Search your property - current natural hazard maps
Tips for finding your property:
- Type the address in full such as 10 Example Road or 10 Example Street, instead of using street name abbreviations (Rd or St etc)
- If there are identical addresses in other parts of the District, you’ll need to type in community abbreviations e.g. Beach Road (KK), Beach Road (MAK) or Beach Road (WB). Help with identical addresses
- If searching by Parcel ID, recent letters from us about natural hazards show your Parcel ID number.
Natural hazard maps are being updated
Western Bay of Plenty District Council (Council) and Bay of Plenty Regional Council (Regional Council) are updating the natural hazard maps for the District.
This includes a review of the current maps we already have in the District Plan for flooding (from extreme rainfall), coastal inundation (flooding from the sea), coastal erosion and land instability. It will also involve mapping other natural hazards such as tsunami, liquefaction, active faults and volcanic hazards.
These maps will show the extent of land expected to be covered by each natural hazard event and will provide information about the likelihood of future events.
This information will help people make informed decisions about undertaking building works, buying property or preparing for a natural disaster. As each hazard map is completed, landowners will be notified and the information will be made available on Council's website. It will also be included on property files and in any land information memoranda (LIMs) requested for properties.
Once available, the hazard maps will also be used by Council staff when processing resource consents, project information memoranda and building consents to ensure that the risk from natural hazards to people and buildings is assessed.
Mapping of all natural hazards will take at least five years. Our District is geographically diverse and large, covering 212,000 hectares and consisting of several communities situated along the harbour, coastline or rivers, or on reclaimed land, plains, hills or cliff edges.
We also need to set aside time for important follow-on steps such as risk assessment for each hazard, finding ways to reduce the identified level of risk, and updating maps and rules in the District Plan based on these findings.
We have a number of projects underway and the first hazard maps are now available:
- Flooding at Waihi Beach, Athenree and Bowentown
- Flooding along the Wairoa River (downstream of the Ruahihi Power Station)
- Tsunami at Maketu, Pukehina and Little Waihi
We also have maps from older projects which we are making available:
- Liquefaction - District-wide
Other hazard maps will also be available soon:
- Tsunami at Waihi Beach, Athenree and Bowentown (late 2018)
- Coastal erosion and coastal inundation along the Tauranga Harbour (late 2018)
The remainder of natural hazard maps for the District will be completed over the coming years.
Frequently asked questions about the review of natural hazards
Why are the councils doing this work?
Natural hazards can pose a significant risk to people's lives and wellbeing as well as to buildings and infrastructure. The Resource Management Act (RMA) has recently been amended to require councils to manage significant risks from natural hazards as a matter of national importance. The Bay of Plenty Regional Policy Statement (RPS) has also been changed to set out the way in which natural hazards are to be mapped and how risks are to be identified and managed. Council must now follow the national and regional direction given.
Why does it have it be done now?
It is important to identify land susceptible to natural hazards so that we are aware of the risks involved and can plan to reduce those risks. Recent events such as the Christchurch earthquakes and Edgecumbe flood have highlighted the need to take natural hazard risk more seriously. Councils also need to respond to new requirements in legislation within a certain time.
What should I do in the event of a natural disaster?
If a disaster happened now would you be ready? Natural hazards have the potential to cause disruption, property damage and take lives, so it is vital that you prepare now. Visit the Get Thru website to learn how to get ready, so you'll get through.
You can also stay up to date with the latest local Civil Defence and Emergency Management alerts and news at bopcivildefence.govt.nz.
Didn't Council recently identify natural hazards in my area? Why do it again?
Council has always sought to keep natural hazard information up to date. For example, we have recently reviewed coastal erosion and coastal inundation at Waihi Beach, Bowentown and Pukehina, flooding at the northern end of Waihi Beach and in Te Puke and land stability areas in the Minden Lifestyle Zone. We are mindful of not going back to the same communities with similar reviews too soon; however we need to review all hazards across the District because our current maps are not sufficient to meet the new requirements.
What natural hazards are being mapped and when?
For a full list of current and upcoming projects and their timeframes please visit the Regional Council's natural hazards website.
When will the mapping process be complete?
We don't know exactly when the process of identifying all natural hazards will be complete but it is likely to take at least five years.
Are these natural hazards affected by climate change?
Yes, many natural hazards will be influenced by the effects of climate change such as sea level rise and the increasing intensity of rainfall. Examples of hazards affected by climate change include flooding (from extreme rainfall), coastal inundation (flooding from the sea), coastal erosion, tsunami and liquefaction.
Can we trust the science behind the identification of natural hazards?
As with any future projections, there are always going to be uncertainties. However, to ensure we get things as accurate as possible, all natural hazard maps will be based on the latest scientific knowledge and best practice. Regional and national guidance is also provided through the requirements of the Regional Policy Statement (RPS) and New Zealand Coastal Policy Statement (NZCPS). Also, when completing the mapping, the councils work with experts who can demonstrate an ability to achieve these requirements.
What is meant by a risk assessment?
For an explanation of the risk assessment process, please visit the Regional Council's natural hazards webpage.
Why is a District Plan Change necessary?
The District Plan will need to be changed to meet the requirements of the Resource Management Act (RMA) and Bay of Plenty Regional Policy Statement (RPS). Updating the District Plan will show landowners and developers what areas are subject to natural hazards and what restrictions apply within them.
Can I still build on land identified with natural hazards?
Yes, but there are some restrictions. For example; in floodable areas and coastal inundation areas minimum floor levels are required for dwellings and other habitable buildings; within coastal erosion areas only one dwelling can be built per title and these must be designed to be relocatable; and in land stability areas a geotechnical report is required to ensure buildings are established on solid foundations.
I'm currently building or have just finished building on a property not identified with a natural hazard – what will it mean for me if a hazard is identified later?
If you are currently building and have the necessary consents all you need to do is ensure you complete the building works in accordance with those consents and their timeframes.
However, if the project is not completed in time and you need to re-apply for consents, you will be required to address any newly identified natural hazards. If you have finished building in accordance with the necessary consents and their timeframes, the identification of a natural hazard won't affect the building works.
Note: If you have not commenced building yet but have the necessary consent/s, you can continue with your project as per the consent/s, but may want to consider taking into account any updated natural hazard information.
What is a Land Information Memorandum?
A Land Information Memorandum (LIM) is a report that provides an applicant with information about what Council knows about a property that may affect it. For both sellers and buyers, a LIM may answer some important questions about the land or any buildings that are on the property. Council is required by the Local Government Official Information and Meetings Act 1987 to make LIM information available to any interested party. This includes any information that Council may hold in relation to natural hazards.
Will the identification of natural hazards affect my property value or insurance?
Council is responsible for making sure that any information we have about your property is easily available upon request. We recommend you seek advice from a property valuation or insurance expert about any concerns you may have regarding property values or insurance.
How is Council going to keep landowners informed of what's going on?
Council plans to communicate natural hazard information in a range of ways:
- Letters to landowners
- Website updates
- Property files
- Land Information Memoranda (LIMs)
- Opportunities to e-mail, phone or meet with Council staff
Got a different question or want more information?
For more information about the District's natural hazards including existing maps and technical reports, current and upcoming projects, and frequently asked questions for each hazard, follow the links below:
You can also visit the Regional Council's natural hazards webpage. This contains more explanation about the new approach to identifying natural hazards and the risk assessment process. It also contains a list of all natural hazards projects being undertaken throughout the District and expected timeframes.
If you have any further questions, please contact Council on 0800 926 732 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.