The LIM included a short statement under the “hazards” section, subtitled “site hazards”. It read: “This property is within an area that may be subject to increased seismic movement. The land at this address may be at risk of liquefaction in a severe earthquake. A site-specific foundation design may be required for this site.” Without a change, every home on reclaimed land in the city could find the wording on their LIMs.
### ODT Online Sat, 27 Nov 2010
Threat to property insurance
By David Loughrey
A significant tract of Dunedin’s flat land has been declared at risk of liquefaction, with the potential to jeopardise insurance cover in the area. The issue could affect home owners from Andersons Bay to North Dunedin, but Dunedin City Council officials yesterday promised to look into the matter immediately, after it was brought to their attention by the Otago Daily Times.
Dunedin City Council – Media release
DCC Explains Stance on Liquefaction
2 December 2010
Following the Canterbury earthquake earlier this year, the DCC’s consulting engineers, MWH Ltd, suggested it would be prudent to give greater prominence to cautionary advice on Land Information Memoranda (LIMs) issued by the DCC for any property where there was a risk of liquefaction as a result of seismic activity.
Acting on this advice, the DCC believed it would be prudent to change the wording on LIMs and, accordingly, did so.
The message now reads:
* “This area has been identified as lying within a zone susceptible to amplified shaking in an earthquake and potential liquefaction during a severe earthquake event. The Dunedin City Council will require a site specific design for any new building foundation construction in this area.”
Such a change does not indicate any increase in risk but rather the public’s growing awareness, and interest in, the prospect of liquefaction in certain areas and under certain circumstances.
In Dunedin, there are significant areas of population living on reclaimed land or close to estuaries or rivers – as they have safely done for generations – where it is sensible to draw attention to such a risk, however slight. Indeed DCC Building Control has always required building foundation construction to take into account such conditions.
The DCC is of the view that its first responsibility is to property owners and buyers and it believes that the change in the way this cautionary information is offered suggests no increased level of risk, and should give no cause for a change in the way insurers or lending institutions provide services as they have done in the past.
Contact DCC on 477 4000.
Posted by Elizabeth Kerr