Hazard report 'fundamentally fatally flawed'

KAY BLUNDELL
Last updated 05:00 04/12/2013

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Kapiti

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A coastal risk assessment report that led to Kapiti Coast District Council placing hazard lines on about 1800 properties has been criticised as "fundamentally and fatally flawed".

An independent panel of experts is reviewing the science of the report, prepared by Coastal Systems, commissioned by the council and commonly known as the Shand report.

Submitters addressing the panel yesterday included Te Horo resident Joan Allin, a former Environment Court judge.

"I consider the Coastal Systems reports are fundamentally and fatally flawed, including from a legal perspective, and do not provide valid basis for the objectives, policies, rules and coastal hazard management areas in the [council's] proposed District Plan," she said.

There had been no adequate peer review of the report, and an expanding coastline had turned into an eroding one.

"The overzealous, and legally misguided, quest to adopt a precautionary approach has been most unhelpful and causes problems for the council.

"The reports have identified areas that are not potentially affected or at high risk of being affected by the likely effects of climate change within the next 50 and 100-year periods."

Paraparaumu beachfront property owner Christopher Ruthe, who chairs the Coastal Ratepayers United group formed to oppose the hazard lines, told the panel people were outraged that the coastline they knew was expanding was instead deemed to be eroding.

"You would think, with $2 billion of properties at stake, this science company would want to work with the best possible information."

The report showed the tide being within metres of his boundary in Manly St, when in fact it was 58 metres away and, over about 70 years, there had been about 50m of accretion, he said.

Manly St resident and CRU secretary Salima Padamsey said the Shand report had not only had the effect of writing off hundreds of millions of dollars worth of property, it had also been used to place "draconian" restrictions on building and alterations in the so-called hazard zones.

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- © Fairfax NZ News

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