Christchurch City Council's draft Natural Hazards Chapter

The Christchurch City Council has recently released its draft Natural Hazards Chapter as part of its District Plan Review. Comments on this chapter can be submitted up to Wednesday, 30 April 2014.  The chapter addresses the key natural hazards of flooding, liquefaction, and slope instability.

The chapter aims to reduce the risk from natural hazards, increase public awareness of these hazards and facilitate the repair of earthquake damaged land. It proposes to do so through avoiding development where there is an unacceptable risk to life, avoiding locating critical infrastructure in areas affected by significant natural hazards, and restricting use to avoid or mitigate hazards.

In relation to flooding, this chapter significantly expands the Flood Management Area (‘FMA’). The chapter also introduces a new area within the FMA known as the fixed minimum floor level overlay and makes provisions for minimum floor levels in the FMA for residential construction activities. It also provides some exemptions for recession plane incursions where they are caused by the need to raise minimum floor levels. The chapter also addresses filling and excavation within the FMA for the repair of land for residential purposes; allowing it as a permitted activity provided certain requirements are met.

For liquefaction risk, the plan identifies an area known as Liquefaction Assessment Area One (“LAA1”). LAA1 covers the majority of Christchurch, excluding some of the western side of the city. The chapter indicates that some activities, such as large subdivision developments within the LAA1 area, will require restricted discretionary consent. The chapter notes that where this is the case a geotechnical assessment is required to be undertaken by a chartered professional engineer with competence in geotechnical engineering as part of any application.

The chapter also addresses land stability in the Port Hills and Banks Peninsula area.  It does this through providing for new zoning areas, and restricting activities such as subdivision and earthworks in these areas.  These areas can be seen on the draft Slope Instability Hazard Management Areas Map.

You can locate the chapter and further information here:

 The Council is looking for feedback on this draft chapter. You can submit any comments by emailing the Council planners at Concealed for privacy by 30 April 2014.


Posted on Monday 14th April, 2014 at 09:18 am