A project has been undertaken to determine whether RiskScape, a risk modelling tool, can offer a means of quantifying costs and benefits relating to risk management options in the manner required by section 32 of the RMA. An actual plan change to manage flood risk in Palmerston North City was chosen as a case study. This imposed a minimum floor level requirement for new buildings, above the 0.5% annual exceedance probability flood level. Using RiskScape, two scenarios were modelled and then compared: a future built environment with and without the minimum floor level in place. Results produced were losses avoided by imposing the requirement. This was found to be useful quantitative information to inform the assessments of costs and benefits and efficiency and effectiveness that are required by section 32 of the RMA. The quantitative data are able to replace generalised qualitative statements that are common in section 32 assessments, and improve the robustness and transparency of the assessment. Key practicalities for using RiskScape to inform section 32 assessments were found to be the availability of asset, hazard and vulnerability data, and a planning framework that provides enough certainty about what a future built environment might look like. (auth)