Coastal hazards report being finalised

UPDATE: City councillors are expected to receive an updated report on coastal hazards next month.

An updated report on whether coastal flooding and erosion information should be included on more than 20,000 property records is being finalised.

City councillors and community board members are expected to be briefed on the Coastal Hazard Assessment for Christchurch and Banks Peninsula on October 17, before it goes to the city council on November 2.

It follows a contentious 2015 Tonkin & Taylor report which identified nearly 18,000 properties at risk of coastal inundation and 6000 that could be susceptible to erosion over the next 50 to 100 years.

That information was added to the properties’ Land Information Memorandum reports.

But a peer review by a panel of scientific experts last year urged the city council to remove the information and do more research because it could be “legally unsound”.

The notations were then tweaked.

City council head of strategic policy Helen Beaumont said recommendations from the peer review of the 2015 report had been addressed in the 2017 report.

A “rolling review” had been done by Deirdre Hart, who peer reviewed the 2015 report, to make sure the 2017 report met those recommendations, she said.

Ms Beaumont said it would be the best current information on coastal hazards, with a range of climate change scenarios for erosion and inundation.

Once received by city councillors, a “long-term engagement process” would begin, focusing on how to adapt to challenges facing the coastal communities, she said.

Christchurch Coastal Residents United has been fighting to have the information removed from LIMs because it could devalue their properties and affect future insurance coverage.

Member Darrell Latham said it unsuccessfully pushed to have more than one peer reviewer for the 2017 report.

“We’ve missed an opportunity for a balanced review by having only one peer reviewer undertaking this work.”

But Ms Beaumont said Dr Hart consulted with various members of the peer review panel to ensure her comments were consistent with the wider panel’s views.

“Multiple reviewers were not required as Dr Hart was familiar with the scope and intent of the recommendations.” Ms Beaumont said in Southshore and South New Brighton, the city council would work with Regenerate Christchurch to engage on The Southshore and South New Brighton Regeneration Strategy.