Kapiti hazard plan adopted despite warnings

Last updated 07:01 23/11/2012

The Coastal Erosion Hazard Risk report said up to 1000 properties may be at risk within 50 years, with another within 100 years.

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Kapiti Coast District Council's controversial coastal hazard lines have been included in the draft district plan despite critics pleading for the council to consult further.

The council's regulatory management committee yesterday ticked off notification of the proposed district plan, which includes new 50-year and 100-year shoreline predictions affecting 1800 property owners.

The predictions, which could affect valuations and insurance, were placed on Lim reports for the affected properties in August, without the owners being consulted.

Lawyer Christopher Ruthe, chairman of Coastal Ratepayers Unite, called yesterday for the council to immediately reverse its decision on the hazard lines to "enable due process. No-one wants to go to the expense of litigation."

He said the Shand Report, on which the predictions appeared to be based, was draconian. "A particular flaw in the process concerns probabilities and the likelihood of hazard events."

Te Horo beachfront owner Joan Allin, a former senior law lecturer, resource management partner at Chapman Tripp and independent hearings commissioner and judge for the Environment Court, pleaded for the council not to notify the plan.

"The consequences of this case are very serious. Dr Shand states that putting all accretionary rates at zero 'has effectively doubled the hazard distances along the north coast'. This is a startling and troubling revelation.

"Correcting errors and making changes will be much more difficult once into the statutory process. Why not use this draft plan as a basis for consultation with the community, get some feedback, iron out the errors, get a handle on how likely it is Dr Shand's lines could potentially occur in real life . . . have a publicly notified plan that will not get the council mired in years of court battles?

"If ever there was time for cups of tea and cool heads, now is the time."

Manly St resident Salima Padamsey said she and her husband, a retired member of the Australian navy, were horrified by the notice on their Lim report. "We were not consulted over the two years before the council announcement. Having worked with many National governments at a senior level, I could not believe that such a wrecking of our peaceful occupation of our property could happen by stealth, without consultation."

Council strategy and partnerships group manager Gael Ferguson stressed the council was required by law to put the coastal hazard information on Lim reports as soon as it was received.

The draft plan will be notified from November 29, with submissions closing on March 1 next year.

Contact Kay Blundell
Kapiti reporter
Email: kay.blundell@dompost.co.nz

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