7. Natural Hazards
7.1 Section Introduction
7.1.1 The Resource Management Act empowers Council to control
any actual or potential effects of the use, development, or
protection of land for the purpose of the avoidance or mitigation
of natural hazards.
Natural hazards include:
"any atmospheric or earth or water related occurrence
(including earthquake, tsunami, erosion, volcanic and geothermal
activity, landlip, subsidence, sedimentation, wind, drought, fire
or flooding) the action of which adversely affects or may adversely
affect human life, property, or other aspects of the
7.1.3 Those natural hazards that have the potential to affect
the district include:
7.1.4 Natural hazard management is the responsibility of both
Opotiki District Council and Bay of Plenty Regional Council. There
is an overlap with functions of the Bay of Plenty Regional Council,
which focuses on regional management of natural hazards through the
Operative Bay of Plenty Regional Policy Statement and the Operative
Regional Coastal Environment Plan. The New Zealand Coastal Policy
Statement also has requirements for natural hazard management
within the coastal environment that the District Plan must take
7.1.5 The effects of natural hazards can include destruction of
habitats, structural damage to buildings and services, disruption
to transportation routes, destruction of commercial centres and
residences, loss of crops and stock and can result in the loss of
human life. There are resultant financial, personal, psychological,
social, and environmental costs associated with the effects.
7.1.6 It is not possible to avoid natural hazard occurrence,
however it is possible to manage the effects of land use activities
with a view to avoiding of mitigating adverse effects of natural
hazards. Council has collected information on natural hazards
within the Opotiki district. This information relates to areas
susceptible to hazard occurrence, frequency of occurrence, and
intensity of the potential hazards. This work also identified
information inadequacies on natural hazards, these inadequacies
will be addressed over the next ten years as part of Council's
state of the environment monitoring programme.
7.1.7 Good land management practices contribute to avoiding and
mitigating natural hazards. Some practices such as planting forests
and protecting wetlands, limit the vulnerability of some areas to
flooding, land erosion, and other damage. Planning to reduce the
adverse effects of natural hazards is important at a district level
as hazards can have significant localised effects.
7.1.8 In addition, the Council has an interest in this matter as
it is responsible for providing services and utilities necessary
for the well being of communities. A major effect from hazard
occurrence is the damage done to physical infrastructure and the
temporary loss of service that occurs. The safe and efficient
delivery of water supplies, sewerage networks, electricity
networks, and telephone services can be disrupted. Transportation
networks can also be disrupted with areas within the district being
isolated, and vital links to areas outside the district being
7.1.9 The district community is aware of the natural hazard risk
from river flooding, ponding of waters, coastal erosion, coastal
inundation, land erosion, and storm surge events which have
occurred within the last five years. The objectives and policies of
the Plan, and the assessment criteria for controlled and
discretionary activities, will assist in ensuring that natural
hazards, and the effects of the hazards, are taken into account in
resource management decisions.
7.1.10 In the future it may be necessary to assess, in
conjunction with Environment Bay of Plenty, long term options for
managing potential effects of flooding on the residential and
commercial areas of Opotiki township.
7.1.11 Council is in the formative stages of developing a
Coastal Hazards Monitoring Programme. The programme will consist of
an initial assessment of risk relating to the coastal hazard areas.
This initial assessment will provide an indication of priority
areas where more detailed assessments of coastal hazards are
required. The Coastal Hazards Monitoring Programme will be
undertaken in conjunction with Environment Bay of Plenty to ensure
integrated management of the coastal environment.
7.2 Resource Management Strategy
7.2.1 Resource management issues
1. Opotiki township is subject to flood occurrences, with
particular areas of the urban area subject to ponding of flood
2. Accelerated land degradation has resulted from inappropriate
land practices, such as clearing of steep slopes, overgrazing or
over cropping of land, and poor subdivision and development design.
Resultant effects include increased sediment run-off, soil
structure instability, destabilisation of hill slopes, and
increased downstream flooding.
3. There is potential for damage to existing and future coastal
and river settlements from the effects of coastal erosion and
4. There is a need for mitigation measures to be taken by those
persons wishing to locate on areas susceptible to natural hazards,
particularly river inundation and coastal hazard areas.
5. Some parts of the district are unsuitable for development due
to coastal erosion and land erosion.
6. There is an increased risk of some areas in the district from
flooding due to the inability of watercourses to handle run-off
from intensive rainfall, and inadequate on-site ponding.
7. In some instances the effects of natural hazards can be
mitigated by the acquisition of esplanade areas adjoining inland
and coastal water bodies.
8. The ponding areas within the Opotiki township that act as
natural flood water catchment areas need to be protected from
development that may decrease their effectiveness.
9. The need to locate and design new subdivision, use and
development so that the need for hazard protection works is
10. 10. There is increased risk in some areas of the district
from fire, particularly where there is plantation forestry and a
limited capacity of water for fire-fighting purposes.
7.2.2 Objectives and policies
Objective 1. Ensuring that the effects of natural hazard
occurrence within the district are avoided or mitigated when making
resource management decisions.
Policies 1.1 To control activities and the location of buildings
to avoid or mitigate the effects of natural hazards.
1.2 Require detailed site investigations prior to subdivision,
use, or development of land subject to or likely to be subject to
1.3 Apply conditions on subdivision and resource consents to
mitigate adverse effects of natural hazards from the use and
development of land.
1.4 Ensure that the ponding areas of the Opotiki township are
kept free from activities that affect the effectiveness of the
1.5 Require esplanade reserves or esplanade strips where
appropriate as a mechanism to mitigate potential effects from
1.6 To avoid new development in areas at risk of coastal hazards
in the Ohiwa Spit Coastal Hazard Overlay Area.
Objective 2. Encourage the use of sustainable land management
practices that assist in avoiding and mitigating the effects of
natural hazards on the land and coastal environment.
Policy 2.1 To encourage land management practices that reduce
2.2 To locate and design subdivision, land use, and development
within coastal areas so that the need for hazard protection works
2.3 Where subdivisional land use activities are threatened by a
coastal hazard, the following options will be considered:
Objective 3. An informed community aware of the natural hazards
that can occur in the district, including the likely frequency,
scale, and intensity anticipated from these hazards.
Policies 3.1 Ensure that all Council databases on natural
hazards are kept as current as possible.
3.2 Provide the community and resource consent applicants with
all available information that Council holds on natural hazards
within the district.
3.3 Council will undertake a programme of natural hazard risk
assessment for the district. As this natural hazard information is
obtained it will be inserted into the District Plan by way of
variation or through the Plan Change process
7.2.3 Methods of implementation
The objectives and policies of this section will be implemented
by the following objectives.
2. Other methods
The following rules provide for permitted activities, controlled
activities, discretionary activities and non-complying
7.3.1 Permitted activities
The permitted activities with respect to the management of the
effects of natural hazards are:
1. Structures located within the ponding areas, as
identified on Planning Maps 3A, 3B, and 3C that have a floor level
of 3.6 metres or higher above Moturiki datum.
7.3.2 Controlled activities
The following activities are controlled activities in any Zone
except in the Ohiwa Spit Coastal Hazard Overlay Area in relation to
natural hazard management. The activities may be established after
a land use consent has been granted by Council.
1. Structures located within the ponding areas, as identified on
Planning Maps 3A, 3B, and 3C that have a floor level lower than
3.6 m above Moturiki datum except where:
The structure is a garage or carport
i. The part of the structure to be so located is a basement.
ii No part of the structure will be used for residential
2. Activities that comply with 7.3.3 2. B.
3. Activities located within areas sensitive to coastal hazards
(ASCH) as defined by the Operative Regional Coastal Environment
Plan [or identified coastal hazard areas] where a report from a
suitably qualified person detailing:
(i) The impacts of the perceived hazard on the proposed
(ii) The impacts of the proposed activity on the perceived
(iii) Where the outcome of the report indicates there will be no
significant adverse effects from the activity, or from the
Council has reserved control over the following matters.
220.127.116.11 Natural hazard mitigation matters
i. The extent to which the effects of the hazard, or the effects
of the activity on the hazard, can be remedied or mitigated.
ii. The ground level or floor level height required to give
iii. Mitigation measures used to avoid, remedy, or mitigate the
adverse effects of erosion, falling debris, subsidence, slippage or
iv. The need for the erection of sea walls and their subsequent
v. Adequacy of existing outfalls and any need of upgrading.
vi. Any need for retention basins to regulate the rate and
volume of surface run-off.
18.104.22.168 Extent of the natural hazard
i. The extent to which the natural hazard applies only to part
of the site, and consequently whether the proposed activity would
be unaffected by the hazard, and would not in turn affect the
ii. The extent to which the activity would worsen the risk posed
by the natural hazard, or would accentuate the effects of the
iii. The type of flooding likely to be experienced, whether it
is stormwater, ponding, tidal inundation, or some combination of
circumstances which could lead to surface flooding.
22.214.171.124 Stability and geology of the site
i. The need for a geotechnical assessment of the site.
ii. The geology of the site including any relationship of effect
on areas of actual or potential instability of the site. Any
susceptibility of the hazard from over steepening of the slope
and/or water saturation.
126.96.36.199 Excavation and fill effects
i. The nature of any fill and its effects on the stability of
the site, and the potential of the fill to become unstable during
natural hazard events.
ii. Whether there is a need for large excavations to be carried
out in stages, with each stage being retained before the next stage
iii. The effects of any proposed filling being undertaken to
avoid inundation and the consequential effects on the natural
drainage pattern adjoining the land.
188.8.131.52 Effects on the environment and adjoining properties
i. Effects of the activity on the functioning of the district's
ii. Any flooding being accentuated on adjacent sites, or of
additional water being directed onto adjacent sites as a result of
iii. The nature of the activity proposed, and whether the
activity will involve the use, storage, or disposal of hazardous
substances, and the effect of this on neighbouring properties and
iv. The effects of stormwater run-off on neighbouring
v. Any proposed boundary drainage to protect surrounding
Council may impose conditions on a resource consent for a
controlled activity only in relation to those matters stated
7.3.3 Discretionary activities
The Council may grant or refuse a resource consent for a
discretionary activity. The following activities may be established
after a land use consent has been granted by Council.
1. Activities undertaken within the urban areas of the Opotiki
township, excluding the Woodlands residential area, that adversely
affect the functioning or capacity of the Volkners Island ponding
area, including the deposition of any fill within the Volkners
Island ponding area as shown on Planning Maps 3A and 3C.
2.A With the exception of buildings located within the Ohiwa
Spit Coastal Hazard Overlay Area activities located within Areas
Sensitive to Coastal Hazards (ASCH) as defined by the Operative
Regional Coastal Environment Plan, that are:
(a) A new structure requiring consent under the Building Act,
other than decks, fences and internal alterations, and
(b) Any new network utility.
Applications for resource consent must include as assessment of
the coastal hazard risk, which is to take into account the
B. Provided that
With the exception of buildings located within the Ohiwa Spit
Coastal Hazard Overlay Area when a resource consent application is
lodged with Council, and is accompanied with a report from a
suitably qualified person detailing:
i. The impacts of the perceived hazard on the proposed activity;
ii. The impacts of the proposed activity on the perceived
Where the outcome of the report indicates that there will be no
significant effects from the activity, then the activity shall be a
C. Buildings within the Ohiwa Spit Coastal Hazard Overlay Area
shall be non-complying activities.
7.3.4 Non-complying Activities
Any new building (including structures) as defined in the
Building Act 2004 within the Ohiwa Spit Coastal Hazard Overlay Area
shall be a non-complying activity.
In addition to the information required to be lodged with an
application for resource consent, any application within the Ohiwa
Spit Coastal Hazard Overlay Area must be accompanied by a report
detailing consultation with iwi.
7.4 Zone Standards
The standards are stated in each of the Zone sections of the
See Section 10 Subdivision
7.6 Other Methods
7.6.1 The objective and policies of the Zone can be implemented
by the rules, as well as the following other methods.
1. Utilise Sections 71 and 72 of the Building Act 2004 where
buildings are located within hazard areas.
2. Encourage Coast Care programmes as a mechanism to ensure that
the integrity of the coast and dune systems are maintained.
3. Consideration of the effects of land re-contouring, and the
effects of drainage networks on areas susceptible to natural
hazards when assessing resource consent applications.
4. Encourage landowners to amalgamate natural hazard concerns
into Environmental Plans that are lodged with the Bay of Plenty
Regional Council .
5. Use consent notices as a mechanism to ensure that buildings
within subdivisions are located on areas within a site where the
effects of natural hazard occurrence can be avoided or
6. As part of the overall state of the environment monitoring
programme, Council shall:
i. Conduct a natural hazard assessment of the Coastal Zone and
the Coastal Residential Zone; and
ii. Create and maintain a natural hazards register for the
7. Make submissions to Bay of Plenty Regional Council 's Annual
Plan so that the natural hazard study requirements of the Opotiki
District Council are considered for Annual Plan inclusion.
8. Provide information to raise landowners awareness of the
different management practices that may increase or decrease the
potential threat of erosion and other natural hazards.
9. Raise community awareness of natural hazards within the
district through the use of Civil Defence education programmes.
10. Through the use of Land Information Memoranda (LIM) and
Project Information Memoranda (PIM) to provide information on known
hazards to potential developers and applicants.
11. Preparation by Environment Bay of Plenty in consultation
with Opotiki District Council and other interested parties, of a
floodplain management strategy for the Waioeka-Otara catchment.
12. Preparation by Environment Bay of Plenty in consultation
with District Council's and other interested parties, of a region
wide Natural Hazards Strategy.
13. Preparation by Environment Bay of Plenty and Opotiki
District Council of their respective responsibilities under the
Civil Defence legislation for disaster planning, response and
Other related legislation includes soil conservation and rivers
control act 1941, local government act 1974 and civil defence
7.7.1 The reasons for the foregoing objectives, policies and
methods are stated below.
7.7.2 Under the Act the Council has responsibility for the
control of any actual or potential effects of the use, development,
or protection of land, including for the purpose of avoidance or
mitigation of natural hazards. Management of land to avoid or
mitigate natural hazards, enabling people to provide for their
safety, health, and wellbeing. Council will make resource
management decisions based on all the information available to it
at the time.
7.7.3 Hazards information held by Council will be updated on a
regular basis as a part of Council's overall state of the
environment monitoring. Some of the hazards information held by
Council will not need to be updated, such as information on
seismicity and ground shaking. Information related to inundation
and coastal hazards will need to be kept as current as is
7.8 Anticipated Environmental Outcomes
7.8.1 Below are the anticipated environmental outcomes from the
implementation of the objectives and policies of this section.
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