LIM “site hazards”


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.
Read more


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.
DCC Link

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr


Filed under Architecture, Construction, Design, Economics, Site

7 responses to “LIM “site hazards”

  1. Elizabeth

    ### ODT Online Tue, 30 Nov 2010
    Dunedin property warning ‘over-reaction’
    By David Loughrey
    The effect of declaring most of Dunedin’s flat land at risk of liquefaction has caught out another home buyer trying to get insurance, and real estate industry figures are warning of an overreaction to a problem they say has been blown out of proportion.
    Read more

    • Elizabeth

      Note: Post updated at top of thread with DCC media release (2.12.10).


      ### ODT Online Thu, 2 Dec 2010
      Liquefaction risk will not affect policy – insurers
      By Stu Oldham
      Declaring most of Dunedin’s flat land at risk of liquefaction will not change the way two of New Zealand’s biggest property insurers treat the city, the companies say.
      Read more

  2. Peter

    ….and the DCC paid $35.6m for stadium liquefaction land. Resale price – minus stadium? Thank you.

  3. kate

    Since liquefaction only occurs when there is seismic activity, and when that occurs EQC not insurance companies cover domestic losses I am perplexed by insurance companies not giving cover. I understand work is being done to clarify the situation.

  4. Phil

    It does have a comical side. First, everything was fine. Then, MWH decided to (or were instructed to) add a comment about liquefaction. Suddenly people couldn’t get insurance because the land might suffer from liquefaction. The solution? DCC instructs MWH to remove the line about the risk of liquefaction. Insurance companies are happy again.

    Stop the press! It’s a Goddamn engineering miracle! It’s so simple, I don’t know why no-one has ever realised this before. If you write something down, then it might happen. If you rub it out, it’s not going to happen and everyone’s happy. Brilliant.

    Easiest money those consultants ever made.

    That’s where Christchurch went wrong, I reckon. I bet you’ll find that they have a comment something like “may suffer from earthquakes” in their LIM reports. If they had the genuises in their council staff that we have been blessed with, that line would have simply been removed, and there never would have been any earthquake. I bet they are kicking themselves now.

    Over-reaction and poor humour aside, either it’s at risk or it’s not. The only qualified advice DCC have (having sold off their own engineers) says it is. But the GM of a team of ex plumbers says it’s not really a big deal. Oh well, they’d know, I guess. Anyway, it’s only a risk if you write about it.

    • Elizabeth

      ### ODT Online Fri, 3 Dec 2010
      Response to concerns
      By David Loughrey
      The Dunedin City Council has moved to change the wording on its land information memorandums (LIMs) for flat land in the city, at the same time assuring there is no need for insurers or lending institutions to change the way they provide services. The “cautionary information” in the new wording suggested no increased level of risk, city environment general manager Tony Avery said.
      Read more

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