Ever wondered what would happen if a major earthquake struck Kāpiti, the effect of sea level rises or what other natural hazards exist in our district?
Natural hazards are the threat of naturally occurring events that may have a negative effect on people or the environment. They include earthquakes and extreme weather events such as storms, floods, and landslides.
How to manage the risk of natural hazards is expected to be a major focus for Council and the community in the next few decades.
Six information exchanges held in May and June 2012 showed examples of Mother Nature at work in Kāpiti and shared new information about areas of particular risk.
Following on from these, working groups are starting to identify the issues and ways to respond.
In addition to the seismic hazards we all know about in New Zealand, the big global issue related to natural hazards is the impact of climate change. Over the coming decades we face increased risk of flooding and erosion caused by more intense storms and a likely rise in sea levels from a combination of melting ice and the expansion of warmer water. Coastal communities like Kāpiti are more vulnerable than most.
More information about natural hazards is in the Natural Hazard and Managed Retreat discussion document available under District Plan Review.
Scope and role of a District Plan
The District Plan includes policies and rules on land use. It is currently under review and proposed new provisions were notified for submissions in November 2012.
Council has a responsibility under the Resource Management Act 1991 to avoid development in areas of known hazard risk. This means we must identify areas of risk and look at restrictions on future use.
As part of this we are reviewing the District's vulnerability to natural hazards and looking at risk management strategies.
Because the picture is changing rapidly areas at particular risk of flooding and erosion must be regularly reviewed. In Kāpiti some areas considered safe when developed have since been identified as natural hazard zones.
To avoid increased risks we need to consider how to manage withdrawing from natural hazard zones that have already been developed. We also need to ensure there is space to pull back if risks worsen.
To be part of on-going conversations with the community on what to do about increasing climate change impacts please contact a policy planner on 04 296 4700.
Online mapping tool
Visit our online mapping tool to identify natural hazards in your area. Under Modules, top left menu, scroll down and select the 'District Plan Natural Hazard' option. Enter your address into the Address Search field at the bottom of the screen to view data on you property.