Building on land subject to natural hazards

If you are thinking about carrying out building works it is important to consider the listed natural hazards that may affect how the project complies with the Building Act 2004 (section 71) and the New Zealand Building Code. Section 71(3) lists the hazards as:

  • Erosion (including coastal erosion, bank erosion and sheet erosion);
  • Falling debris (including soil, rock, snow and ice);
  • Subsidence;
  • Inundation (including flooding, overland flow, storm surge, tidal effects and ponding); and
  • Slippage.

A Land Information Memorandum (LIM) or Project Information Memorandum (PIM) will provide information about hazards that the Council knows about on your property. New building works or alterations should be designed with any of the listed natural hazards in mind.The Building Act 2004 requires Council to look closely at building consents for new buildings or major alterations to a building on land subject to a natural hazard. The Council can either refuse to grant the building consent in some circumstances or it can grant the consent subject to conditions under sections 72 and 73 of the Building Act 2004.The Council strongly recommends that you or your advisors discuss your proposals with one of our building control officers prior to lodging your building consent application.

Where a building consent is applied for on land that is subject to one or more of the above hazards and the Council considers that the building work itself will not accelerate, worsen, or result in erosion, subsidence, inundation etc., then the building consent can be issued subject to sections 72 and 73. When a building consent is issued subject to section 72, the Council must notify the Registrar-General of Land to arrange an endorsement on the Certificate of Title advising that the consent has been issued pursuant to section 72 of the Building Act 2004.

You are strongly advised to contact your solicitor, insurance company or the Earthquake Commission if you are purchasing a property in these areas or you are planning on doing any alterations or additions in the future.

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