Tag Archives: Sustainable management

DCC: Natural Hazards

Abbotsford landslide 1979 (GNS Science, Dunedin) via ORCMass movement (landslide) hazard, Abbotsford 1979 (GNS Science, Dunedin)

Dunedin City Council – Media Release
Natural Hazards Approach Being Revised

This item was published on 10 Apr 2015

The Dunedin City Council is responding to community concerns and revising its planned approach to managing natural hazards such as landslides, flooding and sea level rise.

Following public feedback from consultation carried out from June to September last year, the planned approach now has greater provision for flexible case-by-case assessment. This would apply where the level of risk is more uncertain or variable. In areas where risk is lower, there would also be opportunities to manage risk through measures such as minimum floor levels.

A technical assessment of the risks posed by natural hazards was prepared by the Otago Regional Council. DCC staff used this to develop a proposed approach for managing land use and development in at-risk areas. This approach, or preferred option, sees natural hazards managed through a set of hazard overlay zones.

Rules attached to the hazard overlays set out what activities and development would be permitted, the standards for some types of development and what may be assessed on a case-by-case basis through resource consent. Under the original proposal, approximately 8600 of Dunedin’s about 46,600 houses in residential zones were affected in one way or another by the proposed overlay zones.

DCC City Development Policy Planner Sally Dicey says the preferred option is still to manage natural hazards through hazard overlay zones. However, following submissions from 184 individuals and organisations, a peer review of a flood risk assessment and discussions with experts in the natural hazards and risk management fields, a revised approach is being developed.

Feedback highlighted the difficulties in limiting development where there was uncertainty around assessments of natural hazard risk, due to limited data, variations in and changes to topography, and site specific factors.

“Allowing for more case-by-case assessment provides greater opportunities to take site specific factors into account. Where the risk from a natural hazard is lower, mitigation measures will be required. These are likely to include higher floor levels for houses or requiring homes to be relocatable.”
–Sally Dicey, City Development Policy Planner

Developed areas within dune systems have been removed from what was originally proposed to be the extreme hazard overlay. This is because there is a lack of information about how erosion might occur over the next 100 years along our coastline. These areas are likely to be the subject of future studies and may be included in mapped hazard areas in the future. A strict management approach has been limited to areas where there is a high degree of certainty about the risk from natural hazards. Prohibited areas are no longer proposed.

“This is a sensible and practical response to balancing the known risks we all face and the concerns of the community. Staff should be congratulated both for the thorough way they have researched and prepared these documents and for responding in this way to the matters raised at public meetings and in submissions.”
–Cr David Benson-Pope, Planning and Regulatory Committee

Ms Dicey says it’s important to remember the proposed changes mainly affect new development. In general, existing activities will carry on as usual.

Hazard overlay zones are proposed for floodplains, low-lying coastal communities and hills prone to landslides. This includes areas such as Brighton, Karitane, Macandrew Bay, Waikouaiti, Waitati and parts of the Taieri Plain.

The Dunedin City Council is preparing a new District Plan, the second generation District Plan (2GP). The ultimate goal of the Plan is the sustainable management of Dunedin’s natural and physical resources. Under the Resource Management Act, the DCC is responsible for managing land use to avoid or mitigate the effects of natural hazards. The DCC is also required to consider the effects of climate change and keep a record of natural hazards. The District Plan is scheduled to be publicly notified in September. The revised approach to natural hazards will be released as part of that consultation process. That will give people an opportunity to raise any remaining issues or concerns on the revised approach.

█ A report summarising the feedback received last year on the preferred approach to natural hazards is available at http://www.dunedin.govt.nz/2gp

Contact Sally Dicey, Policy Planner on 03 477 4000. DCC Link

Related Post and Comments:
10.12.13 ORC restructures directorates
30.7.12 ORC on hazard risks and land use controls
24.8.09 1. STS response – appeal. 2. Coastal protection – comments

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

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RMA and Key’s right-wing slashers

BACKWARD STEP: Our environment is at risk if the Resource Management act is watered down.Anton Oliver [stuff.co.nz]

### stuff.co.nz Last updated 05:00 21/07/2013
Gutting the RMA – it’s time to be concerned
By Anton Oliver
Source: Sunday Star-Times
OPINION | The Resource Management Act (RMA) has sadly become a much maligned and misunderstood piece of legislation: a kind of universal public punching bag – if mentioned in conversation, it is almost obligatory to put the slipper in. To most Kiwis it represents bureaucracy and inefficiency – pen-pushing do-gooders and paper shufflers who engage us in excessively long and costly processes that get in the way of us Kiwis doing stuff.
In fact the RMA – passed in 1991 – was a means of rectifying mistakes and providing at least some environmental and social integrity to development and planning process. It was recognised by legal minds to be a world-leading piece of legislation. It protected our environment and our economy based on the premise of sustainable resource management. What’s more, it was politically robust in that it received the blessing of both major parties.
It also gave New Zealanders a chance to be heard and it facilitated local decisions made by local people. While the country’s environmental indicators such as water quality and biodiversity loss have still gone backwards – the RMA has stemmed what would otherwise have been fatal haemorrhaging.
Similarly, the RMA has protected a set of fundamental Kiwi values: the notion of fairness and equity in regard to everyone having a right to their say; industry and other activities being required to take responsibility for avoiding, remedying or mitigating adverse environmental impacts; and developments being required to have regard to effects on such things as recreation, scenic values, private property rights, and the public’s access to rivers, lakes and beaches.
That’s all about to change.
The Government plans to alter the Act to give greater weight to economic development over environmental considerations, granting to itself the right to veto any issue. You don’t have to be legal-minded to see the impact of subtle word changes. While the consideration for the “benefits” of a project remains, gone are any references to the “costs”, making a cost-benefit analysis redundant because environmental “cost” is out of the equation.
Gone, too, are the words: “maintenance and enhancement of amenity values”. That’s basically any recreational activity – walking, running, swimming, fishing, kayaking. Who likes doing that stuff anyway? Thankfully the “importance and value of historic heritage” stays. But its cobber, “protection from inappropriate subdivision and development” gets the boot – making the first clause meaningless. And my personal favourite, “maintenance and enhancement of the quality of the environment” has been politely asked to leave. Clearly such an unruly clause has no place in a legal act that’s trying to protect the environment.

The Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment, Jan Wright, has a different interpretation. She thinks the changes “muddy the overwhelming focus of the RMA, to protect the environment, and risk turning it into an Economic Development Act”. Similarly alarmed, the architect of the RMA, Sir Geoffrey Palmer, concludes: “The [proposed changes] will significantly and seriously weaken the ability of the RMA to protect the natural environment and its recreational enjoyment by all New Zealanders.”

The changes also grant considerable new powers to central government, giving it the ability to take individual consent decisions away from local councils and place them in a new national body. The changes go further still, by allowing government the right to insert provisions in local council plans without any consultation.
Read more

● Former All Black Anton Oliver is an ambassador for Water Conservation Order NZ.

Related Posts and Comments:
21.4.13 *fashionable* Heritage Dunedin and the RMA holocaust
17.3.13 RMA Bill: Public meeting 21 March
6.7.12 Recommended changes to RMA explode environmental protection

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

*Image: stuff.co.nz – Anton Oliver

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Recommended changes to RMA explode environmental protection

Technical advisory group’s report recommends significant changes to section 6 of the RMA…the proposal to drop the requirement for decision makers to provide for the preservation and protection of indigenous vegetation and habitats as matters of national importance ignores Environment Court case law built up over the last 20 years.

### ODT Online Thu, 5 Jul 2012
Proposed changes reduce RMA protection
By Adam Bennett – New Zealand Herald
A Government-appointed advisory group has recommended a significant rewrite of the Resource Management Act removing references to the protection of coastal areas, wetlands, lakes and rivers and indigenous flora and fauna. Environment Minister Amy Adams released the report from a technical advisory group established after the Canterbury earthquakes with the primary task of looking at natural hazard issues relevant to the RMA arising from the quakes. “After the Canterbury earthquakes, it became clear that consents for subdivisions had been granted without any consideration of the risk of liquefaction,” Ms Adams said in a statement. However, the group’s report addresses much wider issues and recommends significant changes to section 6 of the RMA.

As it stands [section 6] instructs local authorities to recognise and provide for the protection or preservation of the natural character of the coastal environment, wetlands, lakes and rivers when considering RMA applications. They must also provide for the protection of outstanding natural features and landscapes and areas of significant indigenous vegetation or wildlife. Protection must also be provided for historic heritage and protected customary rights while public access to and along the coastal marine area, lakes and rivers must be maintained. However the group’s recommendation proposes removing the words “protection” and “preservation” from the section entirely.
Read more

****

### radionz.co.nz Friday 6 July 2012
Morning Report with Geoff Robinson & Simon Mercep
http://www.radionz.co.nz/national/programmes/morningreport

08:13 Independent report a major assault on the RMA – Opposition
Opposition parties say recommended changes to the Resource Management Act by independent advisory group are a major assault on the sustainable management of the environment. (3′57″)
Audio | Download: Ogg Vorbis MP3 | Embed

More reading via Scoop
Greens – Report ‘Major Assault On The RMA’
NZ Govt – Report on Resource Management Act principles released
Labour – RMA changes risk more litigation
ACT – RMA Principles Report Encouraging But More Boldness Required
Maori Party – Māori Party comfortable with direction of RMA report
Fish and Game NZ – RMA rejig a disaster for the environment

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

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D Scene – train building, buses and forest products

### D Scene 5-4-10
City to take case to KiwiRail (page 5)
By Mike Houlahan
Today a Dunedin delegation, headed by Chamber of Commerce chief executive John Christie, meets KiwiRail to put the case for the firm’s Hillside Workshops to be part of a bid to build new carriages and engines for Auckland’s rail system.

Christie said the meeting was proceeding despite [Transport Minister Steve] Joyce and [KiwiRail chief executive Jim] Quinn’s comments, and that he did not regard the exercise as a fool’s errand.

{continues} #bookmark

Passengers lose out in timetable decision (page 6)
By Wilma McCorkindale
Industry players say they have missed the bus and passengers have been short changed because of an Otago Regional Council u-turn on a planned improved timetable for its southern routes to Green Island and beyond. Informed sources – who would not be named – said the council should have re-tendered the routes and consulted on them again because of massive eleventh hour changes it allowed in awarding the contract.
{continues} #bookmark

Register to read D Scene online at http://fairfaxmedia.newspaperdirect.com/

Talk: Dunedin on Dunedin (page 9)
Your say: Letters to the editor
South Dunedin not doing that bad by Elaine Cole, Caversham
Incorrect conclusions by Keith Harris, Dunedin
#bookmark

NZ on show at World Expo (page 13)
When World Expo 2010 opened in Shanghai on Saturday, New Zealand showed itself to the world, but just what does it take to represent contemporary Aotearoa? Sarah Catheral finds out. Fairfax
{continues} #bookmark

Biz: Crunching the numbers
More than just logging: Very much an NZ company (pages 20-21)
For many Dunedinites the smoke from the Mount Allan fire earlier this year was the first time Wenita Forest Products impacted on our lives. However, the timber firm has closer ties with the local community than that.
Mike Houlahan reports.

  • Wenita owns and manages about 30,000ha of forest in the Clutha and Dunedin districts.
  • Around 60% of Wenita’s annual harvest is exported – mainly to China, but it also sells to Korea, India and occasionally Vietnam. The remainder is sold to customers from Canterbury to Southland.
  • All forests are managed on a sustainable basis, with 1400-1500ha of trees planted annually to replace that year’s crop. Trees generally remain in the ground between 27 and 30 years before being felled.
  • {continues} #bookmark

    Post by Elizabeth Kerr

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