Council in talks over coastal risk information

KAY BLUNDELL
Last updated 05:00 11/12/2013

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Kapiti Coast District Council looks set to bow to public pressure and provide alternative coastal hazard information on about 1800 beach properties.

There was an outcry from property owners last year when the council announced new 50 and 100-year shoreline predictions and placed them on Lim reports. Owners believed their valuations and insurance were affected by the lines, which were accompanied by strict building regulations.

The lines were based on a coastal hazard risk assessment prepared for the council by Coastal Systems, and known as the Shand report.

Christopher Ruthe, chairman of the Coastal Ratepayers United group opposing the lines, said CRU was in discussions with the council about making alternative information available on the Lims.

A report commissioned by CRU, prepared by coastal science experts Willem de Lange, of Waikato University, and Australian Angus Gordon, strongly criticises the Shand report.

Mr Ruthe said making the new information available was an interim measure before a panel of international coastal scientists publishes its review of the Shand report in March. "I think the Coastal Systems information should come off the Lims altogether," he said. "In the interim, it is sensible to have the current incorrect information rectified."

Council strategic and partnerships general manager Stephen McArthur confirmed the council was in talks with CRU and would comment next week.

A Kapiti Coast real estate agent said there had been a downturn in the past couple of years in Wellingtonians buying holiday homes on the coast, which she partly attributed to the hazard lines.

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- © Fairfax NZ News

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