Homeowners want the Government to override council in sea rise spat

Homeowners want the Government to override council in sea rise spat

Christchurch Coastal Residents United (CCRU) is calling on the Government for "support" after it was announced controversial coastal flooding and erosion information won't be wiped from Land Information Memorandum (LIM) reports.

A report by Tonkin & Taylor released in July last year identified 6000 Christchurch properties as being susceptible to erosion, and nearly 18,000 which could have coastal inundation over the next 50 to 100 years.

CCRU has since been questioning the report and fighting to get the information taken off LIM reports, and recently an expert review panel advised the Christchurch City Council to remove the information because the hazard zones identifying at-risk properties may be "legally unsound".

But the council on Monday announced while it will recognise the peer review report and change the LIM information, it won't get rid of the notations altogether.

"It will be made clear in the LIM notation that further work around coastal hazards is being done and that LIM notations may change in future as a result of that work," they said in a statement.

"One single notation will replace the four earlier notations, and refer to a risk from coastal hazards, without being as specific about the extent of the risk, and not stipulate whether the risk comes from coastal erosion and/or inundation, as the notations had previously."

But CCRU spokesman Dr Darrell Latham is concerned the council will simply water down the wording, and says it's a "gutless approach".

"Tweaking the wording but leaving the notation doesn't really change anything. The notation still remains on the LIM.

"To be acceptable, any LIM notification should say that the Tonkin & Taylor report peer review found its hazards assessments are not suitable for planning purposes and are therefore being put aside by the council.  If the council was to put that on the LIM, then we would be feeling more comfortable."

He says the next move will be asking the Government to step in.

"We will be appealing to ministers and the Prime Minister to come in and sort this out on behalf of the CCRU, because quite obviously it appears the council CEO Dr Karleen Edwards and Mayor Lianne Dalziel are struggling to cope with the issue" says Dr Latham.

"Other local bodies such as Kapiti Coast District Council removed coastal hazard provisions from their LIM reports, so why won't the CCC do the same?"

He says coastal hazards are a big issue and the Government needs to "get involved in this or this issue is going to replicate itself right across the country".

The council says it is legally obliged to reveal the information it holds about any special features of the land, including potential natural hazards that might affect the land on the LIMs.

A report noting that the change has been made will go to the full council on Thursday.