Application of a risk-based planning approach in the Bay of Plenty Regional Policy Statement

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Gunnell, S.N. 2019 Application of a risk-based planning approach in the Bay of Plenty Regional Policy Statement. Lower Hutt, N.Z.: GNS Science. GNS Science report 2019/33. 24 p.; doi: 10.21420/8N30-1D86


The Bay of Plenty region is subject to a wide range of natural hazards, including earthquake, tsunami, volcanic eruption, flood, slope instability, sea level rise, coastal erosion and liquefaction (Bay of Plenty CDEM, 2018). During the development of the now operative Bay of Plenty Regional Policy Statement (BOPRPS) it was recognised that a stronger stance was needed to better manage the risk posed by natural hazards in the region, in particular the potential impacts of low probability, high consequence events such as tsunami. The natural hazards provisions of Change 2 (Natural Hazards) to the BOPRPS were adopted on 5 July 2016 and represent the first time that such a comprehensive approach to the management of natural hazard risk has been taken by a Regional Policy Statement (RPS) in New Zealand. The purpose of this research was to document the Bay of Plenty Regional Council’s (BOPRC) application of the risk-based approach in the BOPRPS. It sought to do this firstly by comparing the risk-based planning approach developed by GNS Science with the framework in the operative BOPRPS, and to consider why and how the approach was adapted for the specific context of the BOPRPS. Secondly, this report provides preliminary comments of the practical application of the BOPRPS natural hazards provisions since becoming operative three years ago. The research design that was developed to meet the aims of the project is discussed in Section 2 of this report, before a brief overview of the legislative context and key concepts relevant to the research in Sections 3 and 4. The BOPRPS development process is detailed in Section 5 to provide background to the operative policy framework, before providing preliminary comments on its practical implementation to date in Section 6. A wider discussion is held on the approach in Section 7 with recommendations and opportunities for future research identified, before concluding comments are provided in Section 8. (auth)