HuttCity_TeAwaKairangi_BLACK_AGENDA_COVER

 

 

District Plan Review Subcommittee

 

 

8 December 2020

 

 

 

Order Paper for the meeting to be held in the

Council Chambers, 2nd Floor, 30 Laings Road, Lower Hutt,

on:

 

 

Tuesday 15 December 2020 commencing at 4.00pm

 

 

Membership

 

 

Deputy Mayor T Lewis

Cr K Brown

Cr B Dyer

Cr S Edwards

Cr N Shaw

 

Maiora Dentice (endorsed by Te Rūnanganui o Te Ati Awa)

Ashley Ede (endorsed by both the Wellington Tenths Trust and the Palmerston North Māori Reserves Trust)

 

 

 

 

For the dates and times of Council Meetings please visit www.huttcity.govt.nz

 

Have your say

You can speak under public comment to items on the agenda to the Mayor and Councillors at this meeting. Please let us know by noon the working day before the meeting. You can do this by emailing DemocraticServicesTeam@huttcity.govt.nz or calling the Democratic Services Team on 04 570 6666 | 0800 HUTT CITY

 

 


HuttCity_TeAwaKairangi_SCREEN_MEDRES

DISTRICT PLAN REVIEW SUBCOMMITTEE

 

Membership:                   Chair of Policy, Finance and Strategy Committee

                                     4 other councillors

                                                 Up to 2 representatives appointed by Iwi

 

NOTE:

Elected members should hold current certification under the Making Good Decisions Training, Assessment and Certification Programme for RMA Decision-Makers.

The Chair should in addition hold Chair certification.

Standing Orders 30 and 31 outlining provisions for Tangata Whenua and Taura Here do not apply to this Subcommittee, and Iwi appointees will have full voting rights as members of the Subcommittee under Standing Orders.

 

Meeting Cycle:              As required

Quorum:                      4

                                        

Reports to:                        Policy, Finance and Strategy Committee

 

PURPOSE:

To make recommendations to the Policy, Finance and Strategy Committee, for recommendation to Council, on the matters to be addressed in the full review of the District Plan and development of a Proposed District Plan.

 

Provide:

Direction to Council officers on all matters relating to the drafting of content for the review of the District Plan. This includes but is not limited to:

·         scoping and investigation of the issues

·         engagement on possible content

·         development of discussion documents and other draft documents for consultation

·         development of a Draft District Plan for consultation

·         development of a Proposed District Plan for statutory consultation.

 

General:

Any other matters delegated to the Subcommittee by Council in accordance with approved policies and bylaws.

    


HUTT CITY COUNCIL

 

District Plan Review Subcommittee

 

Meeting to be held in the Council Chambers, 2nd Floor, 30 Laings Road, Lower Hutt on Tuesday 15 December 2020 commencing at 4.00pm.

 

ORDER PAPER

 

Public Business

 

1.       APOLOGIES 

2.       PUBLIC COMMENT

Generally up to 30 minutes is set aside for public comment (three minutes per speaker on items appearing on the agenda). Speakers may be asked questions on the matters they raise.

3.       CONFLICT OF INTEREST DECLARATIONS

Members are reminded of the need to be vigilant to stand aside from decision making when a conflict arises between their role as a member and any private or other external interest they might have.     

4.       Minutes

Meeting minutes Extraordinary District Plan Review Subcommittee Meeting,
11 November 2020                                                                                                  
5  

5.       Recommendation to policy, strategy and Finance committee – 23 February 2021

          Seaview Marina District Plan Change (20/1129)

Report No. DPRS2020/6/321 by the Head of District Plan Policy           23  

6.       Natural Hazards - Earthquake and Land Instability (20/1537)

Report No. DPRS2020/6/322 by the Senior Environmental Policy Analyst     29

7.       Natural Hazards - Flooding (20/1227)

Report No. DPRS2020/6/323 by the Environmental Policy Analyst                43

8.       Rural Zones (20/1125)

Report No. DPRS2020/6/324 by the Environmental Policy Analyst                76

 

9.       Commercial and Mixed Use Zones (20/1220)

Report No. DPRS2020/6/325 by the Senior Environmental Policy Analyst     94

10.     Industrial Zones (20/1442)

Report No. DPRS2020/6/326 by the Senior Environmental Policy Analyst   106

11.     Hazardous Substances (20/1549)

Report No. DPRS2020/6/327 by the Head of District Plan Policy                  116         

12.     QUESTIONS

With reference to section 32 of Standing Orders, before putting a question a member shall endeavour to obtain the information. Questions shall be concise and in writing and handed to the Chair prior to the commencement of the meeting.   

 

 

 

 

 

 

Kate Glanville

SENIOR DEMOCRACY ADVISOR

   


                                                                       6                                             11 November 2020

HUTT CITY COUNCIL

 

District Plan Review Subcommittee

 

Minutes of an extraordinary meeting held in the Council Chambers, 2nd Floor,
30 Laings Road, Lower Hutt on

 Wednesday 11 November 2020 commencing at 1.30pm

 

 

PRESENT:                       

Deputy Mayor T Lewis

Cr K Brown (from 1.34pm)

Cr B Dyer

Cr S Edwards

Cr N Shaw

Ms M Dentice

Mr A Ede

 

 

APOLOGIES:                  There were no apologies.

 

IN ATTENDANCE:       Ms J Miller, Chief Executive (part meeting)

Ms H Oram, Director Environment and Sustainability

Mr H Wesney, Divisional Manager District Plan Policy

Mr N Geard, Senior Environmental Policy Analyst

Mr J Joseph, Senior Environmental Policy Analyst

Mr B Haddrell, Policy Planner

Mr D Burt, Senior Advisor Sustainability and Resilience (part meeting)

Ms K Stannard, Head of Democratic Services (part meeting)

Ms K Glanville, Senior Democracy Advisor (part meeting)

Ms H Clegg, Minute Taker

 

 

 

PUBLIC BUSINESS

 

The Chief Executive opened the meeting.

 

1.       APOLOGIES 

RESOLVED: (Deputy Mayor Lewis/Cr Dyer               Minute No. DPRS 20601

“That the apology received from Cr K Brown for lateness be accepted.”

2.

Appointment of Chair

The Chief Executive called for nominations for Chair.  Deputy Mayor Lewis nominated Cr Edwards for the position of Chair and Cr Shaw seconded the motion.  The Chief Executive called for any other nominations and as there were none she put the motion.

 

Resolved:   (Deputy Mayor Lewis/Cr Shaw)                            Minute No. DPRS 20602

“That Cr Edwards be elected as Chair of the District Plan Review Subcommittee for the meeting.”

Cr Edwards assumed the chair.  He advised that the Lower Hutt District Plan was an important document for the city.  He said the meeting marked the beginning of a process.  He acknowledged the challenge of fully engaging the community.

Cr Brown joined the meeting at 1.34pm.

The Director Environment and Sustainability advised that the meeting marked the beginning of a multi-year process and was focussed on urban development.  She stressed that no rules or decisions had been made.  She highlighted the purpose of the meeting was to obtain high level guidance for officers to undertake research and work programmes.   She added that Lower Hutt’s District Plan would also be guided and constrained by regional and national Policy Statements which required mandatory compliance.

3.       PUBLIC COMMENT

Comments are recorded under the item to which they relate.

 

4.       CONFLICT OF INTEREST DECLARATIONS      

 

          Deputy Mayor Lewis declared a conflict of interest in relation to item 5.

 

Cr Dyer highlighted he had discussions about purchasing a block of land off Wise Street, Wainuiomata.  He noted that the purchase did not proceed.

 

Ms M Dentice advised that a family member was employed by Council.  She also advised that she worked at the Department of Internal Affairs on the Three Waters Reform.


 

5.       PresEntation

Central Government freshwater legislation and Whaitua Te Whanganui-a-Tara: Implications for District Plan

Deputy Mayor Lewis declared a conflict of interest and look no part in the discussion or voting on the matter.

Mr Tim Sharp, Kaiwhakahaere Whaitua, Whaitua Programme Manager, Environmental Policy, Greater Wellington Te Pane Matua Taiao, advised that water and the receiving environments must be considered in all District Plan reviews.  He added that this was a specific requirement of the National Policy Statement – Urban Development.  He clarified that all objectives, policies and methods must show how effects on the waterways and receiving environments, including estuaries, were avoided.  He noted that greenfield developments generally added contaminants to the environment and that opportunities existed for brownfield developments  to reduce contaminant levels. 

Mr Sharp cautioned against a situation where Council might approve a development only for Greater Wellington Regional Council to decline the regional resource consent application.  He added that officers from the two local authorities were working closely together to ensure the Regional and District Plans did not contradict each other.  He noted that streamlined processes were developed for joint application processes.

 

6.

Urban Form and Development (20/1131)

Report No. DPRS2020/6/271 by the Senior Environmental Policy Analyst

 

Speaking under public comment, Ms Tiriana Turara read from a written statement (attached as pages 13-16 to the minutes).

 

Speaking under public comment, Mr Dene Waters expressed concern about the lack of information about the meeting.  He was disappointed in Council’s approach to the proposed use of the land in the Upper Fitzherbert Road area.  He said that all parties needed to work together to achieve a supply of housing for lower income families.  He expressed concern at the problems with the sewerage system in the area.  He believed Council lacked the ability to protect significant areas.  He questioned whether a road through to Naenae would be developed, why Council was only entering into agreements for the land with selected developers and whether the water tunnel under the Wainuiomata Hill could be upgraded to provide for cyclists.

 

 

Resolved:   (Cr Edwards/Cr Dyer)                                             Minute No. DPRS 20603

“That the Subcommittee extends the time limit for public comment by 30 minutes to enable the remaining members of the public the opportunity to speak.”

 

 

Speaking under public comment, Ms Julie Sylvester expressed frustration at the continued lack of consultation with landowners by Council.  She questioned the treatment of stormwater from any potential developments.  She advised all waters drained to Black Creek which also ran past the Cleanfill.  She said that the wisdom of locals outweighed the knowledge of experts.

 

In response to a question from a member regarding suggestions for engagement with the community, Ms Sylvester suggested that officers telephone affected landowners to invite them to meetings.

 

Speaking under public comment, Ms Michelle Caldwell tabled her written statement (attached as pages 17-18 to the minutes) and spoke to it.

 

Speaking under public comment, Ms Jane Wootton opposed any subdivision of land in the Moores Valley Road area as it would destroy significant areas.  She supported the comments made by previous speakers and opposed any Council intention to dictate what residents could do on their own land. 

 

Speaking under public comment, Ms Colleen Hira stated her wish to keep the land in family ownership for generations to come.  She asked why Council continued to pursue the land for residential development.  She said there were other areas in the city which were more suited to residential development.  She maintained that the Upper Fitzherbert Road area contained numerous diverse species of native flora and fauna which should not be threatened by development. 

 

Speaking under public comment, Mr Craig Innes advised he had requested information concerning the Wainuiomata North area and had his requests denied.  He did not believe that intensification of residential land use close to train stations was advisable due to the close proximity of fault lines.  He expressed scepticism of the location of significant natural areas only being on areas Council did not believe could be further developed.

 

The Divisional Manager District Plan Policy elaborated on the report.  The Senior Environmental Policy Analyst added that the District Plan had to adhere to the requirements of the National Policy Standard – Urban Design (NPS-UD).

 

In response to questions from members, the Senior Environmental Policy Analyst advised detailed research and public engagement were required to assess the potential for development of any land and not just greenfield areas.  He also advised that some definition of words in the NPS-UD were left to local authorities to interpret.  He explained that Petone could fit the definition of a metropolitan area, however that did not mean Petone had to be a metropolitan area.  He noted the main Hutt Valley railway line did meet the Rapid Transit definition.  He confirmed sea level rise could be defined as a natural hazard.  He agreed this could have implications for potential areas for brownfield intensification in the city.

 

In response to a question from a member regarding the possibility of sequencing of future development, the Senior Environmental Policy Analyst advised Council could only influence where areas of greenfield developments could occur and that it could provide for brownfield intensification across the city.  The Divisional Manager District Plan Policy added that the NPS-UD directed local authorities to investigate and encourage brownfield development rather than greenfield developments.

 

In response to questions from members regarding costings, timeframes and the impact of the Resource Management Act (RMA) reform, the  Senior Environmental Policy Analyst advised that if officers were directed to investigate more areas for greenfield development than had already been identified, significant cost increases and timeframe delays would occur.  He added that any changes made to the RMA would likely have a lead in period of five to ten years and members would be kept updated with any progress of the reform.

 

The Divisional Manager District Plan Policy added that the District Plan review work required over the next two years would be required whatever the outcomes of the RMA reform.

 

In response to a question from a member regarding the fault line, the Senior Environmental Policy Analyst confirmed land in the vicinity of a faultline could be excluded from areas where intensive development was permitted.

 

In response to questions from members regarding consultation with potential developers, the Divisional Manager District Plan Policy advised that those details had not been finalised and that numerous groups and developers would be consulted.  He added that once the Lower Hutt District Plan was operational, monitoring would assess how effective the requirements of the NPS regarding housing provision were being met.  

 

In response to a question from a member regarding the timeframe for the Lower Hutt District Plan review, the Divisional Manager District Plan Policy advised the NPS-UD had to be given effect by April 2024.  He said officers planned to publicly notify the proposed Lower Hutt District Plan by mid-2022.  He added that meant significant amounts of engagement, investigation, options and drafting would occur over the next 18 months for each of the 26 review topics. 

 

In response to a question from a member regarding the amount of land suitable for brownfield development within the city, the Senior Environmental Policy Analyst advised there was limited land for this type of development.

 

In response to a question from a member, the Divisional Manager District Plan Policy confirmed that paragraph 19 of the officer’s report included mana whenua and that this requirement was included in the NPS-UD.

 

In response to questions from members regarding the potential for investigation of other areas for greenfield development, the Senior Environmental Policy Analyst advised that if Option 1 was agreed by members then no further investigation would be undertaken. He added that Option 2  components could be developed as a plan change at a later stage.  He said there was a provision within the NPS-UD which provided for investigation to allow for greenfield developments.

 

In response to a question from a member regarding the possible additional costs that Option 2 could incur, the Divisional Manager District Plan Policy advised there may not initially be too many added costs as the investigations into other areas for greenfield development would be very high level. 

 

The Director Environment and Sustainability highlighted that if more money were spent at the front end of the process then there would be less funding available for the later stages.

 

Cr Brown expressed support for Option 2.  She believed it was important to investigate all options at this early stage. 

 

Cr Dyer expressed support for Option 2.  He said it would provide a high level look at all options for the city.  He believed it was important that information on all areas be reported to members to enable informed decisions to be made.

 

Deputy Mayor Lewis expressed support for Option 1.  She said it enabled officers to begin the engagement process with the public.  She believed Option 2 could be introduced as a plan change later if required and that Option 2 would also affect climate change considerations of Council.  She explained that many areas which could be included under Option 2 were bush clad and provided carbon credits for Council. 

 

MOTION: (Cr Edwards/Deputy Mayor Lewis)

That the Subcommittee:

(i)         receives the information in the report; and

(ii)        directs officers to undertake the urban form and development component of the District Plan Review through the following approach (Option 1 outlined in the Options section of the report):

(a)        Investigate and engage on how the intensification direction of the NPS-UD can be given effect to through the District Plan review;

(b)        Investigate and engage on the extent to which further intensification should be enabled in existing urban areas subject to natural hazards;  

(c)        Investigate and engage on how and when greenfield development could be enabled in Upper Fitzherbert and Kelson; and

(d)       Carry out spatial identification of the planned future urban form of Hutt City, and develop provisions for the urban form and development chapter.

The motion was declared LOST on the voices.

Members supported a high level scan of all potential greenfield areas in the city which was covered in Option 2 of the report.

 

Resolved:   (Cr Edwards/Cr Dyer)                                            Minute No. DPRS 20604

That the Subcommittee:

(i)    receives the information in the report;

(ii)   directs officers to undertake the urban form and development component of the District Plan Review through the following approach (Option 1 outlined in the Options section of the report):

(a)   investigate and engage on how the intensification direction of the NPS-UD can be given effect to through the District Plan review;

(b)   investigate and engage on the extent to which further intensification should be enabled in existing urban areas subject to natural hazards; 

(c)   investigate and engage on how and when greenfield development could be enabled in Upper Fitzherbert and Kelson;

(d)   carry out spatial identification of the planned future urban form of Hutt City, and develop provisions for the urban form and development chapter; and

(iii)  directs officers to undertake a more expansive greenfield option for developing the city with investigations of potential greenfield areas outside of Upper Fitzherbert and Kelson in the Western Hills including the Kilminster Block, Moores Valley and Coast Road (Option 2 outlined in the Options section of the report).”

Deputy Mayor Lewis requested that her vote be recorded against the above matter.

 

7.

Historic Heritage (20/1126)

Report No. DPRS2020/6/272 by the Senior Environmental Policy Analyst

 

Speaking under public comment, Ms Pam Hanna requested clarification about historic and heritage buildings and areas.  She said there was misleading guidance under the Heritage New Zealand and Lower Hutt District Plan legislation.  She asked that 36 Riddlers Crescent (Collett House) be reinstated in the Heritage List of the Lower Hutt District Plan.  She supported Option 2 outlined in the officer’s report.  She added that some pockets of Petone required heritage protection.  She said Petone should not be classified as a metropolitan area due to a number of natural hazards.

 

The Senior Environmental Policy Analyst elaborated on the report.

 

In response to questions from members, the Senior Environmental Policy Analyst advised that historic heritage could be applied to an area and that individual buildings might have specific historic heritage values within that area.  He added individual buildings might have specific historic heritage in areas not identified as historic heritage.  He explained that historic character was not clearly defined.  He acknowledged difficulties in ensuring historic character could be criteria for excluding intensification.  He clarified that historic character could meet the threshold of heritage and that numerous buildings within the city had historic heritage value.

In response to a question from a member, the Senior Environmental Policy Analyst confirmed it was possible for historic character areas to not be protected from intensification as required by the NPS-UD.  He added that the qualifying matters under Policy 4 of the NPS-UD provided for ‘other matters’ to be investigated.  He said that would require a site by site investigation to ascertain the reasons for exclusion from the intensification requirement.  He considered an approximate cost to undertake an investigation of the potential historic character of an area was $100,000.

Deputy Mayor Lewis expressed concern that historically significant heritage areas could be lost if they could not be protected from intensification.

The Divisional Manager District Plan Policy advised that areas could be identified as an historic character precinct within which there might exist individually listed historic heritage buildings.  He said all future development needed to be reflective of the historic character of the precinct.  He conceded that there was no clear cut  response to historic character areas.  He reminded members that exclusions from intensification had to be investigated on a case by case basis. 

The Senior Environmental Policy Analyst advised that density could only be limited to protect an identified element.  He said the NPS-UD required local authorities to provide for as much intensification of development as possible.  He accepted it would be challenging to protect all of Petone from intensification.

The Divisional Manager District Plan Policy added that the information obtained for Petone 2040 would be useful.  He said that officers recommended Option 1 as it provided a balance.

 

 

Resolved:     (Cr Edwards/Cr Brown)                                Minute No. DPRS 20605

“That the Subcommittee:

(i)    receives the information in the report; and

(ii)   directs officers to undertake the historic heritage component of the District Plan Review through the following approach (Option 1 highlighted in the Options section of the officer’s report):

(a)   carry out engagement in conjunction with the engagement on Council’s heritage policy;

(b)   follow and implement the direction of the heritage policy;

(c)   carry out a technical assessment of the state and sufficiency of information of existing historic heritage listings as well as an assessment of any possible additional listings;

(d)   engage on the outcome of the historic heritage assessment; and

(e)   develop District Plan provisions for the protection of identified historic heritage.”

The meeting adjourned at 3.33pm and resumed at 3.39pm.

8.

Residential Zones (20/1124)

Report No. DPRS2020/6/273 by the Senior Environmental Policy Analyst

 

The Senior Environmental Policy Analyst elaborated on the report.

In response to a question from a member, the Senior Environmental Policy Analyst was unsure of an appoximate cost of a combined residential character and heritage character assessment. 

The Divisional Manager District Plan Policy highlighted that such an assessment had not been budgeted for.

 

Resolved:    (Cr Edwards/Deputy Mayor Lewis)              Minute No. DPRS 20606

“That the Subcommittee:

(i)    notes and receives the information contained in the report;

(ii)   directs officers to undertake the District Plan review through the following approach (Option 2 outlined in the officer’s report):

(a)     a full review of the provisions of the District Plan for residential zones, but with a particular focus on:

-    Aligning the District Plan with the National Planning Standards, particularly the zones provided for by the Standards;

-    Addressing the areas not addressed through Plan Change 43: Residential and Suburban Mixed Use;

-    Giving effect to the National Policy Statement on Urban Development and Regional Policy Statement for the Wellington Region;

-    Identifying areas with a residential character that may warrant a specific response in the District Plan to manage effects of land use and development on the character of those areas; and

(b)     directs officers to undertake a residential character assessment in combination with a heritage character assessment in order to assess heritage character in residential areas.”

 

9.

Light Spill and Glare (20/1127)

Report No. DPRS2020/6/263 by the Policy Planner

 

The Policy Planner elaborated on the report.

In response to questions from a member, the Policy Planner explained that no research had been undertaken concerning the effect of light spill on wildlife.  He said the research had focussed on investigating other local authories’ policies and the National Standards.  He added that Option 3 contained in the report would require specific research for Lower Hutt.  The Divisional Manager District Plan Policy advised that officers would report back to members on the possible costs for Option 3.

 

Resolved:         (Cr Edwards/Deputy Mayor Lewis)         Minute No. DPRS 20607

“That the Subcommittee:

(i)    notes the contents of the report;

(ii)   agrees to undertake a review of the provisions for light spill and glare with a scope in line with the recommended Option 2 outlined in the report, including a high impact assessment of effects on wildlife; and

(iii)  agrees to the engagement approach outlined for Option 2 outlined in the report.”

For the reasons this approach is an efficient use of Council resources appropriate to the scale of the issue; will make efficient use of the resources of those parties Council will engage with during the review; and meets our legal requirements and is consistent with national, regional, and other councils’ plans and policies.

10.

Public Access (20/1128)

Report No. DPRS2020/6/274 by the Policy Planner

 

Speaking under public comment, Ms Julie Sylvester asked members to carefully consider allowing any public access over private rural land due to the many hazards present and presence of stock.

 

Speaking under public comment, Ms Jane Wootton opposed allowing public access on private land as it would open the public up to hazards including the river and animals.  She questioned who would be liable if an accident occurred or if stock got loose due to a gate being left opened.

 

In response to a question from a member, the Policy Planner explained the latest electronic mapping information had been used to provide the form  details of the report.  He said the Wainuiomata River had the least amount of public access areas of all waterways in the city.  He confirmed that no public access would be required across private land.  He added that public access would only be considered if a development was submitted to Council. 

The Director Environment and Sustainability confirmed that there was nothing in the report that suggested appropriation of private land for public access to waterways.

 

 

Resolved:          (Cr Edwards/Deputy Mayor Lewis)        Minute No. DPRS 20608

“That the Subcommittee:

(i)    agrees to undertake the review of Public Access to waterbodies provisions as set out in Option 1 contained in the report; and

(ii)   agrees to undertake engagement, in regard to Public Access to water bodies, as set out in the report.”

For the reasons that it is efficient use of Council resources, will ensure Council can work toward giving effect to the Regional Policy Statement and statutory requirements for the maintenance and enhancement of Public Access to and along waterbodies, will allow officers and Council to better understand the most appropriate means to address the issues outlined in this report, and engagement is at the appropriate level. 

11.     Information Item

Aspirations and Ideas for the District Plan Review (20/1401)

Report No. DPRS2020/6/120 by the Head of District Plan Policy

The item of business was transferred to a future meeting of the subcommittee.

12.     QUESTIONS   

          There were no questions.

 

 

 

There being no further business the Chair declared the meeting closed at 3.50 pm.

 

 

 

 

                                                                                                                        Cr S Edwards

                                                                                                               CHAIR

 

 

 

 

 

 

CONFIRMED as a true and correct record

Dated this 15th day of December 2020


Peace Within Learning Logo.png   Your Journey Begins with One Step

Ko Whakapoungakau te Maunga
Ko Waiohewa te Awa
Ko Mataikotare te Marae
Ko Ngati Rangiteorere te Iwi O Te Arawa
Ko Upper Fitzherbert Road toku Turangawaewae
Ko Tiriana Turara toku ingoa
          Seven years ago, I was here defending my land to the Councils proposal to urbanise it.  I spoke about my husband death and the healing the land gave to me and of my healing business providing this Semi-Rural Serenity for others to heal in too.  This is a much needed kaupapa for our people today as I’m sure you’ll all agree.
          I’m a Facilitator of Great Change with Peace Within Learning assisting our peoples healing back to wellness and the negative effects that colonisation has had to both pakeha and Maori.  Untangling the hurts and grief that people have suffered and passed down from generation to generation in their DNA.
          Time does heals but here I am again, 7 years later, with your unrelenting authority of “power” to have it your way.  Your Coat of Arms of your shovel and taiaha with your intent to stake claim and confiscate this land, is digging a grave with a knife in my ribs for my body!
          Should I lay down my arms peacefully like Te Whiti-o-Rongomai and Tohu Kākahi and instead of the 1600 troops that invaded Parehaka, you guys are invading us with 2000 homes and whanau taking my future of Peace on my privately owned land, just like in Taranaki. 

Parehaka natives’ were given 14 days to accept the reserves offered or face the consequences, they laid down their arms peacefully over to the dominance of Force and yet were still slaughtered, raped and tortured with The Crown taking what they wanted anyway.  
You, HCC are doing the same.  The “Farm Road Natives” are facing consequences of:
1. Re-zoning to residential rates, a huge financial increase to be forced upon us.
2. Developers, circling us like prey, offering deals to sell, forcing out the lifestyle from within.  Divide and conquer again? Huh? You can claim you’re not in the business of developing land, but YOU ARE THE Force behind the whole push.
3.  Consequences of stress, anxiety and ultimately annihilation for our Village, our birdlife, livestock and our Peaceful way of Life.
          The Treaty of Waitangi is a living document, caring for our lands and our people of Aotearoa together.  Our local Iwi, local politicians, developers, housing trusts, and even the Housing Minister have been consulted extensively with this proposal, and yet, we, the True Tangatawhenua have not been directly consulted other than receiving our one and only invitation at Arakura School, 7 years ago although not disclosing what the plans were unless you were able to attend the meeting. 

          We don’t even get an invitation to this Extraordinary Meeting! I found out through the grape vine a couple of days ago and some of our residents are still not aware of this “public meeting”.  In fact, it seems the objective has been to keep us out of the loop, withholding information when we have repeatedly asked for it, even from the CEO herself.  Behind closed doors you discuss our land and don’t even invite us for the korero?  Where’s the transparency that your Mayor so freely speaks of?
          And to add salt into my personal wound, the visited by home 7 years ago, an up and coming politician and HCC youth councillor  who is now a neighbour on a pivotal block of land in our neighbourhood, and Mayor, said to my face, that he would help me and my village save the Land, ummm that in my view is certainly a conflict of interest now given photos of him announcing the Housing Trust Team and much more.
         
You wave the Crowns Flag of providing affordable Housing. You speak of wellness for our people, yet have you considered us, the tangatawhenua? The actual locals, the animals, the native birds and ngahere, the wild deer that graze here? This swamp land will not provide affordable housing, look at the housing prices at the end of Wise Street and Parkway!
          I love the beautiful Papakainga on Moohan Street, the successful settlement claim returning lands and millions of dollars to invest in our people.  But how come you are on that side of the table having influence on the decision of my land?  Why are you in consultation with the Crown and we, the tangatawhenua aren’t?
          Like Te Whiti and Tohu, I feel our farm road people, have been detained without trial for many years with the Political Guillotine hanging over our properties and our families, being used as pawns in a voting ploy of promises of a bright future for the many, just like the foreigners new to our shores, at the expense of those already here.  We will not come out with plenty of money from the sale, we would have ongoing increased rates, costs to connection to your services we’ve already paid for privately and total destruction to our Peaceful Serenity. 
          My work at my property has wairua mahi, mirimiri, rongoa and animal therapy, awhi’d in a korowai of the Nature of Papatuanuku and a much-needed retreat for our manuhiri of the Rate Race of Suburbia and City Life. 
          The Covid Lockdown saw many people walking down our farm road, providing the calmness in the midst of the Storm, Maori know this, our land is our Connection to who we are and our wellness.  I am guttered for short sighted in your plans on our whenua, your illusion of the “good of many” over the “good of a few”.  Its not just the lives of the residents I stand for, it is for all of Mother Earth Herself against the disrespect of our human race towards Her.
          Surely, in 2020 with our newly elected Government with promises of righting the wrongs for Maori and all that stand on Aotearoa, can we start here? in our own back yard?  Coz, quite frankly, HCC been a Corporatized Bully, telling us residents to deal with the consequences, just like The Crown did back in the day.  And while the Government has set out a new National Policy Statement on Urban Development, that should not give anyone the right to do what you bloody like over private land.  We have Rights!
          So can we korero equally and negotiate better terms than my allocated 3 minutes? We offered solutions last time, Parkway extension, the many closed schools, Port Nicholson Block.  Let’s continue our suggestion with existing suburbia, put up more town houses in the huge sections Wainui has to offer, make it easier for suburbia residents with resource consent and packages to do so. 
          Let our rural properties of Wainuiomata North, Moores Valley and Coast Road be the Absolute Last Resort, not the easiest.  Don’t destroy Her completely, coz once this paradise is gone, it is gone for all of us and our mokopuna collectively. 
I lay down my arms, but will you?  Will you include us in your plans kanohi ke te kanohi equally?  This is what I am asking of you.  Consult with us, not at us or behind our backs!
          So in closing, what does Kaitiaki mean for you? What does Hutt City Counsellors and Iwi representative’s mean for you?  We, the “Farm Road Natives” are the Tangatawhenua, so what does that mean to you as the Crown?  “Lets keep moving” is our Governments slogan, do you want to do it together like the Treaty Claims?  Or will the past be repeated but now with both Maori and Pakeha united against the minority?

 


 

Michelle Caldwell’s presentation under Public Comment at the District Plan Review Subcommittee Meeting on 11 November 2020

 

Kia ora everyone

 

Thank you for allowing me to speak to the Agenda.

 

I am a rural landowner living on the Wainuiomata River Flats on Coast Road. The river runs through my property which includes land on both sides of the river and, in my case and a number of others along the river, also ownership of the land underneath the river itself. This was initially and incorrectly claimed as Crown land by Council during the SNA process, but private ownership is confirmed with LINZ, GWRC and on our titles. I understand this is a rarity with NZ rivers.

 

The District Plan Review is a wide-ranging, complex and controversial one. I am particularly interested in 2 parts that affect the rural community of Wainuiomata, so will restrict my comments to those issues.

 

The first is public access to coastline and waterways. This is considered of national importance and is also a priority for HCC, which is required to maintain and enhance access.

 

The Report on Public Access associated with this meeting’s agenda is, in my view, well written and has identified a number of pros, cons and areas for discussion. I note the report recommends Council adopt Option 1 when it reviews public access provisions. This seems a reasonable position to take.

 

The report identifies a number of groups, including landowners, as key partners and stakeholders. My biggest concern based, sadly, on past experience, is around the level of engagement with affected landowners. Council hasn’t always been transparent or willing to talk to landowners at an early stage about plans that affect them. This can leave us feeling that other parties opinions and wishes for private land use is given credence, and we’re only consulted after those parties and Council have already formed an opinion on a course of action. In other words, a fait accompli where landowner input is a box ticking exercise without affecting a pre-determined outcome.

 

In this case, we are formally identified as stakeholders. Thank you. But I respectfully ask that throughout the Review Council treats us as true stakeholders and that we be involved in discussions about public access over private land right from the beginning. To avoid speculation and worry about how our land might be used by others, we need to know what Council is thinking and the direction it prefers to take.

 

We know our land best and it’s important that Council, and other partners, take advantage of that expertise.  For instance, it might be nice for the public to walk across our land, fish, picnic and so forth, but the effect on stock management, health and safety, damage to fences, equipment and animals that our insurance might not cover, increased theft, maintenance, river channel migration etc., are very real concerns for us. It’s not just a case of NIMBYism – decisions have real and, potentially, very serious, consequences for landowners.

 

I know these issues will be part of the Review, but I want to emphasize how important balance will be in weighing up potential access points, and that landowners are listened to and given equal standing with other stakeholders. We are heavily invested in our land. Other groups, the public and, indeed, Council may well be much less so.

 

Landowner engagement and involvement also applies to my second area of concern – that of development of rural land. The Review document implies that all rural land in Wainuiomata is up for development consideration, not just the Upper Fitzherbert Road area already underway.

 

There will be differing opinions on the merits of rural land development, but I ask that Council remember they are dealing with people’s lives, homes, financial security and, often, dreams of living a certain lifestyle. In its push to find much needed housing solutions, the temptation to destroy or irrevocably change our rural areas, along with pressure from the urban community, will undoubtedly be high. Please ensure that affected landowners are involved as key stakeholders in any decision-making on rural development, not just part of “consultation” after the fact.

 

Thank you for your time. I have supplied a copy of my presentation and key points I would appreciate your consideration on.

 

Key points and additional comments

 

Engagement with Stakeholders

o   Will it be on an individual basis, or is it intended to have representatives from those groups meet together so everyone one can hear other views, put forward alternatives and discuss how best to implement Council’s legal requirements?

o   If the latter, it will be important to recognise opposing positions/objectives and include people with differing views rather than just those who are more likely to agree with Council’s preferred options.

Council Transparency

Publicity about the Review

·         Also, please note that not everybody uses social media, or has the connectivity to do so. It would be appreciated if Council continues to make available other ways for members of the public to raise questions or have their say on issues coming out of the Review.  


                                                                                      28                                                15 December 2020

District Plan Review Subcommittee

27 November 2020

 

 

 

File: (20/1129)

 

 

 

 

Report no: DPRS2020/6/321

 

Seaview Marina District Plan Change

 

Purpose of Report

1.    To obtain direction on whether a Proposed District Plan Change should be prepared for Seaview Marina, in addition to considering as part of the full District Plan Review.

Recommendations

That the Subcommittee recommends that the Policy, Finance and Strategy Committee recommends to Council to proceed with Option 1 contained within the report that the short and long term aspirations of the Seaview Marina are addressed through the full District Plan review.

For the reason(s) this recommendation is efficient use of Council and community resources and time. Short-term development aspirations at the marina can be progressively via a resource consent process.

 

Background

2.    Since 2015, Council’s District Plan team has been investigating and consulting on potential changes to the District Plan to enable development at the marina as set out in the “Vision Seaview Gracefield 2030”. In this Vision, there are four overall themes for the Seaview Gracefield area, and two specific initiatives for Seaview Marina as below:

Overall Themes

·    Provide stability and efficiency to support existing businesses

·    Creating a suitable environment for the growth of new/emerging businesses

·    Making better use of recreational opportunities

·    Contributing towards a better environment

Theme 3: Making better use of recreational opportunities

Connecting to the sea, hills, river and streams

Seaview Marina is a major drawcard for residents, workers and visitors to the area. It is a unique business and recreational area with a great Southern view. With softening and sheltering through planting and urban design, people will be able to enjoy walking and cycling along the waterfront. The Marina is part of The Great Harbour Way connecting Wellington to the Eastern Bays. Cafes and marine-related specialty shops and services complement the growing marine industry there.

Recognise and develop Seaview Marina – Port Road into a recreational treasure

Seaview Marina and the green strip along Port Road need to be recognised as a major recreational area with landscaping, sculptures, walking and cycling paths making it an attractive part of The Great Harbour Way. A fitness trail along Port Road and a public shower and toilet facilities for lunchtime users would encourage more use of the recreational spaces.

3.    Seaview Marina Limited (SML), a Council-controlled organisation, is responsible for operating and developing the marina’s facilities and services. SML’s Mission Statement in the Statement of Intent is “to be the centre for recreational marine activities and facilities in the Wellington region”. Over the last few years, SML has been focused on completing the development of ‘on-water’ marina facilities (e.g. new and upgraded berths). The next phase of development is ‘on-land’ facilities. SML has short and long term plans for substantial redevelopment of the site including retail, residential apartments, and a ‘dry stack’ boat storage facility.

4.    SML have outlined the following approximate plans and timing for the redevelopment of the marina:  

·    2022/2023: Redevelopment of the Lowry Bay Yacht Club site (confidential at this stage).

·    2023/2024: Development of ‘dry stack’ building for storing trailer boats.

·    2024 and beyond:  Longer term re-development of the marina, including residential apartments, retail and other complementary activities.  

5.    Seaview Marina is currently zoned Special Recreation under the Operative District Plan. Specific objectives, policies and rules apply to Seaview Marina to ensure activities and development are directly associated with the marina complex and do not detract from the amenity values of the area.

6.    In 2015, SML sought that the District Plan provisions that apply to the marina be reviewed, and SML sought to be part of this review process. In late 2015, Council’s District Plan team initiated consultation and background assessment on reviewing the District Plan provisions for the marina.

7.    During 2016 – 2017, further consultation and concept designs were undertaken for the marina identifying potential redevelopment options. Following identification of these initial options, two technical assessments were commissioned, being natural hazards assessment and landscape and visual effects assessment.

8.    In early 2018 work commenced on drafting a District Plan Change for Seaview Marina.  In preparing this draft Plan Change, the primary matters to be determined where:

a.    Compatible/incompatible activities at the marina and with other activities in the surrounding area  (e.g. bulk fuel storage and recreation)

b.    Effects on visual amenity and landscape

c.     Risks from natural hazards, including inundation (storm surges/sea level rise) and seismic (subsidence, liquefaction and tsunami)

9.    During 2018 and 2019, other District Plan work such as the Residential chapter review was a higher priority, therefore work on the plan change on Seaview Marina did not progress. In May 2019, Council resolved to undertake a full review of the District Plan, and so the work on Seaview Marina has been brought into that work programme for the full review.

Discussion

10.  SML have expressed concern that waiting for the full plan review may constrain their redevelopment plans in the short to medium term. 

11.  Despite commencing a full review of the District Plan, Council can initiate a change to the operative District Plan in the meantime.

Options

12.  Set out below for the Subcommittee’s consideration are two options, including the advantages/benefits and disadvantages/costs for when and how the District Plan is reviewed and changed to addressed the matters identified above. In addition to these options for the District Plan, it is noted that SML can undertake a development at any time where it complies with the current rules, or apply for resource consent at any time for this development if it did not comply – see discussion below the options evaluation on this matter. 

13.  Option 1 Full Plan Review

Details

Council evaluates the short and long term aspirations of the marina and other issues identified above through the full district plan review.

Advantages/Benefits

Disadvantages/Costs

·    District Plan team effort focused on full District Plan Review and avoids time and costs associated with preparing and processing a District Plan Change

·    Provides certainty to community that development in the short-term will be in keeping with current District Plan outcomes

·    Flexibility for SML to prepare development plans and use resource consent process for short-term aspirations

·    One single process for addressing Seaview Marina.

·    Consistency of approach for issues at Seaview Marina and other areas across the district plan.

·    Longer time frame than a separate plan change. May unduly restrict short-term development projects at the marina

·    If SML chooses to apply for resource consent for any projects, costs incurred by SML associated with resource consent process, including time and uncertainty of this process

·    Current District Plan requirements or resource consent process may result in SML developing a sub-optimal outcome which does not achieve SML’s objectives or long term outcomes for the marina area.

·    If SML chooses to apply for resource consent for any projects, dual processes, with potential community engagement and discussions on two separate matters (full District Plan Review and resource consent application). Includes potential mixed messages for community associated with dual processes

 


 

 

14.  Option 2 Separate plan change

Details

Council prepares and notifies a plan change specifically for Seaview Marina in advance of the full District Plan Review (i.e. in 2020). This plan change could either provide for only the short term development aspirations at the marina, or provide for the long term development aspirations as well.

Advantages/Benefits

Disadvantages/Costs

·    Shorter time frame than full plan review (e.g. less than 2 years), which provides for short and long term aspirations for SML.

·    Provides greater certainty on appropriate development in the short and long term at the marina.

·    Diverts time and resource for the District Plan team away from the full District Plan review, meaning potential delay to the review.

·    A protracted plan change process may create administrative and procedural difficulties for the full District Plan Review if plan change process is not completed before Proposed District Plan is notified

·    Potential for lack of integration or inconsistent approach to issues (e.g. natural hazards) of new provisions in a plan change and with provisions in the full plan review.

·    Provisions may be re-litigated through the full plan review process.

 

15.  The advantages and disadvantages for Option 2 would be influenced by the nature and degree of the proposed changes in the plan change. For example, a proposed plan change which only contained changes to the maximum height and maximum floor area rules could be less of an exercise compared to a proposed plan change which included these changes plus provision for residential activities.

16.  In addition, as noted above, if SML wished to pursue any projects in the short-term, such as the redevelopment of Lowry Bay Yacht Club site or possibly the ‘dry stack’ building or boat building facilities, it could apply for resource consent at any time – these proposals are likely to require resource consent as they are likely to breach the maximum height (8m) and maximum gross floor area standards (100 m2) rules.

Climate Change Impact and Considerations

17.  The matters addressed in this report have been considered in accordance with the process set out in Council’s Climate Change Considerations Guide.

18.  As identified earlier in this report, one of the considerations for Seaview Marina is the impact of sea level rise and inundation of the land and facilities at the marina. This matter will need to be evaluated under either option; as part of the full District Plan Review or District Plan Change.

Consultation

19.  As noted above, consultation has been undertaken on this matter during 2015 – 2017. This consultation included engaging with mana whenua, Seaview Marina Ltd, local residents and interest groups, and nearby businesses, such as owners and operators of the bulk fuel depots.

20.  A range of issues were raised during this consultation, such as appropriate/inappropriate activities at the marina, visual amenity effects, reverse sensitivity effects for surrounding businesses, natural hazard risks, and effects on recreational values.

21.  Further engagement will need to be undertaken under either option; as part of the full District Plan Review or District Plan Change.

Legal Considerations

22.  Under either option, Council would need to follow the process for a plan change or proposing a replacement district plan set out in the Resource Management Act.

Financial Considerations

23.  Under Option 1, costs for the full District Plan Review would be covered by existing budgets.

24.  Under Option 2, budget from the full District Plan Review could be utilised to prepare and process the District Plan Change. Depending on the nature, complexity and length of the Plan Change, the existing District Plan Review budget may cover this plan change. If the Plan Change was a protracted process, additional budget may be required.

Appendices

There are no appendices for this report.   

 

 

 

 

Author: Hamish Wesney

Head of District Plan Policy

 

 

 

 

Approved By: Helen Oram

Director Environment and Sustainability

   


                                                                                      42                                                15 December 2020

District Plan Review Subcommittee

16 November 2020

 

 

 

File: (20/1537)

 

 

 

 

Report no: DPRS2020/6/322

 

Natural Hazards - Earthquake and Land Instability

 

Purpose of Report

1.    The purpose of this report is to:

a.    Inform the District Plan Review Subcommittee of the District Plan Review with regard to earthquake and land instability natural hazards, and

b.    Seek direction from the Subcommittee on how the District Plan Review should proceed with regard to earthquake and land instability natural hazards.

Recommendations

That the Subcommittee:

(i)    notes and receives the information contained in the report;

(ii)   directs officers to undertake the District Plan Review through the following approach (Option 2 in the Options section of this report):

A full review of the District Plan approach on earthquake and land instability natural hazards, with additional technical assessments; and

(iii)  directs officers to commission technical assessments on slope stability and tsunami hazard risk.

 

Background

2.    Council’s District Plan Review includes a review of the District Plan’s approach to managing the risk associated with natural hazards.

3.    The natural hazards topic of the District Plan Review has been split into two workstreams:

a.    Earthquake and land instability hazards, and

b.    Flooding and coastal hazards.

4.    This report is the first briefing of the District Plan Review Subcommittee for the earthquake and land instability hazards workstream. A separate briefing report is being prepared on the flooding and coastal hazards workstream.

5.    This report includes:

a.    Information on earthquake and land instability hazards in Lower Hutt, including the nature and locations of the hazards, the approach of the existing District Plan on earthquake and land instability hazards and the statutory and policy context,

b.    The key resource management issues that have been identified for the Review with regard to earthquake and land instability hazards,

c.     High-level options for how the Review could proceed with regard to earthquake and land instability hazards, and

d.    A recommended option, with reasons for the recommendation.

Discussion

Introduction

Earthquake and Land Stability Hazards

6.    Earthquake hazards are natural hazards associated with seismic activity. Earthquake hazards include:

·      Surface fault rupture hazard,

·      Ground shaking hazard,

·      Subsidence,

·      Liquefaction,

·      Landslides, and

·      Tsunami.

7.    Land instability hazards refer to land which has the potential to slip, including when saturated with water. Generally, it is steep slopes and cliffs that are prone to slipping.

8.    GNS Science has recently reviewed the existing natural hazard information for the district, and provided Council with an inventory of natural hazards for the district. This inventory outlines the known earthquake and land instability hazards for Lower Hutt. More detail on these earthquake hazards is provided in the State of the Environment section of this report (paragraph 19).

Natural Hazard Risk

9.    When addressing natural hazards, district plans typically address natural hazard risk. Natural hazard risk is the combination of the likelihood of a natural hazard event occurring and the expected outcome of that event. The location, design and vulnerability of land use and development have a significant impact on the expected outcome of an event, and in turn, the natural hazard risk.

10.  A hazard with a low likelihood of occurring but potentially a high impact may be considered to have a relatively high level of risk, despite its low likelihood. An example of this type of low likelihood/high potential impact would be a tsunami.

11.  A hazard with a high likelihood but a relatively low impact may also be considered to have a relatively high level of risk, despite its relatively low impact. An example of this type of this type of high frequency/low potential impact hazard would be an area with frequent surface flooding.

12.  A key challenge for councils when addressing natural hazard risk through their district plans is gathering sufficient information on the natural hazard risk for their districts, including information on:

·      The range of hazards that may impact their district,

·      The areas that may be impacted by each hazard,

·      The likelihood of a hazard event occurring (which will vary with the scale of the event), and

·      The potential impacts of a hazard event, including impacts on human safety and economic impacts (which is also likely to vary with events of different scales).

13.  In addition, given there will always be some level of risk, councils need to consider the acceptable level of risk from a hazard.

Current District Plan Approach

14.  The current District Plan includes several objectives on managing natural hazard risk.

15.  In general, the objectives seek to avoid, mitigate or reduce risk to people and development from natural hazards. However, some objectives set specific outcomes in relation to:

a.    Natural hazard risk in specified zones, in particular, the General Residential, Medium Density Residential, Suburban Mixed Use, Petone Commercial and Special Business Activity Areas, and

b.    Natural hazard risk associated with specified activities, in particular, subdivision and hazardous facilities.

16.  However, there are few provisions in the District Plan to implement these objectives.

17.  The main provisions relate to the Wellington Fault Special Study Area (WFSSA). The WFSSA is an overlay on the District Plan maps that identifies the estimated location of the Wellington Fault. The Plan includes rules that manage new development within this overlay, particularly through resource consent requirements for habitable structures and buildings within the overlay. There are also rules that address hazardous facilities in the area identified by the overlay.

18.  Other rules in the Plan directly address earthquake and land instability hazard risk by enabling Council to consider the risk when assessing resource consent applications, particularly for larger scale developments and developments in General Residential, Medium Density Residential, Suburban Mixed Use and Petone Commercial Activity Areas.

State of the Environment

19.  As mentioned above, GNS Science has recently reviewed the existing natural hazard information for the district, and provided Council with an inventory of natural hazards for the district. The following sections outline the known earthquake and land instability hazards for Lower Hutt, based on this inventory.

Surface fault rupture hazard

20.  A surface fault rupture can be caused by the vertical or horizontal displacement of land from a ruptured fault, and can have significant consequences on land use and development on the fault.

21.  The main fault for Lower Hutt is the Wellington Fault, which runs through Wellington, the Hutt Valley and Tararua Ranges. For Lower Hutt, the Wellington Fault is located in the suburbs of Petone, Alicetown, Melling, Belmont and Manor Park.

22.  The likelihood of a rupture of the Wellington-Hutt Valley segment of the Wellington Fault has been assessed as being around 10-15% within the next 100 years.

23.  Land use in the vicinity of the Wellington Fault includes residential activities as well as commercial and industrial activities in Petone, Alicetown and Melling. The nature and intensity of development in these areas significantly increases the risk of loss of life and damage to property in the event of earthquakes along this fault.

24.  The inventory from GNS Science also identifies the Whitemans Valley and Baring Head Faults as being at least partly within Lower Hutt.

25.  The location of the Whitemans Valley Fault has not been identified to the same level of accuracy as the Wellington Fault. The inventory from GNS Science states ‘Given the long recurrence interval and the subdued trace of the Whitemans Valley Fault, there is considerable uncertainty regarding the fault’s location and extent in the Hutt City.’ However, the GNS Science database of active faults suggests that the fault extends from Whitemans Valley (Upper Hutt) in the north, towards Wainuiomata in the south.

26.  The Whitemans Valley Fault has a fault recurrence interval (average time between surface ruptures) of around 15,000 years or more, over 15 times longer than that of the Wellington Fault.

27.  While the location of the Baring Head Fault has also not been identified to the same level of accuracy as the Wellington Fault, it is known to cut across Baring Head. The inventory from GNS Science states that little else is known about the Baring Head Fault, but that it is assumed to be a low activity, low recurrence interval fault.

Ground shaking hazard

28.  While earthquakes can cause ground shaking throughout the district, some areas may be more susceptible to ground shaking. The inventory report from GNS Science states that ‘During a strong earthquake, shaking strength and duration will vary depending on the characteristics the properties, distribution and depth of the underlying soils.’ While information is available on underlying soils, areas that are particularly vulnerable to ground shaking have not been mapped.

Subsidence

29.  While the Wairarapa Fault rupture of 1855 resulted in an uplift in the Lower Hutt, a wide range of geological data indicates that continuing subsidence rather than uplift is the prevailing, long and medium term net vertical deformation in Lower Hutt. GNS Science has calculated the subsidence for the Lower Hutt Valley, and mapped the subsidence values. The modelled elevation reveals that large areas of Alicetown, Petone, Moera and Seaview would subside below sea level, and could be inundated by the sea.

Liquefaction

30.  Liquefaction is a process that leads to soil suddenly losing much of its strength, most commonly as a result of strong ground shaking during a large earthquake.

31.  Areas of the district where liquefaction may occur have been identified through the Liquefaction hazard in the Wellington Region report (July 2018). This report identifies the sediments in the following areas as having high liquefaction susceptibility:

·        Petone

·        Alicetown

·        Melling

·        Moera

·        Seaview

·        Gracefield

·        Parts of Waiwhetu, Woburn and the city centre,

·        Parts of Naenae, and

·        Parts of Wainuiomata.

32.  Most of the remaining areas of the valley floors of the district (including the Hutt, Wainuiomata and Moores Valleys) are identified as having either moderate or low liquefaction susceptibility, as do some parts of the Eastern Bay suburbs.

33.  However, the report notes that the susceptibility maps presented in the report are intended to be used to identify areas where further quantitative investigation into liquefaction hazard would be necessary, where the consequences of liquefaction can be quantified in terms of the expected vertical and horizontal displacements at a given level of ground shaking.

Land Instability

34.  The area of the district that is susceptible to land instability has not been mapped, although it is expected that the susceptible areas would be in the hill suburbs. These suburbs are dominated by residential development and well-vegetated open spaces.

35.  Land instability susceptibility may need to be investigated further to identify the area that is susceptible, its current land use and the district plan approach that should be adopted to address the risk.

Tsunami

36.  Greater Wellington Regional Council has identified tsunami evacuation areas, based on modelling from GNS Science. As you would expect, this mapping shows that areas nearest the coast in Petone, Seaview and the Eastern Bays are most likely to be impacted by tsunami, although some areas further inland, including Alicetown and Moera and parts of Melling, Woburn and Waiwhetū may be impacted by larger tsunami.

37.  However, this tsunami modelling has been for the purpose of identifying areas for evacuation in the case of a tsunami. While the modelling identifies areas that may be impacted by tsunami with different return periods, it does not demonstrate the level of inundation that would result from a tsunami, which limits its usefulness in assessing risk and appropriateness for land use planning purposes.

Statutory and Policy Context

38.  The following sections summarise the statutory and policy context for the District Plan Review with regard to earthquake hazards.

Resource Management Act 1991 (the RMA)

39.  The RMA is the piece of legislation that requires Council to prepare a district plan. The purpose of the RMA is to promote the sustainable management of natural and physical resources (s5).

40.  The RMA states that the purpose of a district plan is to assist territorial authorities to carry out their functions in order to achieve the purpose of this Act (s72). The functions of territorial authorities under the RMA are set out in s31 of the Act.

41.  While all the functions of s31 of the RMA are relevant for the District Plan Review, the key function for earthquake and land instability hazards is:

The control of any actual or potential effects of the use, development, or protection of land, including for the purpose of the avoidance or mitigation of natural hazards (s31(1)(b)(i)).

42.  In addition, the management of significant risks from natural hazards is identified as a matter of national importance in s6 of the RMA that Council must recognise and provide for.

Regional Policy Statement for the Wellington Region 2013 (the RPS)

43.  The RPS provides an overview of the resource management issues of the Wellington region and policies and methods to achieve integrated management of the natural and physical resources of the region.

44.  District plans are required to give effect to regional policy statements for their region.

45.  The following objectives of the RPS are relevant for natural hazard management:

·      Objective 19: The risks and consequences to people, communities, their businesses, property and infrastructure from natural hazards and climate change effects are reduced.

·      Objective 20: Hazard mitigation measures, structural works and other activities do not increase the risk and consequences of natural hazard events.

·      Objective 21: Communities are more resilient to natural hazards, including the impacts of climate change, and people are better prepared for the consequences of natural hazard events.

46.  Policies 29, 51 and 52 of the RPS give direction on how district and regional plans are to address natural hazard management:

·      Policy 29 directs regional and district plans to identify areas at high risk from natural hazards, and to include polices and rules to avoid inappropriate subdivision and development in those areas.

·      Policy 51 is for the risk and consequences of natural hazards on people, communities, their property and infrastructure to be minimized, and lists associated matters councils are to give particular regard to when considering applications for resource consents, notice of requirements, or changes, variations or reviews to district and regional plans.

·      Policy 52 lists matters related to hazard mitigation measures that councils are to give particular regard to when considering applications for resource consents, notice of requirements, or changes, variations or reviews to district and regional plans.

Wellington Region Natural Hazards Management Strategy (updated 2019)

47.  The Wellington Region Natural Hazards Management Strategy is a strategy of Greater Wellington Regional Council, the five metropolitan councils of the Wellington region (including Hutt City Council), and the Wellington Region Emergency Management Group. The strategy has the following purpose:

The purpose of the Wellington Region Natural Hazards Management Strategy is to help create a region resilient to the impacts from natural hazard events through a focus on the reduction component of the 4 R’s (reduction, readiness, response, recovery) of the Civil Defence Emergency Management Act. It will provide a framework that will allow the partner councils in conjunction with key stakeholders and the community to develop consistent responses to the challenging natural hazards that we face including coastal erosion and inundation, sea level rise, flooding, earthquakes, landslides and storms.

48.  The Strategy sets the following four objectives for natural hazard management, each with a set of actions:

·      Objective 1: Our natural hazards and risks are well understood

·      Objective 2: Our planning takes a long term risk-based approach

·      Objective 3: Consistent approaches are applied to natural hazard risk reduction

·      Objective 4: We have an agreed set of priorities to reduce the risk from natural hazards

49.  Each of these objectives includes a series of actions to implement the objective, with 16 actions in total. Some of these actions are relevant for the District Plan Review, including actions on developing regionally consistent approaches in district plans, considering the timeframes over which different natural hazards are likely to occur, and strengthening linkages between planning practices and existing emergency management programmes.

Other relevant legislative and policy documents

50.  In addition to the key legislative and policy documents discussed above, the following documents also have some relevance for earthquake hazards:

·    The National Planning Standards, which set the structure that district plans must conform to, including the locations for objectives, policies and rules that address natural hazards.

·    The New Zealand Coastal Policy Statement 2010, which gives direction of the identification of coastal hazards (which includes tsunami) and the management of coastal hazard risk.

·    The National Policy Statement on Urban Development 2020 (NPS-UD). The NPS-UD gives direction to tier 1 territorial authorities (which includes Hutt City Council) to provide intensification in some parts of their districts, except where a qualifying matter applies. The qualifying matters include the matters of national importance under s6 of the RMA, which includes the management of significant risks from natural hazards.

51.  The district plans of other councils in the Wellington metropolitan area are also relevant considerations, particularly when considering risk associated with hazards that cross district boundaries. In recent years councils have been working more collaboratively on how to natural hazard risk in district plans, and it is expected that this will lead to greater consistency across councils.

52.  Both Porirua City Council and Wellington City Council are currently undertaking full reviews of their district plans. The Porirua District Plan Review is relatively far advanced in their process. Porirua City Council notified their proposed District Plan earlier this year, and their initial submission phase is now complete. In their proposed District Plan, Porirua City Council has addressed many of the same natural hazards that Hutt City Council will need to consider, including fault rupture, tsunami and slope instability. The Wellington District Plan Review is at a similar stage to Hutt City District Plan Review, and is not yet at the stage of having a proposed district plan.

Key Resource Management Issues

53.  The following key resource management issues have been identified for earthquake and land instability hazards:

a.    Areas in Hutt City are at risk to earthquake hazards that could have significant impacts on people and property.

b.    Some areas in Hutt City that are at elevated risk to earthquake and land instability hazards are already developed, urban areas that include activities that are particularly vulnerable to hazards.

c.     There are knowledge gaps on the areas that may be impacted by some earthquake hazards, and the level of risk associated with these hazards.

d.    Council’s management of earthquake and land instability hazard risk is not solely achieved through the District Plan, but also through other regulatory and non-regulatory functions, including building consent processes and community awareness programmes.

Options

54.  Two high-level options have been identified for how the District Plan Review could proceed with regard to earthquake and land stability hazards:

Option 1: A review of the District Plan approach on earthquake and land instability hazards, relying on existing information on earthquake and land instability hazard risk

55.  Under Option 1, the District Plan Review would proceed based on the current understanding and available information of earthquake and land instability hazards and the associated risks.

56.  The main advantage of this approach is that there would be a lower cost as no additional technical assessment reports would need to be commissioned.

57.  However, by relying on existing information Council may not be able to adequately address the risk of all earthquake and land instability hazards. Using existing information, particularly where it involves mapping the hazard at a broad scale, may influence the options and approaches for particular hazards.

58.  If it is found at a later date that Council has insufficient information to evaluate different options for managing natural hazard risk, additional technical assessments could be commissioned to ensure that options can be evaluated. However, this could result in delays in the District Plan Review.

Option 2: A full review of the District Plan approach on earthquake and land instability hazards, with additional technical assessments

59.  Option 2 would involve commissioning additional technical assessments on some earthquake and land instability hazards, to add to Council’s existing information base.

60.  The main advantage of this approach is that it will ensure Council is better informed on earthquake and land instability hazards, including the areas that are particularly susceptible to these hazards, and may enable Council to target its management of earthquake and land instability hazards to the relevant areas.

61.  However, Option 2 involves the added cost associated with commissioning the additional technical assessments.

Technical Assessments under Option 2

62.  If Council chooses to proceed with Option 2, there is an additional decision to be made on which technical assessments should be commissioned.

63.  Assessments on slope stability, tsunami and liquefaction have been identified as the three key assessments that should be considered as they are the three earthquake and slope instability hazards where more information would be most beneficial.

64.  With regard to slope stability, Council does not have good data on slopes in the district that are susceptible to slope instability. Without better information on slope instability, Council would need to take a more conservative approach on managing land use and development on slopes, which would potentially constrain development in some areas.

65.  With regard to tsunami, while Council has some information on areas susceptible to tsunami, the tsunami modelling has been for the purpose of identifying areas for evacuation in the case of a tsunami. While the modelling identifies areas that may be impacted by tsunami with different return periods, it does not demonstrate the level of inundation that would result from a tsunami, which limits its usefulness in assessing risk.

66.  With regard to liquefaction, while liquefaction susceptibility maps are available, the report from GNS Science that supports these maps recommends that the maps may be used ‘as a guide to where more detailed investigations of the liquefaction hazard is needed in order to provide the certainty required for inclusion in formal documents such as district plans, building regulations and land information memorandums.’

67.  Assessments on other earthquake and slope instability hazards have not been identified as key assessments for the following reasons:

·    With regard to fault rupture hazard for the Wellington Fault, this hazard has been addressed through a recent technical assessment,

·    With regard to fault rupture hazard for the Whitemans Valley and Baring Head Faults, the information in the hazard inventory from GNS Science suggests that the Whitemans Valley and Baring Head Faults of a long recurrence interval, a lot longer than that of the Wellington Fault. Given the lower likelihood of these faults rupturing, and the fact that there is less development in the locations of these faults than the Wellington Fault, the risks associated with ruptures of these faults is likely to be low.

·    With regard to ground shaking, this hazard is able to be addressed through the building consent process.

·    With regard to subsidence hazard, the area for this hazard has already been defined through a study from GNS Science from 2015.

Recommended Option – Option 2

68.  Option 2 is the recommended approach for the District Plan Review with regard to earthquake and land instability hazards.

69.  In addition, it is recommended that Council commissions technical assessments on slope stability and tsunami hazards.

70.  The slope stability assessment will enable Council to better understand the slopes that are susceptible to slope instability, and will enable the District Plan to directly address these areas, rather than taking a conservative approach of addressing all slopes.

71.  Similarly, the tsunami assessment will enable Council to better understand the potential likelihood and impacts of tsunami for the district. As with the slope stability assessment, this information will enable the District Plan to directly address tsunami risk for the relevant areas, rather than needing to take a conservative approach that may constrain land use and development in areas with a lower risk.

72.  Option 1 is not recommended as without the additional slope stability and tsunami assessments, the District Plan would need to adopt a more conservative approach to managing natural hazard risk, and may result in a continuation of the existing approach for land instability, tsunami and liquefaction hazards.

73.  A technical assessment on liquefaction, is not included in this recommendation as it is not clear at this stage that the District Plan should address liquefaction risk. This is in part because upcoming amendments to the Building Code will ensure that the suitability of foundations on liquefaction-prone ground will be addressed through the building consent process. There is an argument that district plans should address liquefaction in addition to the building consent process, as resource consent is often obtained for a development before building consent is provided for. However, it is preferable for district plans to not duplicate regulation from other legislation.

Climate Change Impact and Considerations

74.  The matters addressed in this report have been considered in accordance with the process set out in Council’s Climate Change Considerations Guide.

Engagement

75.  It is anticipated that engagement on earthquake and land instability hazards would involve:

·    Iwi partnership

Partnering with mana whenua, initially through meetings to provide information on the topic and to discuss whether mana whenua have any particular issues with regard to earthquake and land instability hazards.

Further details on how to partner with iwi on earthquake and land instability hazards would be determined during these initial discussions.

·    Impacted communities

As part of the District Plan Review, Council will need to directly engage with the specific communities that may have a high natural hazard risk. This targeted engagement would likely focus on owners and occupants of properties in these communities, and meetings with these communities to discuss the risk associated with these hazards. The focus of this targeted community engagement would not only be to inform the community on the earthquake and land instability hazard risk in their area, but to also discuss the acceptable level of risk for these communities.

·    Stakeholder engagement

The following key stakeholders have been identified for the earthquake hazards component of the District Plan Review:

Greater Wellington Regional Council,

Residential communities in areas known to have elevated levels of risk from earthquake and land instability hazards,

Wellington Region Civil Defense Emergency Management Group,

Infrastructure providers.

Engagement with stakeholders will likely involve ongoing meetings, either individually or in groups, on issues where the stakeholder has expressed an interest.

·    Community engagement

While there would be targeted engagement with some specific communities (outlined above under stakeholder engagement), there would also be engagement with the wider community of Lower Hutt, including the residential, business and development communities. While the exact dates and forms of this engagement have not been finalised it is anticipated that this engagement will involve:

Community open days, either specifically focusing on earthquake hazards or on the District Plan Review in general,

Community surveys through the Bang the Table online consultation tool,

On request, meetings with specific individuals or groups, and

Updates on the progress of the Review through Council’s social media avenues and website, with additional media releases at key stages of the Review.

Legal Considerations

76.  The legal consideration for this decision is the necessity for Council to meet its legal obligations under the RMA.

Financial Considerations

77.  The main costs associated with the District Plan Review with regard to earthquake and land instability hazards would be the costs associated with:

·    Commissioning expert assessments,

·    Engaging with the community, and

·    Preparing evaluation reports for a proposed district plan.

78.  At this stage, it is anticipated that the community engagement and preparation of evaluation reports would be carried out by Council officers, and that the cost of these pieces of work would be covered by the existing District Plan Review budget. However, if it is determined at a future date that a greater level of community engagement and a more in depth evaluation is required, there may be additional costs for these pieces of work.

79.  Depending on the option chosen by the Subcommittee, additional budget may be required for expert assessments on earthquake and land instability hazards.

80.  For a slope stability assessment, it had been identified early on in the scoping of the District Plan Review that a slope stability assessment may be required. As a result, $100,000 of the current District Plan Review budget has been allocated for a slope stability assessment. However, no other expert assessments have been allocated budget.

81.  The recommended option in this report (Option 2b) would include a tsunami assessment. It is expected that this assessment would cost between $90,000 and $100,000.

82.  This report also gives an option that would include a liquefaction assessment (Option 2c). At the time of writing this report, we are uncertain on what a liquefaction assessment would cost, but it is expected to be in the order of $100,000.

Appendices

There are no appendices for this report.   

 

 

 

 

 

Author: Nathan Geard

Senior Environmental Policy Analyst

 

 

 

 

 

 

Reviewed By: Hamish Wesney

Head of District Plan Policy

 

 

 

Approved By: Helen Oram

Director Environment and Sustainability

 


                                                                                      57                                                15 December 2020

District Plan Review Subcommittee

13 October 2020

 

 

 

File: (20/1227)

 

 

 

 

Report no: DPRS2020/6/323

 

Natural Hazards - Flooding

 

1.       Purpose of Report

1.1   Purpose

1.    The purpose of this report is to summarise the review undertaken of flooding and stormwater/surface water management, associated severe weather events and climate change in the City of Lower Hutt District Plan (District Plan). It includes a review of the existing approach and the effectiveness and efficiency of the operative District Plan provisions in light of the current statutory context. The review considers whether the outcomes in the plan have been achieved and how usable the plan is.

2.    The outcome of this review is to summarise and discuss the issues that will need to be addressed in the District Plan Review for flood hazards and identify options to assist in determining what approach should be carried forward into a Proposed District Plan.

3.    This report will cover flooding, severe weather events resulting in flooding, fluvial (river) flooding, stormwater and overland flows, inundation by storm surge and sea level rise.

1.2   Key Points

·       The Hutt River Valley is the most densely populated floodplain in the country with approximately 70,000 residents. Many communities in Lower Hutt are at risk from flooding, including Korokoro, Stokes Valley, Wainuiomata, Eastbourne and Waiwhetu to name a few. Flooding has a high level of impacts and costs of homes, businesses, infrastructure and socially.

·       Flood events are predicted to worsen with climate change and associated sea level rise.

·       The Operative District Plan provisions for flood management are spread throughout the plan and relate predominately to the Hutt River.

·       The Operative District Plan does not specifically identify and address the known full extent of flood risk in the district and the flood maps are not up to date.

·       However, where Plan provisions have been used for flood hazard purposes they appear to have been comparatively effective at managing development in the most flood prone and erosion susceptible areas along the Hutt River. The plan has allowed for other flood protection, prevention and alleviation and mitigation works to take place.

·       While there has been a lot of modelling and research done on many aspects of flooding and climate change it has not been linked up into a comprehensive review of flood risk in the district.

·       The RMA (Section 6(h)) now makes the management of risk resulting from natural hazards as a matter of national importance. The operative District Plan has not been reviewed in light of this new matter.

·       Policy 29 of the Regional Policy Statement directs district plans to identify areas at high risk from natural hazards and include policies and rules to avoid inappropriate subdivision and development in those areas.

·       The primary resource management issue is to ensure the management of risks resulting from flood hazards. The principle issues that relate to hazard management are:

1.   The necessity of having accurate natural hazard information.

2.   Having objectives, policies and rules to avoid new development and subdivision in areas at risk of known or potential significant natural hazards.

3.   Taking a risk-based approach to previously developed areas in particular with respect to infill development.

4.   Supporting non-regulatory measures that provide for flood protection, adaptation and mitigation.

·       Wellington Water is currently modelling stormwater and overland flows and Greater Wellington Regional Council are modelling and reviewing flood risk and Floodplain Management Plans for the Hutt River, Wainuiomata River and the Waiwhetu Stream. The outcomes of these processes will need to be addressed in the district plan chapter on flood hazards.

·       Ideally there would be a comprehensive overview of all of the flood hazards from all sources in the district for the next 100 years. This review should include the longer term flood hazard resulting from climate change including storm surge, increased rainfall, increased sea levels and groundwater levels and the potential for cumulative impacts.

·       Initial meetings have taken place with Wellington Water and Greater Wellington Regional Council and the Whaitua Committee as our primary partners on flooding hazards.

·       The initial aim of community consultation would be to inform and engage with key stakeholders and affected communities about the issues and risks with regard to flooding and the District Plan review’s role in addressing the issues. We would aim to:

-      Ensuring clear and accurate provision of information.

-      Gain an understanding of the level of concern and risk sensitivity.

-      Avoid “consultation fatigue” by undertaking joint consultations.

-      Undertake engagement in a transparent manner that allows the community to take ownership of the outcomes.

2.       Recommendations

That the Subcommittee:

(i)         agrees to undertake a review of the natural hazards (flood hazards and related stormwater) in line with the details set out in Option 3 within the report;

(ii)        agrees to work with Wellington Water Limited and Greater Wellington Regional Council to source information on flood risk across the district;

(iii)       agrees to investigate the feasibility of undertaking a strategic flood risk assessment for the whole district for the next 100 years taking into account all forms of flooding and climate change; and

(iv)      agrees to the engagement approach for the review of natural hazards (flood hazards and related severe weather) as summarised in section 7 within the report.

For the reasons:

·           Efficient use of Council resources;

·           Reflects the issues facing the district and city with respect to flood hazards;

·           Will utilise the most up to date information on flood risk available;

·           Will provide for measures to assist with avoiding, remedying and mitigating the natural hazard risks facing the district;

·           Supports the Council’s aims of developing a resilient community and development of adaptation strategies;

·           Gives effect to the RMA, RPS and National Planning Standards;

·           Achievable timeframes,

·           Align the District Plan with national and global best practice; and,

·           Ensuring an appropriate level of engagement and consultation. 

 

3.       Background

3.1   Introduction

4.    A Natural Hazard is created by human settlement being established in an area which is prone to extreme natural events. The risk of loss is increased where the density of development is high. This district faces a range of potential natural hazards including: earthquakes, tsunami, erosion, severe weather and high winds leading to storm surge, sea level rise, stormwater and flooding from the three major rivers and many smaller waterways (see Appendix 1 for flood maps).

5.    Flood hazards are a combination of the probability and the potential consequences of flooding from all sources. In this district the primary types of flooding which occur are:

·    Fluvial (or river/stream) flooding

·    Sea flooding (over topping, storm surge and sea level rise)

·    Storm or surface water flooding resulting in overland flows generally caused by heavy rainfall

·    Rising ground water (generally due to stormwater and/or sea level rise)

6.    The Hutt, Wainuiomata and Orongorongo Rivers, Waiwhetu, Stokes Valley, Korokoro and other local streams have the potential to overflow their banks during long continuous periods of rain in the catchment areas. These floods have the potential to cause significant damage to the built environment and the landscape. They also create a serious threat to the welfare of communities and businesses in the area.

7.    The now highly populated Hutt Valley Floor was/is the floodplain for the Hutt River and Waiwhetu stream (an estimated 70,000 people live in the floodplain and most of the district’s industrial and commercial uses are also located there). It is one of the most heavily populated flood plains in the country. It is only since the flood protection works commenced in 1903 that the Hutt River has become constrained and flood risk managed and therefore the land developable. The constraints (flood protection) have had to be continually reinforced and improved (Appendix 5 for a history of the works).

8.    Data summarised from NIWA Historic Weather Events Catalogue, an internet search, the Insurance Council and HCC records provide information on extreme weather events and to some extent on flooding for the current plan period to December 2019. The events relevant to Lower Hutt District are outlined in Appendix 2, which shows that there were approximately 65 severe weather events, at least 30 of which were reported to have caused notable flooding within the Hutt District - fluvial, stormwater and coastal flooding.

9.    Flooding and extreme weather events are one of the largest causes of property damage and disruption. Data from the Insurance Council shows that, after the Christchurch and Kaikoura earthquakes, the greatest cause of property damage and cost to insurance companies is flood and storm damage amounting to approximately $1,531 million since 2003. This cost does not include localized events nor the psychological impacts and social and commercial disruption (Appendix 2).

10.  Climate change is predicted to impact flood hazards, and is anticipated to cause more frequent and more severe weather events, higher rainfall and raise sea levels.

11.  Additional development reduces flood storage through displacement and an increase in hard surfaces and resulting increased storm water runoff as well as increasing the number of buildings and people at risk.

12.  There are a number of agencies involved with assessing and managing flood risk including:

·      Ministry for the Environment

·      Greater Wellington Regional Council

·      Wellington Water

·      Hutt City Council

·      NIWA              

3.2   Definition

13.  Appendix 3 outlines the main concepts and terminology related to flooding or inundation and flood types.

3.3   Operative District Plan

14.  Chapter 1 of the District Plan 2003 outlines the overall scope of the operative District Plan. Section 1.10.11 sets out the primary objective with respect to natural hazards, as to avoid or mitigate the vulnerability and risk of people and development to natural hazards.

15.  Provisions with respect to managing flood risk are spread throughout the plan in the associated chapter/activity areas provisions, with hazards overall being specifically addressed by the objective and policies in Chapter 14H (Natural Hazards) of the operative District Plan.

Issue - There is a risk of harm to people and damage to their property from natural hazards associated with seismic action, landslides, flooding and coastal hazards. The risk to people and their property should be avoided or mitigated.

Objective - To avoid or reduce the risk to people and their property from natural hazards associated with seismic action, landslides, flooding and coastal hazards.

Policy:  D  that suitable engineering, emergency management and land use control measures be adopted to reduce the vulnerability of people and their property to flood hazards.

E   That suitable engineering, emergency management and land use control measures be adopted to reduce vulnerability of development along the coast.

16.  While Chapter 14H has been part of the District Plan since the Plan became operative in June 2003, Plan Change 6 (operative 14 March 2006) amended provisions in chapters of the District Plan with respect to the Hutt River Flood Hazard Areas.

 

17.  The district plan maps show limited flood prone area relating predominately to the Hutt River primary and secondary river corridors and some 1:100 year flooding along the Hutt River (Appendix 1a).

18.  Greater Wellington Regional Council has assessed levels of flood risk for their flood hazard mapping at 1% which amounts to a 1 in 100 chance (or once a century) of this level of flood being reached in any one year. The mapping shows a much larger area of the district around the Waiwhetu and Wainuiomata rivers as being at risk of flooding in a 1:100 year event (Appendix 1b) than shown on the District Plan maps. For the Hutt River, a 1 in 440 (0.44%) level is used due to the number of people and properties in the flood hazard area (Appendix 1b). They have also recently provided a mapping system that shows inundation as a result of sea-level rises over the next 80 years with rises of between 0.4m to 5m and storm surge at sea level rises of between 0.5m, 1m and 1.5m. (Appendix 1c).

(https://mapping1.gw.govt.nz/GW/SLR/#slr-details).

3.4   Non-regulatory methods

19.  Mitigation of flood hazard risks can only be partially achieved through RMA regulatory methods controlling subdivision and development in identified flood hazard areas. Flood hazards in the district are predominately dealt with in a wide range of non-regulatory methods, such as stopbanks, improvements of the vegetation and wetlands around waterbodies, adaptation plans, emergency management and insurance as outlined in Appendix 4.

20. The operative district plan has been effective at supporting non-regulatory measures.

4.       Discussion

4.1   State of the Environment monitoring

21.  The political and policy environment with respect to flooding, coastal hazards and climate change are rapidly changing as the knowledge base grows and more extreme weather events and serious impacts on life and property from flooding and the associated land erosion and inundation are occurring.

22.  The Ministry for the Environment have Climate change projections for the Wellington and Wairarapa region[1]. It is anticipated that the area will:

-      Have increased temperatures, compared to 1995, which are likely to be 0.7˚C to 1.1˚C warmer by 2040 and 0.7˚C to 3.0˚C warmer by 2090.

-      By 2090, will have between 6 to 40 extra days per year where maximum temperatures exceed 25 degrees, with around 5 to 13 fewer frosts per year.

-      Wellington and Wairarapa are not expected to experience a significant change in the frequency of extreme rainy days as a result of climate change although rainfall may increase overall.

-      An increase in extremely windy days of 2 to 3 percent.

-      Some increase in storm intensity, local wind extremes and thunderstorms is likely to occur.

-      Sea level rises.

-      Doubling in the number of droughts.

23.  GNS Science Consultancy review of hazard information for Hutt City, May 2016. collated and reviewed hazard information existing at the time, assessed the planning implications and recommended priorities for natural hazard information for the Hutt River basin only

·    The Hutt River and its associated catchments of Waiwhetu, Korokoro and Stokes Valley are a main source of flooding risk in the district. There has always been a history of the Hutt River flooding in the area and the flood protection measures limit its ability to adapt to changes.

·    Current mapping of a 1:440 flood of the Hutt River shows that with if no breaches of flood banks occur most of the flood water should be contained.

·    The Waiwhetu Stream corridor was not suitable to contain even a 1:10 year event.

·    Sea level rise may have a significant impact on low lying areas including Seaview, Waiwhetu, Petone, Alicetown and Moera and parts of the Eastern Bays.

24.  There are a plethora of studies and documents with technical information and high quality information, however, these have not been linked together and do not currently provide a comprehensive overview of flood risk, climate change and stormwater issues facing the District. Table 2 in Appendix 2 provides includes a commentary on the floodplain management schemes in operation.

4.2   Efficiency and effectiveness monitoring of existing Plan provisions

25.  Section 3.3 above outlines the range of provisions throughout the plan. Appendix 2 (table 1) shows that the risk to people and property from flooding hazards has not been completely avoided. Whether the risk has been reduced by the provisions of the District Plan is difficult to assess because they are so broad that it is difficult to assess their effectiveness, there is a lack of clear thorough flood mapping, and there is little guidance as to how sites can be developed and buildings designed to manage flooding.

26.  However, where provisions have been put in place they appear to have been comparatively effective at managing development in the most flood prone and erosion susceptible areas along the Hutt River. The plan has allowed for other flood protection, prevention and alleviation and mitigation works to take place.

27.  The introduction of policies and rules with respect to managing stormwater neutrality and minimum floor levels have been brought in by Plan Change 43 to help address flooding. Since being made operative (April 2020) 6 applications have been made and granted that do not achieve these requirements. It is too early to be able to assess if the objective is being met. However, it would appear that most developments can comply with the stormwater storage requirements and those that do not can be considered on an individual basis as a restricted discretionary activity. 

28.  The primary issue with respect to the effectiveness of the operative District Plan is that it does not identify and address the known full extent of flood risk in the district (see the maps in Appendices 1a-c as a comparison).

29.  Therefore, the current plan provisions are no longer fit for purpose as they do not identify the full extent of flood risk, do not provide for climate change nor the protection of vulnerable areas and uses.

4.3   Statutory and Policy context

30.  The knowledge base, with respect to flood risk and climate change, has grown significantly since the preparation of the Operative District Plan. Policy direction has also changed from a light touch approach, to an understanding that flooding and climate change has significant impacts and a proactive response is required in response. The Government declared a climate change emergency on 2 December 2020, while Lower Hutt Council declared a climate emergency on 19 December 2019 with work commencing on adaptation strategies and zero carbon targets.

31.  There have been a number of national, regional and local policy and plan changes since the District Plan and Chapter 14 and Plan 6 Change became operative. These policy directions and changes will impact on the identification of areas, objectives, policies and rules relating to flood hazards and flood prone areas in the District Plan review. The most significant are:

·    Resource Legislation Amendment Act 2017 - The amendment added a matter of national importance (h) to Part II section 6 of the RMA:

(h)        the management of significant risks from natural hazards.

This now makes the management of risk resulting from natural hazards a matter of national importance that must be addressed through the District Plan Review. The operative District Plan has not been reviewed in light of this new matter.

·    National Planning Standards 2019 - Requires hazards including flood risk to be addressed within Part 2 of the Proposed District Plan in the Natural Hazards section.

·    Regional Policy Statement (RPS) Policy 29 of the Regional Policy Statement directs district plans to:

a)  Identify areas at high risk from natural hazards; and

b)  Include polices and rules to avoid inappropriate subdivision and development in those areas.

Policy 29 has to be given effect to so new development areas need to be selected/allocated with consideration of the risk posed by natural hazards. Development/areas at high risk, which cannot have risks mitigated through design, should be restricted. This RPS policy direction has implications for the District Plan provisions and mapping. Hazards, in particular areas at risk of flooding, will need to be clearly identified in the first instance and appropriate methods applied on land uses in the second instance.

4.4   Resource Management Issue Analysis

32.  The primary resource management issue is to ensure the management of risks resulting from flood hazards. The principle issues that relate to hazard management are:

1.     The necessity of having accurate natural hazard information.

2.     Having objectives, policies and rules in place to avoid new development and subdivision in areas of known or potential significant natural hazards.

3.     Taking a risk-based approach to previously developed areas in particular with respect to infill development.

4.     Supporting non-regulatory measures that provide for flood protection, adaptation and mitigation.

33.  We are awaiting modelling and studies from Wellington Water (assessment of stormwater and overland flows) and Greater Wellington Regional Council’s reviews of Flood Risk and Flood Risk Management Plans for the Hutt River and Wainuiomata River and modelling and a Flood Management Strategy for the Waiwhetu. The outcomes of these will need to be addressed in the district plan chapter on flood hazards.

34.  Ideally there would be a comprehensive overview of all of the flood hazards from all sources in the district for the next 100 years and the impact of development within the district on the wider catchment (probably in the form of a strategic flood risk assessment for the entire District). This review should include the longer term flood hazard resulting from climate change including storm surge, increased rainfall, increased sea levels and groundwater levels and how they will all interact in terms of the potential for cumulative impacts. In particular it should include:

§  Identification of types of flood risk and their cumulative impacts;

§  Identification of the locations of actual and residual flood risk;

§  Have up to date information on flood levels taking into account, fluvial, storm surge, surface water, overland flows and climate change, cumulative impacts and residual risk;

§  Identify ponding areas, storage areas, flow paths, depth and velocities;

§  Determine greenfield runoff rates and measures to limit run off for built development;

§  Run off rates that the current stormwater systems can cope with and improvements needed;

§  Identify vulnerable uses and their avoidance in high risk locations;

§  Mitigation, flood controls, Sustainable Urban Drainage Systems (SuDs), flood resilient and resistant design;

§  Cost and funding implications; and

§  Areas where avoidance and mitigation may not be possible and where managed retreat may be required in the long term.

35.  This review would allow identification of areas where development will be especially vulnerable and where development should be avoided or limited and areas where development will need to incorporate flood resilience and resistant building methods, in other words providing an evidential basis for assessing and managing flood risk.

36.  It will also allow consideration of opportunities to reduce flood risk to existing communities and developments through better management of surface/storm water, provisions for conveyance and of storage for flood water and construction of flood protection structures. It may also help to identify areas where retreat may need to be considered in the longer term.

5.       Options

5.1   Option 1: Targeted review focusing on applying the zoning and natural hazard framework in the National Planning Standards.

37.  Refine the current approach to align with National Planning Standards and incorporate current flood hazard mapping and documents from Greater Wellington Regional Council (GWRC) and Wellington Water with improved wording of the provisions. This approach will combine all the provisions currently spread throughout the plan into one chapter and update maps to generally accord with current information on flood risk held by GWRC and Wellington Water and respond to any basic legislative requirements.

38.  However, there is the risk that provisions for flood hazard in the plan will not completely comply with the RMA, RPS and National Planning Standard requirements for a natural hazards chapter that identifies hazards and applies provisions on a district wide basis that manage significant risks. It will continue to provide a piecemeal approach to flooding and stormwater management across the district as:

·        There will not be a comprehensive investigation  into flood risk across the district, which means that the gaps in the knowledge base will remain; 

·        It will not have scope to address the work on stormwater and overland flow modelling being undertaken by Wellington Water or new fluvial flood modelling from GWRC;

·        Provides little scope to educate the community and assess their acceptable level of risk; and

·        Will be unlikely to provide additional provisions to assist in avoiding, remedying or mitigating flood hazard risk.

5.2   Option 2 - Complete review addressing strategic issues.

39.  Collate all of the objectives, policies and rules relating to flood risk, severe weather effects and stormwater management in one chapter of the plan, as above, which will then apply to the whole district to accord with the requirements of the National Planning Standards. Up-date these provisions and mapping with respect to the most recent information from research done by GWRC, Wellington Water, Ministry for the Environment and NIWA.

This option would likely involve:

·      A review of current and emerging practice, particularly within the region but also elsewhere in the country,

·      Identification of areas susceptible to flood hazards, and the level of risk associated with the hazards, using the most current information available from Greater Wellington Regional Council and Wellington Water, and

·      Assessment of what is the most appropriate approach for Council in managing the risk for the District Plan for the next 10 years (plan period).

40. This approach would give greater clarity to areas prone to flooding within the district and provide a more comprehensive approach to identification and management of flood risk. However, as this report has identified there is missing information and little consideration of cumulative effects from different types of flood hazards (eg river flooding combined with stormwater and storm surge with sea level rise). Therefore, this approach may not provide for full identification and management of significant risks from natural hazards (RMA(6)(h) and RPS).

41. This option is likely to be the most cost effective approach to giving effect to the RMA, RPS and National Planning Standards. However, this approach may require an early review and potentially a variation/plan change, after the full review process, as modelling, knowledge and government and regional policy advance. It would also not deal with adaptation.

5.3   Option 3 - Comprehensive review of flooding in the district and bring all of the flood modelling together.

42.  Provide for a comprehensive review of flood risk bringing all of the modelling together for different types of flooding. Provide for provisions that incorporate resilience within the District Plan and the district’s built environment and land uses from the effects of flooding.

43.  This option is an opportunity to completely review the evidence base with respect to flood risk and climate change and undertake a strategic flood risk assessment of the whole district. This option will include commissioning additional work to identify and fill in holes in the current knowledge/evidence/modelling of the district’s flood hazards, including addressing inundation as a result of sea level rise and climate change. This option would then facilitate a comprehensive review and drafting of the objectives, policies and rules of the District Plan to ensure they address matters of flooding, surface water drainage, and severe weather to ensure that new structures and land uses are located appropriately, take account of the risks and incorporate measures to avoid, remedy or mitigate the hazards to protect life and property.

44.  This option will determine what land is likely to be flooded from all types of flooding, at what annual exceedance probability, and what the flood levels and flow rates are likely to be. Research will also need to be undertaken into regulatory and non-regulatory methods to avoid, remedy or mitigate risks and impacts. This option could include:

·      Work with Wellington Water and GWRC and potentially a specialist consultant to identify where all the areas at risk of flooding by stormwater, fluvial, coastal and storm surge are and at what return periods (1:100, 1:20 etc.) and what levels and flows of flood water. Identify the functional flood plain (primary and secondary river corridor), and overtopping (storm surge) areas). Map these areas.

·      Incorporate measures that will help to reduce risk and minimise impacts.

·      Identify vulnerable and highly vulnerable uses that should not be located in flood hazard areas.

 

45.  In the medium term option 3 is the preferable option as it would take a full comprehensive approach to managing flood hazards across the whole district. However, there may be some difficulty achieving this option within the timeframes set out in the work programme for the District Plan review, because:

·    It relies on GWRC undertaking/updating flood modelling on the rivers and streams in the district in particular the Hutt River, Wainuiomata River and Waiwhetu as well as some of the smaller streams. They have commenced this process for the Hutt River and are starting the Waiwhetu next year.

·    It relies on the stormwater and overland flow modelling currently being undertaken by Wellington Water to be completed by the middle of next year. So far Wellington Water is in the process of finalising modelling for Wainuiomata and has several other areas of the district to complete including Stokes Valley, Petone, Waiwhetu and Eastbourne.

·    Responsibility for other smaller waterways and culverts and whether these need to be modelled and managed still needs to be determined.

·    Significant technical work required to consolidate and analyse all of the flood modelling and research.

a.    Option 4 - An all-encompassing approach to addresses a number of Council’s wider aspirations for the District

46.  Attempting to future proof the plan and the district to assist in providing for adaptation and resilience within the District Plan and the district’s built environment and land uses from the effects of flooding and climate change.

47.  This option could be incorporating and combining this flood hazard work with the climate change adaptation work, with the preparation of a flooding and climate change adaptation strategy.

48.  This option could include all the above option 3, plus preparing with the community a flood and climate change adaptation strategy which includes the methods, timeline and costs for responding to all types of flooding. For example, where land use planning controls would apply, new or upgraded physical protection works, or other non-regulatory methods.

49.  This option will determine take the steps to developing an adaptation strategy for the district to help with addressing the long terms effects of flooding and climate change.

50.  Long term option 4 is the preferable option as it would take a full comprehensive approach to managing flood hazards across the district and providing for and supporting an adaptation strategy. However, it would not be able to be achieved within the timeframes set out in the work programme for the District Plan review, because:

·    It relies on GWRC completing flood plain management plans for the Hutt River, Wainuiomata River and Waiwhetu as well as some of the smaller streams. While much of the modelling has been commenced the floodplain management plans are likely to take up to 3-5 years to produce.

·    It relies on the stormwater and overland flow modelling for the whole district being completed and at this time Wellington Water is focusing on specific areas of the district.

·    Responsibility for many of the other smaller waterways and culverts and whether these need to be modelled and managed still needs to be determined.

·    It should action some of the long term objectives of the Whaitua Implementation Plan which is not yet completed.

·    Significant technical work required to consolidate and analyse all of the flood modelling and research and providing for future forecasting.

·    Significant community engagement required to understand, assess and develop the approaches for flood hazard mitigation and adaptation.

51.  As such, at this time, Option 4 is not recommended due to the time and costs involved. Option 3 outlines an approach based on existing or soon to be available evidence. Once further modelling and research has been undertaken, Option 4 could be pursued in the future.

6.       Climate Change Impact and Considerations

52.  The matters addressed in this report have been considered in accordance with the process set out in Council’s Climate Change Considerations Guide.

53.  This process will feed into the second main consideration of the Council’s approach to climate change in that it will assist in working with affected communities about how to respond to forecasted climate impacts as outlined in the background paper to the Long Term Plan.

54.  It will aim to assist in avoiding, remedying and mitigating climate change affects from sea level rise and flooding from rainfall events by developing objectives, policies and rules in the District Plan to manage the development and use of land that is at risk of flooding and development and uses which may increase the risk of flooding.

7.       Consultation

55.  Some initial meetings have taken place with Wellington Water and Greater Wellington Regional Council and the Whaitua Committee as our primary partners. No other more general engagement or consultation has been undertaken so far specifically on this topic.

56.  Depending on the option selected there is likely to be a significant level of engagement and public information required.

·    The initial aim would be to inform and engage with iwi, community interest groups, key stakeholders and affected communities about the issues and risks with regard to flooding and the District Plan review’s role in addressing the issues.

·    Ensuring clear and accurate provision of information.

·    Gain an understanding of the level of concern and risk sensitivity with respect to flooding that stakeholders and affected communities have.

·    Avoid “consultation fatigue” by combining with other consultation opportunities for stakeholders with multiple issues and with the wider community in particular Wellington Water’s stormwater consultation, the adaptation strategy consultation and engagement on other Natural Hazards and the Coastal Environment.

57.  This engagement is anticipated to take place via a range of methods, including:

·      Iwi, internal and strategic partners via targeted meetings.

·      Consultation events or workshops for key stakeholders and affected communities alongside other the adaptation strategy, Wellington Water’s consultation on stormwater management and potentially other District Plan natural hazards topics.

·      Public meetings or open days on the whole plan review.

58.  The primary parties that have been identified, in no particular order, are:

·        Mana Whenua especially those with sites affected or potentially affected

·        Greater Wellington Regional Council

·        Wellington Water

·        Whaitua te Whanganui-a-Tara Committee

·        Affected property owners/residents particularly in Petone, Alicetown, Seaview, Eastbourne and along the Hutt and Wainuiomata Rivers and Waiwhetu Stream and Stokes Valley.

·        Local communities in affected areas including their community boards and interest groups

·        Transport and infrastructure providers

·        The wider community

·        NIWA, MfE and GNS may provide input at a technical level.

8.       Legal Considerations

59.  Section 79(1)(c) of the Resource Management Act 1991 (RMA) requires that a Local Authority must commence a review of a provision of a district plan if the provision has not been a subject of a review or change in the previous 10 years. Section 79(4) provides scope for local authorities to commence a full review of a district plan. All sections and changes must be reviewed and then the plan is publically notified (79(6)&(7)). Schedule 1 sets out requirements for the preparation, change and review of plans.

60.  Territorial Local Authorities are required to control the effects of the use of land for the avoidance or mitigation of natural hazards (s31 RMA 1991). Territorial authorities are also given the authority to control subdivision under s31(2) and have discretion under s106 to refuse a subdivision consent where the land is subject to hazards, or the subsequent use of the land will exacerbate the hazard.

61.  Section 8 of the RMA requires all persons exercising functions/powers under it to take into account the principles of the Treaty of Waitangi.

9.       Financial Considerations

62.  As outlined above, Options 1 and 2 would be undertaken within the current District Plan Review budget, which includes provision for technical advice on flood hazards of up to $50,000. In addition, the current budget is based on GWRC and Wellington Water supplying the flood modelling and flood hazard mapping at no cost to Council, which is the usual arrangement. Additional budget would be required for aspects of Option 3, such as the additional flood modelling and combining the different flood models into one overall flood model/maps. These costs are estimated to be in the order of $100K-$200K. Option 4 would be considerably more, though there would be some efficiencies in combining with the climate change adaption work.

Appendices

No.

Title

Page

1

Appendix 1a Flood Maps - Excerpt from Operative District Plan Map

58

2

Appendix 1b Flood Maps - GWRC River Flood Hazard Maps

59

3

Appendix 1c Flood Maps - GWRC Coastal Flood Maps

63

4

Appendix 2 Flooding and severe weather events and list of rivers and their maangement strategies

70

5

Appendix 3 Glossary

73

6

Appendix 4 Non-regulatory flood mitigation methods

74

7

Appendix 5 History of works on the Hutt River

75

    

 

 

 

 

 

Author: Cathy McNab

Environmental Policy Analyst

 

 

 

Author: Benjamin Haddrell

Policy Planner

 

 

 

 

 

 

Reviewed By: Hamish Wesney

Head of District Plan Policy

 

 

 

Approved By: Helen Oram

Director Environment and Sustainability

 


Attachment 1

Appendix 1a Flood Maps - Excerpt from Operative District Plan Map

 

Appendix 1a: HCC Operative District Plan


Attachment 2

Appendix 1b Flood Maps - GWRC River Flood Hazard Maps

 

Appendix 1b: Flood Maps - Rivers

Greater Wellington Regional Council Flood Hazard Maps – Showing a 1:440 or 0.23% AEP flood of the Hutt River

Greater Wellington Regional Council Flood Hazard Maps – Showing a 1:100 or 1% AEP of the Waiwhetu Stream

Greater Wellington Regional Council Flood Hazard Maps – Showing a 1:100 or 1% AEP flood of the Wainuiomata River


Attachment 3

Appendix 1c Flood Maps - GWRC Coastal Flood Maps

 

Appendix 1c – Indicative Flooding along the Coast

 

Greater Wellington Regional Council Climate Change Mapping – Sea Level Rise 0.6m rise in sea level

 


 

 

Greater Wellington Regional Council Climate Change Mapping – Sea Level 1m rise in sea level

 


 

 

Greater Wellington Regional Council Climate Change Mapping – Sea Level 2m rise in sea level

 

 

 

 

Greater Wellington Regional Council Climate Change Mapping – Storm Surge risk at current sea levels

 


 

 

Greater Wellington Regional Council Climate Change Mapping – Storm Surge risk with a 0.5m rise in sea level

 


 

 

Greater Wellington Regional Council Climate Change Mapping – Storm Surge risk with a 1m rise in sea level

 

 

 

 

Greater Wellington Regional Council Climate Change Mapping – Storm Surge risk with a 1.5m rise in sea level


Attachment 4

Appendix 2 Flooding and severe weather events and list of rivers and their maangement strategies

 

APPENDIX 2

Table 1: Major severe weather and flood events affecting the district between Jun 2003 and December 2019

 

date

where

details

Insurance Council estm costs countrywide $m5

1

8 December 2019

Stokes Valley Entrance and Taita gorge

Hebden Crescent camp site Belmont

flooding causing road closures and slip on SH2, holiday maker evacuations

15

2

20/2/2018

Extreme weather event  - Ex tropical cyclone Gita

High winds

35

3

1/2/18

Extreme weather event - Ex tropical cyclone Fehi

High winds, Some surface flooding?

45

4

26/12/2017

Wider wellington

Surface water flooding after heavy rain

 

5

7/3/2017

Rainfall and flooding

surface flooding on Hutt Road between Ngauranga and Petone.

61.7

6

2 February 2017

Melling interchange, Block Road

Flash flood following heavy rain

 

7

14-15 November 2016

Naenae and Waiwhetu and Petone.

Waiwhetu Stream burst its banks, surface water flooding also, evacuations

9.1

8

September 2016

Lower Hutt City, Block Road and riverbank car park

Heavy rain throughout the Hutt Valley

3.8

9

18/6/2015

Flooding and Severe Weather is affecting Lower Hutt

Civil Defence emergency

Surface flooding High winds

Waiwhetu Stream burst its banks, surface water flooding also

41.5

10

14/5/2015-15/5/2015

Flooding and severe weather for Wellington Region - Petone

Civil Defence emergency

21.9

11

9-11/6/2014

severe weather north and south islands

  Severe  weather countrywide

37.6

12

3-5/3/2014

Wellington region

Storm – high winds

22.5

13

30/10/2013

Hutt City

Hutt River burst its banks

 

14

10-12/9/13

Wellington region

Storm – high winds

Surface water flooding

74.5

15

20/6/2013

Wellington region

Days Bay, SH2 Petone

Storm – high winds causing damage to infrastructure and injuries

Slips and blown debris, storm surge

39.3

16

4/5/2013

Wellington Region

Storm – high winds, lightning strikes at Petone

Surface flooding

2.9

17

18-20/3/2012

Wellington Region

Storm – high winds,

 

18

3/3/2012

Wellington Region

Wainuiomata, Hutt City (Harcourt Werry Drive)

Weather bomb  -Wind, surface flooding at Wainuiomata

Flooding of Hutt River burst its banks

 

19

21/11/2011

Wellington Region

Wainuiomata

Storm – high winds, damage to houses and uprooted trees

 

20

14/8/2011

Wellington Region

Lower Hutt District

Snow and ice

Closed Wainuiomata Road and cur power to 11000 homes in Lower Hutt

 

21

24-25/7/2011

Wellington Region

Snow and ice

 

22

17/9/2010

Wellington Region

Lightning strikes causing power outages in Hutt Valley

 

23

22/3/2010

Coastal areas

high winds

 

24

12/3/2010

Wellington

Thunderstorm

1.2

25

12/2/2010

Wellington region

Lower Hutt, Lyall Bay

High winds, heavy rainfall - uprooting trees across rail lines and lifting roofs

1.2

26

30/5/2009-1/6/2009

Countrywide

Lower Hutt

Snow, ice, high winds, hail storm at Lower Hutt

 

27

19-24/5/2009

Countrywide

Lower Hutt, Naenae, Petone

High winds bringing down powerlines

Heavy rain

 

28

15-18/5/2009

Wellington Region

Lower Hutt - Gracefield

High winds bringing down powerlines

 

29

26-29/4/2009

Hutt River

Heavy rain causing flooding of Hutt River and surface flooding

 

30

19-21/2/2009

Lower Hutt

Heavy Rain

 

31

10-12/2/2009

Lower Hutt

Heavy Rain

 

32

1/11/2008

Wellington region, Wainuiomata

High winds – blowing vehicles off roads

 

33

4/11/2008

Wellington region

Thunder Storm

 

34

7/10/2008

Wellington region

Seaview

Heavy rain and High winds up-rooting trees and causing power outages

 

35

24-27/8/2008

Wellington region, Eastbourne

Heavy rain Flooding/slip in Marine Drive, Sunshine Bay, Petone (SH)

 

36

14-19/9/2008

Countrywide

Lower Hutt, SH2, Stokes Valley

Snow/ice

Hailstorm, surface flooding

 

37

2/8/2008

Wellington region

Heavy rain

 

38

29/7/2008

Countrywide - Wellington region

Heavy Rain, high wind

46.3

39

19/7/2008

Wellington Region

Lower Hutt

Heavy rain, Flooding, high winds, surface water flooding

 

40

11/7/2008

Lower Hutt

Heavy Rain, flooding (SH2)

 

41

4-7/7/2008

Lower Hutt

Heavy rain, high winds lifting roofs

 

42

22/6/2008

Wellington region

Lower Hutt, Petone

Heavy rain, surface flooding, high wind (over turning cars)

 

43

29/4-1/5/2008

North Island - Hutt Valley

Heavy Rain causing surface flooding and slips

 

44

29/2-2/3/2008

Wellington region

Heavy Rain causing surface flooding and slips

 

45

10-16/2/2008

Wellington region –

Petone, Korokoro

Heavy Rain. Flooding (of SH2) and flash floods

Lightning strike in Korokoro

 

46

8/1/2008

Petone

Heavy rain

 

47

7/10/2007

Lower Hutt

Heavy rain, flooding of the Hutt River and surface flooding

 

48

2/10/2007

Wellington region

High waves over coastal roads, high winds

 

49

12/3/2007

North island

Hutt valley, Petone

High wind, lightening, surface flooding at Petone

 

50

21-24/10/2006

Wellington Region, coastal areas

Petone, Eastbourne, Wainuiomata

Heavy Rain, high winds, heavy seas

Landslips Eastbourne

Flooding at Petone

Surface flooding and slip at Wainuiomata

 

51

5/8/2006

North Island Lower Hutt

Heavy Rain

 

52

21/7/2006

Wellington Region

Hutt Valley, Eastbourne

Heavy rain, land slips at Eastbourne

 

53

5-7/7/2006

wellington

Storm and flooding

2.7

54

22/6/2006

Wellington Region

High Winds

 

55

12/6/2006

Countrywide

storms

42.5

56

23/1/2006

Wellington Region, Petone

Heavy rain

 

57

1/1/2006

Wellington region

High winds

 

58

29-31/3/2005

Wellington region - Wainuiomata

Heavy rain, flooding at Wainuiomata River overtopped its banks

0.6

59

5-6/1/2005

Wellington region

Hutt Valley, Hutt River,  Hathaway Ave

Heavy rain, flooding Hutt river rose to 25 year levels and caused damage to stop banks

2.5

60

14-20/8/2004

Wellington Region

Coastal areas, Lower Hutt

Eastbourne, Petone, Wainuiomata

Heavy Rain, high wind, Huge seas, flooding, slips, uprooted trees, Surface flooding

Slips and floods at Eastbourne

Waiwhetu Stream burst its banks, flooding properties

Brought down trees on Dowse Drive,

Floods and slips in Lower Hutt and Wainuiomata

Sea waves across rail lines at Petone

8.7

61

19/6/2004

Wellington Region

Hutt River

Heavy Rain and flooding of the Hutt River, surface water flooding

 

62

27/2/2004

Hutt Valley

Flooding of Hutt River

 

 

14-19 February 2004

North Island

50 year flood

Eastbourne, Lower Hutt, Wainuiomata

50 year flood - Waiwhetu Stream breached its banks.

Heavy rain, high winds

High seas at Eastbourne, land slips at Eastbourne and Stokes Valley

Flood damage Lower Hutt

Wainuiomata River reached record levels and flooded so much the town was cut off

112

63

19-21/1/2004

Wellington region

Lower Hutt

High winds causing power outages, heavy rain, flooding at Eastbourne

0.8

64

3/10/2003

Wellington Region - Lower Hutt

Heavy Rain

2.3

65

8-10/6/2003

Wellington Region

Hutt River, Woburn, Wainuiomata

Heavy rain, High levels in Hutt river, surface water flooding due to storm water rain failure, flooding of streets in Wainuiomata and damage to roads from high river flows

1

Table 2: outlining and discussing Flood modelling and Management Strategies for the waterbodies in the district.

Water body

Flood Management scheme

Discussion

Hutt River

Flood and erosion hazards information sheets for sections of the Hutt River - Showing flooding to 1:100 (1%) level and building setback line.

Hutt River Flood Management plan - Contains flooding mapping (including residual risk)

 

 

 

Hutt City Section Protection Improvements | Scoping Report 2013

1:440 year (0.23%) flood hazard mapping available on the GWRC online flood mapping https://mapping.gw.govt.nz/GW/Floods/

Showing flooding to 1:100 (1%) level and building setback line. Provides information of raised floors and building setbacks and access.

Sets policies for managing flood hazard from the Hutt river including the agreed design standard for flood banks of 1:440 flood of 2300 cumec. This includes structural (stopbanks etc) and non-structural components (policies, restrictions on new developments, information, LIMs).  These policies should be reflected in District Plan provisions and mapping where relevant.

Wainuiomata River

Flood hazard and erosion mapping were updated in 2012 they map a 1% AEP (1:100 year flood)

Mapping includes the flood hazard but there are also information sheets for each section of the river.

http://www.gw.govt.nz/wainuiomatariver/

Provides comprehensive flood hazard and erosion hazard mapping of the Lower Reaches of the Wainuiomata River from Wainuiomata township to the coast. Some of the maps include estimated flood depth.

These estimates include a 0.6m freeboard and an allowance for climate change.

The upper catchment is designated for water supply and managed as such.

Orongorongo River

N/A

predominately unpopulated catchment

Waiwhetu Stream

 

1:100 year (1%) flood hazard mapping available on the GWRC online flood mapping

https://mapping.gw.govt.nz/GW/Floods/

A floodplain management plan has been under development since 2004.

Limited information available but anecdotally much of the Waiwhetu channel and banks only have a 1:2 -1:5 (once every 2-5 years) floodwater capacity.

Other watercourses maintained by GWRC

 

Stokes Valley Stream

Speedys Stream

Te Mome Stream

Korokoro Stream

There is no publically available information on these water bodies

Other waterbodies?

Awamutu stream, Black Creek, Opahu stream.

Currently unknown

Stormwater and overland flow paths

Hutt City Council Stormwater Plan 2012-2017

Proposed integrated management plans

This has been taken over by Wellington Water who are in the process of mapping and modelling stormwater/overland flow flood hazards in parts of the district

Coastal flooding

Sea Level Rise and Storm Surge Modelling - GWRC[2] and NIWA

Provides interactive mapping of different scenarios. Shows a large coastal hazard area for the district.

 


Attachment 5

Appendix 3 Glossary

 

APPENDIX 3: main terms

This appendix outlines the primary terminologies related to flooding or inundation:

Annual Exceedance Probability (AEP) or Return Period is the probability of a river having certain flow levels above normal at any point in time. For example a 1:100 AEP for the Hutt River refers to the likelihood of the river have a flow volume of 1900m3/s. This is anticipated to occur once in 100 years or has a 1% probability of occurring in any one year.

Flood Hazard: is where water levels occur that are above the normal and have the potential to cause damage to property and/or persons. They generally occur in low-lying areas or those with poor surface water drainage. Many of the residential and commercial areas of the Hutt Valley are located on a flood plain.

Duration, depths, velocities, rate of rise and overall volume of floodwaters are all also relevant to the flood hazard and help to determine the level of impact. Flood hazards can three levels of effects:

·      Primary impacts being as a result of direct contact with the flood waters: including inundation with water; erosion; damage to property, infrastructure and land; loss of life; concentration of rubbish, sewage and pollutants.

·      Secondary impacts; pollution of drinking water; impacts on utilities and transportation links.

·      Long Term impacts; river channel change, sedimentation, loss of habitat, need to relocate infrastructure and buildings, damp buildings causing health and structural problems

Floodplain - a low area of land, generally adjacent to streams or rivers, into which flood water moves into during a flood or high flow event.

Flood Modelling uses a range of data to predict the frequency, velocity and levels to predict future floods.

 

Natural hazards are defined by the RMA at Part 1 section 2 as:

Meaning any atmospheric or earth or water related occurrence (including earthquake, tsunami, erosion, volcanic and geothermal activity, landslip, subsidence, sedimentation, wind, drought, fire, or flooding) the action of which adversely affects or may adversely affect human life, property, or other aspects of the environment.

Overland flow path  is the route taken by stormwater which becomes concentrated as it flows overland, making its way downhill following the path of least resistance towards the stormwater   network, streams or the coast.

Primary and secondary river corridors are the minimum area that is required to contain a major flood and pass water to the sea. The primary river corridor is at higher risk of flooding and erosion and the secondary river corridor is at moderate risk of flooding.

Severe weather – Weather that is likely to cause significant disruption to the general public, damage to property and risk to life.

Stormwater (sometimes referred to as surface water) is water that originates from rain. Stormwater can soak into the soil, be stored on the land surface in ponds and puddles, evaporate, or runoff. Most runoff is conveyed directly to nearby water bodies without treatment. 


Attachment 6

Appendix 4 Non-regulatory flood mitigation methods

 

Appendix 4: Non regulatory methods for achieving Flood Hazard mitigation or avoidance

Non-regulatory guidance and codes of practice design specifications/guides for stormwater management systems, siting and designing buildings to minimise risk, such as water sensitive urban design, hydraulic neutrality and an example is the managing stormwater runoff guidance produced by Wellington Water. Education of property owners and developers is key to these methods working.

Floodplain Management Plans – such as the Hutt River Floodplain Management Plan 2001, this aims to provide a comprehensive long-term strategy for managing flood hazard.

Soft engineering solutions which involve maintaining or restoring the natural river and coastal features and processes with the aim of slowing down the flow of water and storing water along catchments. Such as the work being undertaken along the Waiwhetu.

Hard engineering which aims to reduce the frequency of the occurrence of a hazard by modifying the hazard itself through structural or built measures and can include upstream storage of floodwaters, stopbanks and floodwalls, erosion protection, removal of obstructions such as bridges, floodways and deviation channels and household storage of stormwater. Examples are the stopbanks along the Hutt River and the proposed Riverlink scheme and the requirements for stormwater storage tanks for new developments.

Separation of stormwater and sewerage.

Management and Maintenance – dredging of riverbeds, clearing of debris from culverts and smaller/seasonal waterways, maintenance of stop banks and over flood protection works. These works are generally undertaken by GWRC, HCC and land owners.

Education, resilience and adaptation strategies such as the GWRC Natural Hazards management strategy, whose aim is to help create a region resilient to the impacts from natural hazards, and the co-design engagement work being undertaken by HCC and its partners.

Emergency management such as early warning flood systems - GWRC

Risk transference such as through insurance.

Other regulatory methods - The building code also has requirements with respect to new buildings and high winds, weather tightness, stormwater disposal and overland flows.

 


Attachment 7

Appendix 5 History of works on the Hutt River

 

APPENDIX 5: History of flooding and flood works on Hutt River

Taken from The Hutt River Te-Awa-kai-rangi a Modern History 1840-1990 by J Easter


                                                                 86                                    15 December 2020

District Plan Review Subcommittee

27 November 2020

 

 

 

File: (20/1125)

 

 

 

 

Report no: DPRS2020/6/324

 

Rural Zones

 

1.       Purpose of Report

1.1        Purpose

1.    The purpose of this report is to review the provisions relevant to Rural Zones in the City of Lower Hutt District Plan. In particular, it includes a review of the existing approach and the effectiveness and efficiency of the Operative District Plan provisions in light of the current statutory context and to identify any issues, opportunities and options for the review of this topic.

2.    This review also seeks to determine how well the policies and methods (including rules) are achieving the plan’s objectives. The review identifies whether the outcomes in the plan have been achieved and how usable the plan is.

3.    The outcome of this review is to present options to assist in determining what approach should be carried forward into a Proposed District Plan, and what issues will need to be addressed in the District Plan Review for rural areas.

1.2  Key points

     While the rural area makes up nearly 70% of the district’s total land area, a significant proportion of this land is within conservation land (Remutaka Forest Park) and some is within the regional parks and reserves.

     Rural land has limited productive potential due to soil, topographical and climate characteristics with a small number of farms predominately grazing and forestry.

     The rural area contributes significantly to the amenity of the district.

     There are pressures for urban expansion and lifestyle blocks which need to be addressed

     There have been changes to national, regional and local policy which mean that the provisions relating to rural areas need to be reviewed and updated.

     Current rural activity areas of General Rural and Rural Residential match fairly closely to the new rural zones in the National Planning Standards but the inclusion of conservation and reserve land in the rural zone will need to be reconsidered.

     An assessment of resource consents indicates that the District Plan provisions for the rural areas are generally effective and that there is little pressure for activities and development not currently provided for by the District Plan.

     The primary resource management issue for rural areas is to support the productive use of land and make provision for rural communities while also ensuring that soil, water, ecosystems and other resources are protected.

     The recommendation is for option 2 which would include a review of; rural subdivision approach; new and emerging land use activities; District Plan provision; and zoning. It would involve comprehensive community engagement.

2.       Recommendations

That the Sub-Committee:

(i)    agrees to undertake a review of the Rural Activity Areas Chapter and zoning in line with the details set out in Option 2 within the report; and

(ii)   agrees to the engagement approach for the review of the Rural Activity Areas Chapter as outlined in section 7 within the report.

For the reasons:

    Efficient use of Council resources;

    Reflects the nature, qualities and pressures on rural areas;

    Current rural activity areas match fairly closely to the new rural zones in the National Planning Standards;

    Consideration of national or regional policy to be implemented specifically for or affecting rural areas; and,

    Ensure engagement and consultation that aims to work with the rural community to develop and effective district plan. 

 

3.       Background

4.    Lower Hutt district covers a total land area of approximately 37,000ha of which around 25,500 ha of the district are outside of the urban area within a rural activity area, see Appendix 1.

5.    Much of the rural area is characterised by steep hillsides and exposed ridges, damp valleys and sea cliffs. There is limited flat land within the rural area, and due to the topography, the soils are generally of a poor quality with most of the land being classified as Land Use Capability classification 6-8 being of moderate to low value for primary production (Appendix 2 LINZ land classification map). These natural characteristics limit the productive use that can be made of the land.

6.   The predominant productive land uses in Lower Hutt District are lifestyle farming, forestry, quarrying and some grazing and these uses appear to have changed very little over the life of the Operative District Plan (see Appendix 3 – map of land use/cover). Information from Statistics New Zealand provides the number and type of farms in the district (circa 2017). The results from the 2017 Agricultural Census highlighted the scale of farming in the district is small with most of the 30 farms being under 5ha (12) with the 3 largest farms being between 2000-4000ha with the rest being between 5 and 800ha.

Table 3.1 2017 Agricultural production statistics for Lower Hutt District – number of farms by type

Farm Type ANZSIC06)

Sheep farming (specialised)

Beef cattle farming

(specialised)

Sheep-beef cattle farming

Forestry

Other

Total

3

3

3

9

12

30*

 

7.   The rural area also plays an important role in the visual amenity of the district and the open space character of the wider area, particularly on the eastern and western hillsides of the Hutt Valley. Rural amenity is made up of a range of components that include natural and physical features, land use patterns, planting patterns, built features (including roads and structures), views and vistas, subdivision patterns, materials/colours, and accessibility. The rural area also provides recreational opportunities close to the urban edge and wildlife habitat opportunities particularly in association with the regional and forest parks and other protected areas.

8.   There are a number of distinctive rural locations across the district, which incorporates a range of uses including productive farming, lifestyle lots, recreation, forestry, conservation land, water catchment protection, mining and extraction, and network utilities and infrastructure.

3.1     Operative District Plan

9.   Land use provisions for the Rural Zone are addressed in Chapter 8 of the District Plan. Chapter 8 was an original chapter of the District Plan and has not been subject to a substantive review since inception of the current District Plan.

10. Chapter 1 of the operative District Plan outlines the overall scope and sets out its primary objective for the rural area (section 1.10.7), as:

to protect and enhance the rural character, landscape and amenity values of the rural activity area.

11. The operative District Plan applies two Rural Activity Areas as shown in the map at Appendix 1;

   Rural Residential Activity Area - is a well-established land use generally occurring in close proximity to urban areas in Normandale and Wainuiomata. The character is that of low intensity of residential development with lot sizes being much larger than within residential areas but significantly smaller than those in the general rural area (being between 2 and 10 hectares). This area covers some 1,200 hectares.

 

Plan provisions - Chapter 8A 1 identifies a number of issues and objectives as summarised below:

   Ensuring that inappropriate development and activities do not impact on the character and amenity values of rural residential areas.

   Retaining land as rural residential while recognising that it may be appropriate to utilise the land for future urban expansion.

   Allowing these areas to be used for recreation and leisure activities.

   Ensuring the impacts of commercial forestry are mitigated.

   Recognise the elements that determine the character and amenity values of the area.

 

   General Rural Activity Area - The General Rural Activity Area covers some 24,000 hectares (approx. 65% of the district, Appendix 1). This area is distinguished by its open nature, large allotment sizes, and low intensity of development with the main land uses being agriculture, forestry, conservation and recreation, as well as some extraction activities (quarrying of rock and aggregate).

Large areas of rural land in the district are characterised by steep topography and low soil cover. Protection of the slopes and retention of soil and its productive capacity are important issues in rural areas.

In this district the rural area abuts large parts of the coast; the interaction between the land and the sea creates its own microclimate and presents unique land management issues.

This area also incorporates or surrounds large tracts of protected land including the Belmont and East Harbour Regional Parks, Remutaka Forest Park and the Wainuiomata water catchment area.

 

Plan Provisions - Chapter 8B identifies a number of issues and objectives to address those issues including:

-     Maintenance and enhancement of the open character and amenity value of rural areas.

-     Ensure that the natural character and amenity values of the coastal environment, significant indigenous vegetation and significant habitats of indigenous fauna are protected.

-     Ensure that slope stability and soil are conserved.

-     Manage soil removal and turf farming to ensure sustainable land use and protection of visual amenity.

-     Provide for recreation and leisure activities.

-     Mitigate the adverse effects generated by the clearing of commercial forestry.

-     To ensure that the adverse effects of prospecting, exploration and mining of minerals are managed to ensure the maintenance and enhancement of the open character and visual amenity values, and the retention of the intrinsic values of the land.

-     To identify and manage those elements that make-up the character and amenity values of an area.

-     Manage the adverse effects of flood hazards in rural areas.

4.       Discussion

4.1     State of the Environment monitoring

12.  Little specific state of the environment monitoring has been undertaken within the rural environment or of development being undertaken in the rural area. However, an indicative analysis of consent applications received by the Council over the past 10 years gives an indication of where pressure for development is occurring and the effectiveness of current plan policies.

13.  Within the Rural Residential Activity Area there were a small number of applications over the past 10 years (48) and within the General Rural Activity Area there were 58 applications, all of which were granted. The majority of applications were related to earthworks (50) and a small number were subdivision consent applications for lots that are smaller than the minimum lot size permitted. This data indicates that there is some pressure for smaller lifestyle and rural block and general intensification across the Rural Area. This information indicates the earthworks and lot size provisions may need to be reviewed.

14.  A small number of other applications have been made for other farming, infrastructure, recreation and industrial uses all of which have been granted. This information would suggest that the rules are generally working and providing for most activities while allowing activities that have greater effects to be considered on a case by case basis.

Table 4.2.1 Summary of resource consent applications in the Rural Residential Activity Area

Type

Number of applications

 

Summary

 

Control

permit

Restricted discretion

discretion

N/C

 

Subdivision

2

 

2

 

2x boundary adjustments

2x 2 lot subdivisions

Subdivision and

land use

 

1

8

 

3x boundary adjustments resulting in undersized lots

2x 3 lot subdivisions resulting in undersized lots and earthworks

4x 2 lot subdivisions some with undersized lots and other for houses and retrospective consent and earthworks

Land use

 

 

19

15

1

26 of the applications included earthworks including for dwellings access roads, grazing and wetland

A boarding kennel and an accessory building exceeding site coverage for kennels

6 new dwellings.

Most of the discretionary applications were for new dwellings, extensions and ancillary buildings that breached the yard, height or site coverage rules (11)

A plant nursery which was a non-complying activity

TOTAL

 

 

 

 

48

 

 

 

Table 4.2.2 Summary of resource consent applications in the General Rural Activity Area

Type

 

Number of applications

 

Summary

 

Control

permit

Restricted discretion

discretion

N/C

 

Subdivision

 

 

 

2

 

boundary adjustments creating undersized lots

4 lot subdivision resulting in undersized lots and earthworks

Subdivision and

land use

 

 

8

 

boundary adjustment and change of conditions creating undersized lots

6 subdivisions of between 2 and 6 lots resulting in undersized lots and earthworks in some cases new dwellings.

Land use

 

1

16

25

5

24 of the applications included earthworks

5 for industrial related activities

4 for communications facilities and structures and navigation

3 for farming associated buildings

3 dwellings on undersized lots and a couple of relocated dwellings

3 applications associated with commercial recreation and visitor accommodation

2 for operation and extension of a clean fill

2 for music festivals

A wind turbine and motorised activities.

TOTAL

 

 

 

 

58

 

4.2     Efficiency and effectiveness monitoring of existing Plan provisions

15.  Based on a review of the resource consents, the policy framework, rules and other methods, the initial scoping is that the current approach overall is effectively influencing and leading to the anticipated outcomes for the rural environment. The comparatively small number of resource consent applications for development in the rural areas indicates that there is little current pressure for activities and development not currently provided for by the District Plan. The permitted activity standards are providing appropriate parameters for activities, while also managing adverse effects to a level acceptable to the community in most instances. The resource consent process is effectively managing most activities which have the potential to generate more significant adverse effects.

16.  Notwithstanding the above conclusions, in some instances the objectives are so broad that it is difficult to accurately assess the effectiveness of the policies and rules in achieving them, such as those related to character and amenity. Also in some instances there are no rules addressing the objectives and policies, therefore making them ineffective as there are no methods by which they can be achieved. There are also some rules that have no objectives or policies such as those for the quarry protection areas.

17.  The initial scoping has also shown that the objectives, policies and rules of the operative plan need to be updated in some places to make them consistent and to give effect to recent National Environment Standards and Policy Statements and the objectives and policies of the Regional Policy Statement and Plan. In addition, overall the plan is currently ineffective in providing for Iwi specific activities and the protection of Iwi values with respect to traditional use or management of natural resources in rural areas.

4.3     Statutory and Policy context

18.  There have been a number of national, regional and local policy and plan changes since the District Plan and Chapter 8 became operative. These policy directions and changes will impact on the identification of areas, objectives, policies and rules relating to rural areas in the District Plan review. The most significant are:

     The National Planning Standards 2019 - introduces four rural zones and associated descriptions that differ in only small respects from the operative District Plan activity areas - the two zones of relevance being the general rural zone for areas of land used predominantly for primary production activities and the rural lifestyle zone for areas of land used predominantly for residential lifestyle uses within a rural environment.

     The proposed National Policy Statement for highly productive land – albeit to a limited extent as the district contains very little highly productive land.

     Regional Policy Statement (RPS) – which protects the life supporting capacity of soil and water and provides protection for highly productive land (Objectives 12, 29 and 30 and Policies 15, 40, 41 59)

Objective 22 and Policy 56 state that when reviewing a district plan, in rural areas particular regard shall be given to whether the proposal will result in a loss of productive capability of the rural area, reduce aesthetic and open space values, minimise demand for non-renewable energy resources; is consistent with the relevant city or district council growth and/or development framework or the proposal will increase pressure for public services and infrastructure.

     HCC Urban Growth Strategy 2012-2032 - This strategy outlines the Council’s and communities decided aims for the future and growth of the district. Relevant considerations relate to the extension of residential areas into the rural zone and the development of more and smaller lifestyle blocks in Normandale and Moores Valley, Wainuiomata.

4.4     Resource Management Issue Analysis

19.  The primary issue for rural areas, to be addressed in the review, is to support the productive use of land, make provision for rural communities while also ensuring that soil, water, ecosystems and other resources are protected so that their life supporting capacity is safeguarded and they continue to provide for the future generations.

20.  There are also a number of implementation issues including:

     That the focus of current objectives, policies and rules is on protection of the amenity of the rural area and little attention is given to the productive value of the area, the community who live there and protection of ecosystems. The review needs to consider provision for rural activities and communities in this district to meet their present and future needs.

     Re-classification of the current rural activity areas into the zones defined in the National Planning Standards and where they will spatially apply. This includes consideration of the zoning to apply to those areas of the district not in productive use, such as Remutaka Forest Park. Should they still be included in a Rural Zone given the specific reference in the National Planning Standards to productive land?

     Reconsideration of the current permitted activity provisions for development (minimum lot sizes). Should more intensive rural-residential development on land currently within the Rural Residential Activity Area, especially on the urban/rural edge, be allowed? Should more land be zoned for rural-residential/residential development?

     Management of interaction between different activities in the rural area and managing reverse sensitivity issues.

     Identification and protection of the amenity, character and biodiversity values of the rural area.

5.       Options

21.  Set out below are three options for the nature, scale and extent of the scope of the review for the Rural Activity Areas.

5.1     Option 1: Targeted review focusing on applying the zoning framework in the National Planning Standards.

22.  Under this option, the general approach in Chapter 8 of the existing District Plan would be carried over into the new district plan format (as required by the National Planning Standards). The review would focus on applying the new zones identified by the National Planning Standards. Given the narrow scope of this review option, limited specific engagement for the rural topic would be undertaken. 

23.  The main reason for adopting this option is that it reflects the limited issues identified for rural areas, and more time and resources can be put into other topics for the District Plan Review.

24.  The disadvantage of this option is that it would have limited regard to the changes in policy direction since the District Plan was made operative. The changing or emerging issues in land management and primary production activities may not be fully considered. 

25.  Under this option, it is expected that Council would still include many of the -current provisions as part of a proposed district plan and these would be open to submissions.

5.2     Option 2 - Complete review addressing strategic issues.

26.  This option includes all components of Option 1, plus it would addresses strategic issues, including:

     Review of rural subdivision approach, including minimum lot size.

     New and emerging land use activities in rural areas and compatibility between activities.

     A comprehensive review of the effectiveness and appropriateness of existing provisions.

     Consideration of the appropriateness of retaining rural zoning over all of land currently zoned rural, such as the Remutaka Forest Park, and identification and assessment of areas that maybe suitable for residential and rural-residential subdivision and development.

27.  This option would also involve targeted engagement on areas and parties related to the above matters.

28.  The main reason for adopting this option is to implement the changes in policy direction since the adoption of the District Plan. For example,

   the Urban Growth Strategy direction on rural-residential development;

   National Environmental Standards and policies;

   the Regional Policy Statement policies on land use and impacts; and,

   the changing way land is used so providing for future demands.

29.  This option responds to the resource management issues and would provide a strategic direction for rural areas. The time and resources would be commensurate with other topics with similar scale and significance of issues. The disadvantage of this option is that some specific issues may not be as thoroughly researched or evaluated as some parties may seek.

5.3     Option 3 - Comprehensive review, involving an all-encompassing approach and addresses a number of Council’s wider aspirations for the District

30.  This option includes all components of Options 1 and 2, plus addressing strategic issues, including:

   A rural land use study investigating options for alternative land uses both primary production and non-primary production activities.

   Identification and assessment of new areas for residential rural development,

   Consideration of the Council policy for food production,

   Identifying provisions that allow landowners and managers to diversify land uses to meet changing demands, where effects will be minor whilst ensuring sustainable use of resources.

   Addressing the interrelationships between productive uses and the natural environment.

31.  This option would involve extensive engagement, in particular with rural landowners and managers and could use a range of tools for the initiatives outlined above. 

32.  The main reason for adopting this option is that it comprehensively responds to the issues in rural areas and investigates alternative land uses which could have economic, social, cultural and environmental benefits for the city. The disadvantage of this option is that it would take considerable time and incur additional costs and is likely to go well beyond the requirements of the RMA.

6.       Climate Change Impact and Considerations

33.  The matters addressed in this report have been considered in accordance with the process set out in Council’s Climate Change Considerations Guide.

34.  Rural areas and activities can have positive and negative impacts on climate change – for example, planting forestry can be a carbon sink, conversely, clearing forestry/bush can remove this carbon sink. In addition, activities in rural areas can be adversely affected by the impacts of climate change, such as changes in rainfall causing increased flooding and erosion or droughts. Climate change matters will be considered as part of the review of the rural topic, whichever option is selected.    

7.       Consultation

35.  No engagement or consultation has been undertaken so far specifically on issues relating to the rural topic.

36.  Depending on the option selected for reviewing this topic, the following level and nature of engagement is anticipated to be incorporated within the wider District Plan consultation and engagement processes with strategic partners, rural communities and the wider community to develop an effective district plan.

37.  This engagement is anticipated to take place via a range of methods, including:

   Online surveys/forums considering land use, amenity, character and values.

   Consultation events or workshops for key stakeholders and rural communities alongside other district plan topics.

   Public meetings or open days on the whole plan review.

   Iwi, internal and strategic partners via targeted meetings.

38.  The primary consultees that have been identified, in no particular order, are:

     Rural communities

     Mana Whenua

     Greater Wellington Regional Council

     Department of Conservation

     Federated Farmers

     Rural Residents Groups

     Transport and infrastructure providers

     Wider community

8.       Legal Considerations

39.  Section 79(1)(c) of the Resource Management Act 1991 (RMA) requires that a Local Authority must commence a review of a provision of a district plan if the provision has not been a subject of a review or change in the previous 10 years. Section 79(4) provides scope for local authorities to commence a full review of a district plan. All sections and changes must be reviewed and then the plan is publically notified (79(6) & (7)). Schedule 1 sets out requirements for the preparation, change and review of plans.

40.  The National Planning Standards set standards to which every policy or plan must comply. Chapter 7 requires Local Authorities to either amend their plan or notify a proposed plan within 5 years of the planning standards coming into effect (by April 2024).

41.  Section 8 of the RMA requires all person exercising functions/powers under it to take into account the principles of the Treaty of Waitangi.

9.       Financial Considerations

42.  As outlined above, Options 1 and 2 would be undertaken within the current District Plan Review budget. Additional budget would be required for Option 3 unless there was reduced scope for the review of other topics.

Appendices

No.

Title

Page

1

Appendix 1 Rural Activity Areas

87

2

Appendix 2 Land Classification

88

3

Appendix 3 Land cover change

91

    

 

 

 

 

 

Author: Cathy McNab

Environmental Policy Analyst

 

 

 

Author: Benjamin Haddrell

Policy Planner

 

 

 

 

 

 

Reviewed By: Hamish Wesney

Head of District Plan Policy

 

 

 

Approved By: Helen Oram

Director Environment and Sustainability

 


Attachment 1

Appendix 1 Rural Activity Areas

 

Appendix 1: Extract from District Plan Maps 2003 showing the extent of the Rural Activity Areas


Attachment 2

Appendix 2 Land Classification

 


 


 


Attachment 3

Appendix 3 Land cover change

 

Appendix 3: Land cover (use) change across the eastern Wellington region between 1996 to 2012

1996

 

2001

2012


                                                                                     104                                               15 December 2020

District Plan Review Subcommittee

06 November 2020

 

 

 

File: (20/1220)

 

 

 

 

Report no: DPRS2020/6/325

 

Commercial and Mixed Use Zones

 

Purpose of Report

1.    The purpose of this report is to:

a.    Inform the District Plan Review Subcommittee on the issues for the commercial and mixed use zones of the District Plan Review, and

 

b.    Seek direction from the Subcommittee on how the Review should proceed with regard to the commercial and mixed use zones.

Key Points

·    The operative District Plan sets out five activity areas, or zones, which provide for commercial and mixed use activities: Central Commercial, Petone Commercial, Suburban Commercial, Special Commercial, and Suburban Mixed Use.

 

·    The National Planning Standards prescribes the zones that a District Plan can include. It provides the following commercial and mixed use zones: City centre zone, Metropolitan centre zone, Town centre zone, Mixed use zone, Large format retail zone, Commercial zone, Local centre zone, Neighbourhood centre zone.

 

·    Under the National Policy Statement on Urban Development, Council is required to enable intensification through the District Plan in and around the city centre, metropolitan centres, and rapid transit stations. This policy has implications for commercial and mixed use zoning.

 

·    The Greater Wellington Regional Policy Statement, the Petone 2040 Spatial Plan, and the City Centre Transformation Plan also provide direction and guidance relevant to the commercial and mixed use zones.

 

·    The key issues for the commercial and mixed use zones are: whether there is sufficient commercial and mixed use zoning and development capacity to service a growing population, how the effects of commercial activities on surrounding areas can be managed, and how to enable Riverlink and the revitalisation of the Lower Hutt CBD.

 

·    It is recommended to undertake the district plan review for this topic by engaging with key stakeholders, reviewing all existing provisions, reviewing the extent of all zoning, and developing high level options and provisions to give effect to them.  

 

Recommendations

That the Subcommittee:

(i)    receives the information in the report; and

(ii)   directs officers to undertake the commercial and mixed use topic of the District Plan Review through the following approach:

(a)   carry out engagement with key stakeholders;

(b)   review all existing provisions of the commercial zones;

(c)   review the extent of all commercial zoning and determine if there are any areas that could be rezoned to an alternative zoning, or if any new areas of commercial or mixed use zoning are required;

(d)   develop high level options for the commercial zones that give effect to the national planning standards, the NPS-UD, and that address the key issues identified in this report; and 

(e)   develop district plan provisions for the commercial zones that give effect to the selected high level option.

 

Background

Operative District Plan Approach

2.    Chapter 5 of the operative District Plan sets out objectives, policies and rules for the commercial areas of Lower Hutt including town centres and mixed use areas. It sets out five activity areas, or zones, which provide for commercial, town centre and mixed use activities:

·      Central Commercial

·      Petone Commercial

·      Suburban Commercial

·      Special Commercial

·      Suburban Mixed Use

 

3.    Appendix 1 contains a map showing the location and extent of these Activity Areas.

Central Commercial

4.    The Central Commercial Activity Area covers the city centre of Lower Hutt and provides for a mix of retail, residential, commercial, and offices.  The Central Commercial Activity Area provides for buildings up to 12-30 metres (3 – 10 storeys) as the permitted height limit.

5.    The Central Commercial Activity Area was included as part of the original City of Lower Hutt District Plan which was notified in 1995 and became operative in 2003. The Activity Area was fully reviewed by Plan Change 14 which became operative in 2011.

Petone Commercial

6.    The Petone Commercial Activity Area provides two different mixed use/centre zonings:

·   Area 1 – The historic shopping area of Jackson Street.

·   Area 2 – The mixed use Petone West area which was formerly an industrial area and is now a mix of industry and large format retail, and also provides for residential development.

7.    Area 1 (Jackson Street) provides for small scale commercial activities, residential above ground floor, and health care services in buildings up to 10 metres (3 storeys) in height.

8.    Area 2 (Petone West) provides for retail activities in stores over 500m2, commercial activities, warehouses, garden centres, and residential except on the ground floor of Jackson Street. This area enables building heights of 12 to 20 metres (4 to 6 storeys). Area 2 of the activity area was significantly reviewed by Plan Change 29 which became operative in 2014.

Suburban Commercial

9.    The Suburban Commercial Activity Area covers the smaller suburban centres and local shops. It provides for buildings of up to two storeys or 8 metres in height and mixed use activities including retail and commercial, community facilities, health care services, residential, and workshops where the front of the building is used for the retail of goods manufactured or repaired on site. 

Special Commercial

10.  The Special Commercial Activity Area provides site specific provisions for two separate sites: Station Village and Boulcott Village.

11.  The Station Village Special Commercial Activity Area provides for places of assembly, restaurants and cafes, retail, cottage industries, offices above ground floor, and markets for the sale of produce and craft products. It allows buildings up to 12 metres in height (3 - 4 storeys). 

12.  The Boulcott Village Special Commercial Activity Area provides for retail and commercial activities with a gross floor area of 100m2 or less in buildings up to two storeys or eight metres in height.

Suburban Mixed Use

13.  Plan Change 43 introduced the new Suburban Mixed Use Activity Area which predominantly replaces areas that were formerly zoned Suburban Commercial in eight key centres.  Plan Change 43 was made operative in part in April 2020.

14.  The Suburban Mixed Use Activity Area provides for a mix of residential, commercial, and retail in buildings up to 12 metres in height (3-4 storeys). The Activity Area primarily provides for the local convenience needs of surrounding residential areas including local retail, commercial services and offices as well as residential use above ground floor. It addresses expectations of residents of higher density housing types to have easy access to a wide range of facilities and services.

Discussion

Statutory and Policy Context

15.  Since the District Plan became operative in June 2003, the following legislative and strategic documents have changed the policy direction for the District Plan regarding the commercial and mixed use zones.

National Planning Standards

16.  The National Planning Standards provide a ‘Zone Framework Standard’ that prescribes the zones that a District Plan can include. The National Planning Standards provide 8 zones for centres, commercial areas and mixed uses analogous to the Activity Areas in the Commercial Chapter in the operative District Plan:

·      City centre zone

·      Metropolitan centre zone

·      Town centre zone

·      Mixed use zone

·      Large format retail zone

·      Commercial zone

·      Local centre zone

·      Neighbourhood centre zone

 

17.  The national planning standards also provide a number of ‘spatial layers’ that can be used to modify the provisions of the underlying zone. These include ‘overlays’, ‘precincts’, and ‘specific controls’.

National Policy Statement on Urban Development

18.  The National Policy Statement on Urban Development (NPS-UD) took effect from 20 August 2020. Under Policy 3 of the NPS-UD, Council will be required to enable the following intensification through the District Plan:

a.    In city centre zones building heights and density to realise as much development capacity as possible.

b.    In metropolitan centre zones building heights of at least six storeys.

c.     building heights of at least 6 storeys within a walkable catchment of the following:

·     existing and planned rapid transit stops,

·     the edge of city centre zones,

·     the edge of metropolitan centre zones

d.    in all other locations, building heights and density commensurate with accessibility and demand.

19.  Of particular relevance to the commercial and mixed use topic will be the requirement to enable intensification of up to six storeys within walking distance of rapid transit stations. This means that the Suburban Mixed Use centres surrounding the rail stations identified by Plan Change 43, may need to be spatially expanded in order to service a larger area of intensification and a larger potential local population. Greater heights will also need to be enabled, and consideration given to potentially applying new commercial centres around Wingate, Pomare, and Manor Park stations.

20.  This requirement to zone for up to six storeys under the NPS-UD would include most of the existing Suburban Mixed Use centres but may not include Wainuiomata, Avalon, or Naenae as these are not centred on rapid transit stations. This raises the question of whether the existing Suburban Mixed Use zone should become two distinct commercial zones or whether one zone could be used with height differences provided for through a ‘specific control’.

21.  The direction from the NPS-UD to provide “building heights and density of urban form to realise as much development capacity as possible, to maximise benefits of intensification” in the city centre will require a full review of the existing height and density controls in the Central Commercial Activity Area.

Greater Wellington Regional Policy Statement

22.  The Greater Wellington Regional Policy Statement (RPS) became operative in 2013. It has two policies that are directly relevant to the commercial chapter of the district plan:

·      Policy 30: Maintaining and enhancing the viability and vibrancy of regionally significant centres.

·      Policy 31: Identifying and promoting higher density and mixed use development.

23.  Policy 30 requires district plans to include policies, rules and/or methods that enable and manage a range of land use activities that maintain and enhance the viability and vibrancy of a number of specified sub-regional and suburban centres in the Wellington Region including the Lower Hutt city centre and the Petone suburban centre.  These were identified during the development of the Wellington Regional Strategy as centres of significance to the region’s form for economic development, transport movement, civic or community investment.

24.  Council has given effect to these policies in part through Plan Change 43, which identified areas for mixed used and medium density residential development around public transport and suburban commercial hubs. However, Plan Change 43 did not assess areas in Petone, the Eastern Bays and the fringe of the city centre because it was considered that more information was required on natural hazards, infrastructure and character. Also further analysis is required to determine if the mixed use centres identified in Plan Change 43 are sufficient to accommodate future growth.

25.  The RPS also includes policies on urban design principles (Policy 54) and integrating land use and transportation (Policy 57). As part of the District Plan Review, Council will need to consider the relevance of these policies with regard to the design and form of residential development.

Riverlink

26.  RiverLink is a combined project of Hutt City Council, Greater Wellington Regional Council (GWRC) and the New Zealand Transport Agency (NZTA). It involves upgrading flood protections, making transport improvements, and improving public spaces. Key among the public space improvements is the Riverside Promenade which will turn the Lower Hutt city centre to face and connect with the river. The provisions of the central commercial activity area will need to be reviewed to ensure they enable the development of the Riverside Promenade. 

Petone 2040 Spatial Plan

27.  The Petone 2040 Spatial Plan (P2040) is an initiative of the Petone 2040 Community Group in partnership with Hutt City Council. P2040 does not have formal or statutory status but was approved by Council on 23 May 2017, recognising P2040 as a coordinated development and design strategy for Petone and Moera.

28.  The Petone 2040 Spatial Plan has relevance to the Petone Commercial Activity Area.

29.  The Petone 2040 Spatial Plan has been guided by the following seven principles:

·      Reinforce Jackson Street as the heart of Petone.

·      Establish three key gateway areas into Petone.

·      Intensify key corridors of Petone and Moera.

·      Revitalise the foreshore and The Esplanade.

·      Enhance open green space.

·      Create an amenity spine from Alicetown through Petone to The Esplanade.

·      Enhance character areas.

·      Strategic Infrastructure.

Central City Transformation Plan 2019

30.  The Central City Transformation Plan (CCTP) has relevance for the Central Commercial Activity Area. It aims to achieve the following:

·      A step-change in central city accessibility, wayfinding and overall townscape quality.

·      A central city that fully engages with Hutt River, shifting the river towards the new centre of gravity rather than consigned to an outer edge.

·      A coherent urban form and streetscape of clearly defined, permeable blocks, reconciling the northern commercial area with the southern core.

·      An authentic central city experienced through enhanced cultural expression of both Maori and later settlement patterns and stories.

·      An intensified, improved retail network that is more closely contained within the southern core enlivened by new east-west links, transport connections and a street-based mall offering.

·      A new east-west laneways structure offering an intimate, quality pedestrian experience distinct from the primary street network.

·      A new residential offering enabling a range of opportunities for living in the centre. Leveraging off high value landscape edges and creating a positive street interface with the eastern housing fringe.

·      An activated and enlivened urban riverfront, visible and accessible to all and well-connected back into the city’s commercial core.

·      An enhanced southern city gateway that creates a quality city entrance, simplifies access and makes the most of the civic gardens and river boundaries.

·      An improved Civic Precinct setting that removes barriers and brings the civic functions into contact with the commercial core.

31.  As the CCTP has only been in effect since 2019 the Central Commercial Activity Area of the operative District Plan has not been reviewed to give effect to the directions of the CCTP. 

Naenae Spatial Plan

32.  The Naenae Spatial Plan has been developed over the course of 2020 in consultation with the Naenae community. If this spatial plan is formally adopted by council it will provide further direction for addressing the commercial areas of Naenae in the district plan.

State of the environment

33.  The 2019 Housing and Business Capacity Assessment for Lower Hutt found the following in relation to land for commercial uses:

a.    Lower Hutt is projected to experience a moderate decrease in demand for commercial office space and a moderate increase in demand for land for government, retail, health, education, and training uses over the long term.

b.    There is currently very little vacant business land but there is significant plan enabled capacity to expand built floorspace in existing commercial areas.

34.  In general the existing commercial areas have sufficient capacity to accommodate projected demand over the long term through redevelopment but market conditions will need to be monitored to ensure that this capacity is feasible to develop and in the right locations. Also, if there is significant uptake of residential development in commercial and mixed use centres, then there will be less development capacity available for commercial uses.  

35.  There has been little new development in the Lower Hutt CBD over the last 10 years, and this area has a notable number of vacant retail spaces, or spaces occupied by lower value activities. However, there have been recent signs of a revival in development activity here driven by residential development - with over 100 new housing units, across several developments, either planned or currently under construction.   

36.  The Petone commercial area has experienced a greater level of growth than the Lower Hutt CBD. Over the last ten years, the Petone West area has had significant development of large format retail in areas that were historically used for industrial activities. However there has been little take up of residential development in this area, despite this being enabled by Plan Change 29.  

37.  There has been steady residential development in the shopping area of Jackson Street over the last 10 to 15 years, with a number of new 3 to 4 storey apartment developments, as well as residential refurbishments of historic buildings. There is strong demand for retail spaces in this area, with few vacancies and a vibrant hospitality sector. 

38.  The district’s suburban shopping centres have had mixed results, with some centres suffering from a high rate of retail vacancy, and accordingly some pressure to convert these spaces to residential.   

Issues

39.  The following key issues have been identified for the commercial and mixed use topic:

Issue 1: What types of activities should be enabled in commercial centres? Is there scope for enabling a wider range of activities?

Issue 2: What are the effects of commercial activities on surrounding areas and how can these be managed?

Issue 3: How can the District Plan better enable Riverlink and the revitalisation of the Lower Hut CBD? Is the District Plan presenting any barriers to residential development in the CBD?

Issue 4: What is the appropriate level of development to enable in the Petone Commercial areas?

Issue 5: Does the extent of commercial centres need to be expanded to ensure sufficient capacity to service the larger areas of intensification required under the NPS-Urban Development?

Issue 6: Are new commercial or mixed use centres needed to service areas of residential growth?

Options

40.  The recommended process for the district plan review of the commercial and mixed use zones is as follows:

a.    Carry out engagement with the key stakeholders identified in the consultation section below.

b.    Review all existing provisions of the operative commercial zones.

c.     Review the extent of all commercial zoning and determine if there are any areas that could be rezoned to an alternative zoning, or if any new areas of commercial or mixed use zoning are required. This would be informed in part by the updated housing development capacity assessment as well as information on the commercial property market.  

d.    Develop high level options for the commercial and mixed use zones that give effect to the national planning standards, the NPS-UD, and that address the key issues identified in this report.

e.     Develop district plan provisions for the commercial zones that give effect to the selected high level option. Integrate these provisions with related District Plan topics including urban form and development, natural hazards, historic heritage, and residential.    

Climate Change Impact and Considerations

41.  The matters addressed in this report have been considered in accordance with the process set out in Council’s Climate Change Considerations Guide.

Consultation

42.  It is anticipated that partnering and engagement for this topic would involve:

a.    Mana Whenua partnership:

·   Partner with Mana Whenua to share information and discuss issues and aspirations regarding the commercial and mixed use zones.

 

b.    Primary stakeholder engagement. The following primary stakeholders have been identified for this topic:

·    Kainga Ora

·    Major commercial property and business owners and developers

·    Hutt Valley Chambers of Commerce

·    Property owners in commercial areas

 

Engagement with these stakeholders will likely involve ongoing meetings, either individually or in groups, on issues where the stakeholder has expressed an interest.

 

c.     Ongoing discussion with neighbouring councils to ensure consistency of approach where appropriate.

 

d.    Engagement with the wider community for this topic in combination with the wider district plan review engagement. While the exact dates and forms of this engagement have not been finalised it is anticipated that this engagement will involve:

 

·   Community open days, including open days held in different suburbs,

·   Community surveys through the Bang the Table online consultation tool,

·   On request, meetings with specific property owners, groups of property owners, and community or interest groups, and

·   Updates on the progress of the Review through Council’s social media avenues and website, with additional media releases at key stages of the Review.

 

Legal Considerations

43.  Section 79(1)(c) of the Resource Management Act 1991 (RMA) requires local authorities to commence a review of a provision of a district plan if the provision has not been a subject of a review or change in the previous 10 years. Section 79(4) provides scope for local authorities to commence a full review of a district plan. All sections and changes must be reviewed and then the plan be publically notified (79(6)&(7)). Schedule 1 sets out requirements for the preparation, change and review of plans.

 

44.  The National Planning Standards set out standards to which every policy or plan must comply. Chapter 7 requires Local Authorities to either amend their plan or notify a proposed plan within 5 years of the planning standards coming into effect (April 2024).

 

45.  Section 8 of the RMA requires all person exercising functions/powers under it to take into account the principles of the Treaty of Waitangi.

Financial Considerations

46.  The recommended option can be carried out within the existing budget for the District Plan review.

Appendices

No.

Title

Page

1

Operative District Plan Commercial Activity Areas

105

   

 

 

 

 

 

Author: Joseph Jeffries

Senior Environmental Policy Analyst

 

 

 

 

 

 

Reviewed By: Hamish Wesney

Head of District Plan Policy

 

 

 

Approved By: Helen Oram

Director Environment and Sustainability

 


Attachment 1

Operative District Plan Commercial Activity Areas

 


                                                                                     114                                               15 December 2020

District Plan Review Subcommittee

05 November 2020

 

 

 

File: (20/1442)

 

 

 

 

Report no: DPRS2020/6/326

 

Industrial Zones

 

Purpose of Report

1.    The purpose of this report is to:

a.    Inform the District Plan Review Subcommittee on the issues for the industrial zone topic of the District Plan Review, and

 

b.    Seek direction from the Subcommittee on how the Review should proceed with regard to the industrial zone topic.

Key Points

·    The City of Lower Hutt is an important industrial centre, containing one of the region’s largest industrial areas in Seaview and Gracefield, as well as a number of smaller industrial areas.

 

·    The operative District Plan sets out four activity areas, or zones, which provide for industrial and business activities: General Business, Special Business, Avalon Business, and the Avalon Extraction Activity Area.

 

·    The National Planning Standards prescribes the zones that a District Plan can include. It provides 3 industrial zones: Light industrial, General industrial, and Heavy industrial.

 

·    Under the National Policy Statement on Urban Development, Council must provide sufficient development capacity to meet the expected demand for business land.

 

·    The Regional Policy Statement, the Seaview-Gracefield Vision, and the Petone 2040 Spatial Plan provide further direction for industrial zones in the district plan.

 

·    Key issues for the industrial zones are the sufficiency of industrial land supply, whether some industrial land can be rezoned to alternate uses, what non-industrial activities should be enabled in industrial zones, and the impact of climate change and sea level rise on industrial areas in Seaview.

 

·    It is recommended to undertake the district plan review for this topic by engaging with key stakeholders, reviewing all existing provisions, reviewing the extent of all zoning, developing high level options and provisions to give effect to them.  

Recommendations

That the Subcommittee:

(i)    receives the information in the report; and

(ii)   directs officers to undertake the industrial zone topic of the District Plan Review through the following approach:

(a)        Carry out engagement with key stakeholders;

(b)        Review all existing provisions of the industrial zones;

(c)        Review the extent of all industrial zoning to determine if there are any areas that could be rezoned to residential or commercial uses;

(d)       Develop high level options for the industrial zones effect to the national planning standards, the NPS-UD, and that address the key issues identified in this report; and

(e)        Develop district plan provisions for the industrial zones that give to the selected high level option.           

 

Background

2.    The City of Lower Hutt is an important industrial centre, containing one of the region’s largest industrial areas in Seaview and Gracefield. It also has significant areas of industry and business in Petone, Melling, Naenae, Taita, and in some of the areas around the CBD. There are a number of smaller industrial areas in Wainuiomata, Belmont, and Stokes Valley.  

Operative District Plan

3.    Chapter 6 of the operative District Plan sets out objectives, policies and rules for the industrial and business areas of Lower Hutt. It sets out four activity areas, or zones, which provide for industrial and business activities:

·        6A General Business Activity Area

·        6B Special Business Activity Area

·        6C Avalon Business Activity Area

·        6D Extraction Activity Area

4.    The map in Appendix 1 shows the location and extent of these Activity Areas in the Operative District Plan.

6A General Business Activity Area

5.    The General Business Activity Area is Lower Hutt’s general industrial zone and the most widespread of the city’s business zonings. It provides for a range of industrial activities, and a number of commercial activities that either provide services to the local work force, or are not suited to commercial areas. The zone also seeks to control the adverse effects likely to be generated by industrial activities.   

6B Special Business

6.    The Special Business Activity Area provides for large scale business and heavy industrial activities in the Seaview Gracefield area. This is a regionally important area for industrial activities and includes the regional oil terminal, and oil storage facilities.  This zone seeks to manage the risks associated with hazardous facilities, to protect the amenity values of surrounding areas, and to manage environmental effects. Note that the topic of hazardous substances is addressed in a separate paper to the District Plan Review Sub-committee. 

6C Avalon Business

7.    The Avalon Business Activity Area covers two sites: the Avalon Studios Site on Percy Cameron Street and the former National Film Unit on Fairway Drive. This zone provides for the television production and broadcasting that the sites had historically been used for as well as mix of activities not necessarily associated with these uses, but consistent with their effects. As these sites are located adjacent to recreational and residential areas the zone also seeks to manage effects on the amenity values of the wider area.

6D Extraction Activity

8.    The Extraction Activity Area provides for extraction or quarrying activities in Kelson and Haywards Hill and seeks to manage the adverse environmental and visual amenity effects of these activities.

Discussion

Statutory and policy context

National Planning Standards

9.    The National Planning Standards provide a ‘Zone Framework Standard’ that prescribes the zones that a District Plan can include. The National Planning Standards provide 3 industrial zones analogous to the Activity Areas in the Business Chapter in the operative District Plan. These are: 

·      Light industrial zone

·      General industrial zone

·      Heavy industrial zone

10.  Additionally the planning standards set out a number of ‘spatial layers’ that can be used to modify the provisions of the underlying zone. These include ‘overlays’, ‘precincts’, and ‘specific controls’. As the Extraction Activity Area and Avalon Business Activity Area do not fit any of the standard industrial zones provided by the National Planning Standards, one of these spatial layers would need to be used if any of the specific provisions of those activity areas are to be carried over into the new district plan.  

National Policy Statement on Urban Development

11.  The National Policy Statement on Urban Development (NPS-UD) took effect from 20 August 2020. The NPS-UD recognises the national significance of:

·        Having well-functioning urban environments that enable all people and communities to provide for their social, economic, and cultural wellbeing, and for their health and safety, now and into the future.

·        Providing sufficient development capacity to meet the different needs of people and communities.

12.  Under policy 2 and clause 3.3 of the NPS-UD council must provide sufficient development capacity to meet the expected demand for business land:

a.       from different business sectors; and

b.       in the short, medium and long term. 

 

13.  In order to be sufficient to meet expected demand for business land the development capacity must be plan enabled, infrastructure-ready, and suitable to meet the demands of different business sectors. 

Greater Wellington Regional Policy Statement

14.  The Greater Wellington Regional Policy Statement (RPS) became operative in 2013. The following policies of the RPS are directly relevant to the industrial activities topic:

Policy 32: Identifying and protecting key industrial-based employment locations

District plans should include policies, rules and/or methods that identify and protect key industrial-based employment locations where they maintain and enhance a compact, well designed and sustainable regional form.

 

Policy 34: Controlling activities on contaminated land

District plans shall include policies and rules that control activities on contaminated land so that those activities are not adversely affected by the contamination.

Seaview Gracefield Vision

15.  The Vision Seaview Gracefield 2030 strategy document, which was finalised in 2010, sets out a vision of what this area could be like in the future. It sets out four main themes, each with a number of “key outcomes”. These are as follows:

·        Providing stability and efficiency to support existing businesses

·        Creating a suitable environment for the growth of new/emerging businesses

·        Making better use of recreational opportunities

·        Contributing towards a better environment

16.  While the Vision Seaview Gracefield strategy is a non-statutory document it sets out council objectives for this area and may be taken into consideration in development of the district plan.

Petone 2040 Spatial Plan

17.  The Petone 2040 Spatial Plan (P2040) is an initiative of the Petone 2040 Community Group in partnership with Hutt City Council. P2040 does not have formal or statutory status but was approved by Council on 23 May 2017, recognising P2040 as a coordinated development and design strategy for Petone and Moera.

18.  The Petone 2040 Spatial Plan is relevant for the industrial zoning topic in that it identifies industrial zoned land in Petone North for the Petone North Village Gateway, a Transit Oriented Development (TOD) with a mix of higher density housing and commercial activities.    

State of the environment

19.  The 2019 Housing and Business Capacity Assessment for Lower Hutt found the following in relation to business land:

a.    Under medium growth projections Lower Hutt is forecast to experience an overall decline in demand for business land over the next 30 years. This is due to a fall in demand for industrial land, as well as intensification of use of the industrial land which makes up a significant share of Lower Hutt’s total business land.

b.    Lower Hutt is projected to experience a moderate increase in demand for land for government, retail, health, education, and training. 

c.     Lower Hutt has a sufficient supply of land to meet all categories of business demand. However, that capacity is principally in the form of infill and redevelopment capacity.

d.    The city has little vacant land in its business areas, but this should not present a problem as total demand for business land is projected to decrease or remain flat over the long term.

20.  Some intensification of large industrial sites is starting to occur in Petone and Seaview, with these sites being converted into a number of smaller warehouse spaces to serve smaller businesses and trades. This is consistent with the projected intensification of use of industrial land in the Housing and Business Capacity Assessment. If this trend continues it may have implications for the overall supply of industrial land, as well as potential changes of the effects of industrial activities.  

21.  There has been some pressure to convert industrial land to residential uses in outlying areas such as Wainuiomata, with several inquiries about plan changes of this nature.  

22.  The owners of the Avalon studios tower have announced plans to convert the building into 68 residential units. However, consent for this project has not been approved to date.

23.  The issue of hazardous substances is addressed in a separate paper to the District Plan Review Sub-Committee.

Issues

24.  Issue 1: What non-industrial activities should be enabled in industrial zones?

a.    What is the right balance between increasing diversity of activities in industrial areas, and protecting industrial activities from reverse sensitivity?

b.    What is the right balance between enabling different activities in industrial areas and ensuring that there is sufficient land for industrial activities?

c.     Can some residential activities be enabled in industrial areas?

d.    Is there potential to provide a Mixed Use zone that enables both industrial and commercial activities?

25.  Issue 2: Can some industrial land be rezoned to alternate uses given indications of declining demand for industrial land over the long term?

a.    Can some areas of industrial land be rezoned to residential or commercial? How should the district plan address ongoing pressure to convert industrially zoned sites to residential?

26.  Issue 3: What will be the impact of climate change and sea level rise on the industrial areas in Seaview?

a.    How should the intensification of use of industrial sites be dealt with in relation to natural hazards?

b.    What impact could the potential displacement of industrial activities from sea level rise have on the city’s overall supply of industrial land?

27.  Issue 4: How can the adverse effects of quarrying activities be managed?

28.  There are also a number of implementation issues including:

a.    How should the Avalon Business and Extraction Activity Areas be dealt with considering that the Planning Standards do not provide an equivalent zoning? Are these provisions still needed? If so can they be addressed through an overlay, precinct or special purpose zone?

Options

29.  The recommended process for the district plan review of the industrial zone topic is as follows:

a.    Carry out engagement with the key stakeholders identified in the consultation section below.

b.    Review all existing provisions of the industrial zones.

c.     Review the extent of all industrial zoning to determine if there are any areas that could be rezoned to residential or commercial uses. This would be informed by the results of the updated housing development capacity assessment as well as information on the industrial property market. 

d.    Develop high level options for the industrial zones that give effect to the national planning standards, the NPS-UD, and that address the key issues identified in this report. 

e.     Develop district plan provisions for the industrial zones that give effect to the selected high level option. Integrate these provisions with related District Plan topics including urban form and development, natural hazards (to address potential issues with sea level rise), and hazardous substances (to address issues with reverse sensitivity and the extent of zoning). 

Climate Change Impact and Considerations

30.  The matters addressed in this report have been considered in accordance with the process set out in Council’s Climate Change Considerations Guide.

31.  Of particular note to this topic is that the industrial areas of Seaview are vulnerable to sea level rise and this could have implications for the future supply of business land.     

Consultation

32.  It is anticipated that partnering and engagement for this topic would involve:

 

a.    Mana Whenua partnership:

i.   Partner with Mana Whenua to share information and discuss issues and aspirations regarding the commercial topic.

 

b.    Primary stakeholder engagement. The following primary stakeholders have been identified for this topic:

·    Greater Wellington Regional Council

·    Wellington Water

·    Major industrial property and business owners and developers

·    Hutt Valley Chambers of Commerce

·    Winstone Aggregates

·    Property owners in industrial areas

 

Engagement with these stakeholders will likely involve ongoing meetings, either individually or in groups, on issues where the stakeholder has expressed an interest.

 

c.     Ongoing discussion with neighbouring councils to ensure consistency of approach where appropriate.

 

d.    Engagement with the wider community for this topic in combination with the wider district plan review engagement. While the exact dates and forms of this engagement have not been finalised it is anticipated that this engagement will involve:

·   Community open days, including open days held in different suburbs,

·   Community surveys through the Bang the Table online consultation tool,

·   On request, meetings with specific property owners, groups of property owners, and community or interest groups, and

·   Updates on the progress of the Review through Council’s social media avenues and website, with additional media releases at key stages of the Review.

Legal Considerations

33.  Section 79(1)(c) of the Resource Management Act 1991 (RMA) requires local authorities to commence a review of a provision of a district plan if the provision has not been a subject of a review or change in the previous 10 years. Section 79(4) provides scope for local authorities to commence a full review of a district plan. All sections and changes must be reviewed and then the plan be publically notified (79(6)&(7)). Schedule 1 sets out requirements for the preparation, change and review of plans.

 

34.  The National Planning Standards set out standards to which every policy or plan must comply. Chapter 7 requires Local Authorities to either amend their plan or notify a proposed plan within 5 years of the planning standards coming into effect (April 2024).

 

35.  Section 8 of the RMA requires all person exercising functions/powers under it to take into account the principles of the Treaty of Waitangi.

Financial Considerations

36.  The recommended option can be carried out within the existing budget for the District Plan review.

Appendices

No.

Title

Page

1

Operative District Plan Industrial Zones

115

    

 

 

 

 

 

Author: Joseph Jeffries

Senior Environmental Policy Analyst

 

 

 

 

 

 

Reviewed By: Hamish Wesney

Head of District Plan Policy

 

 

 

Approved By: Helen Oram

Director Environment and Sustainability

 


Attachment 1

Operative District Plan Industrial Zones

 


                                                                                     125                                               15 December 2020

District Plan Review Subcommittee

19 November 2020

 

 

 

File: (20/1549)

 

 

 

 

Report no: DPRS2020/6/327

 

Hazardous Substances

 

Purpose of Report

1.    The purpose of this report is to:

a.  Information the District Plan Review Subcommittee of the District Plan Review with regard to hazardous substances; and

b.  Seek direction from the Subcommittee on how the District Plan Review should proceed with regard to hazardous substances.

Recommendations

That the Subcommittee agrees to undertake a review of the Hazardous Substances Chapter in line with the details set out in Option 2.

For the reasons:

·     Efficient use of Council resources;

·     Reflects the nature, qualities and pressures on hazardous substances;

·     Current approach for hazardous substances is generally effective, though requires refinement to align with the National Planning Standards and hazardous substances legislation and regulations; and

·     Ensure engagement and consultation that relates to those parties with specific interest or relevant to hazardous substances.

 

Background

2.    Council’s District Plan Review includes a review of the District Plan’s approach to managing the risks associated with hazardous substances.

3.    This report includes:

a.  Information on the use and storage of hazardous substances in Lower Hutt, including the nature and locations of hazardous facilities, the approach of the existing District Plan on hazardous substances and the statutory and policy context,

b.  The key resource management issues that have been identified for the Review with regard to hazardous substances,

c.  Three high level options for how the Review could proceed with regard to hazardous substances, and

d.  A recommended option, with reasons for the recommendation.

4.    The matters in this report have some cross-over with those outlined in the Industrial Zone report, particularly for the Seaview/Gracefield industrial area.

Discussion

Introduction

5.    Hazardous substances are widely used in Lower Hutt. A hazardous substance is any substance that is explosive, flammable, oxidising, corrosive or toxic to human health or the environment, or any substance that will exhibit these properties on contact with air or water. Common examples of hazardous substances include acids, solvents, paints, fuels and pesticides and commonly used in the industrial, agricultural, and horticultural sectors.

6.    The types and quantities of hazardous substances stored and used in the city vary markedly. Activities and substances range from the storage and retail sale of everyday commodities, such as pesticides and herbicides for domestic and commercial use and motor fuels (including petrol, diesel and LPG), to large-scale plants manufacturing and/or storing chemicals and petroleum products.

7.    Given the potential risk to the health and safety of people and the environment, hazardous substances are managed to ensure they are located, stored and used in a safe and secure manner.

Current District Plan Approach

8.    Hazardous substances are addressed in Chapter 14D: Hazardous Facilities and Chapter 6B: Special Business Activity Area. These chapters were included in the District Plan when it first became operative in 2003, and have never been reviewed.

9.    The objectives are:

14D 1.1.1 and 6B 1.1.1: To protect the community and the receiving environment from the risk associated with the location and operation of hazardous facilities.

1.10.8: To control the effects generated by hazardous facilities and activities rather than the intrinsic properties of hazardous substances.

10.  The policy approach is based on managing the location of hazardous facilities to avoid or mitigate an unacceptable level of risk to the community and the receiving environment. In addition, the policies manage non-industrial activities within the Seaview/Gracefield area to ensure that there is an acceptable level of risk to the general public attracted to such non-industrial activities.

11.  To implement these policies, two different approaches apply district-wide and in Seaview/Gracefield. The district-wide rules are based on the Hazardous Facilities Screening Procedure (HFSP), which determines the activity status depending on the location of the proposed activity and nature and quantity of hazardous substances used and stored. The Consent Status Matrix (CSM) for the city determines the level of risk that is acceptable within particular areas by assigning all Activity Areas, and specifically sensitive environments including areas subject to natural hazards, with an Effects Ratio. The District Plan uses the CSM, in association with the HFSP, to identify where a proposed hazardous facility is a permitted activity as of right and where a resource consent is required.

12.  The rules and standards generally provide for hazardous facilities in most zones, provided they do not exceed the effects ratio requirements or conditions (CSM and HFSP processes) in Chapter 14D of the Plan. These effects ratios do not apply to facilities for the retail sale of petrol, diesel or LPG.

13.  For the Seaview/Gracefield area (zoned Special Business Activity Area), the rules are based on the Dow Fire and Explosion Hazard Index, which applies a level of risk. The HFSP also applies to the Seaview/Gracefield area. Hazardous facilities are permitted up to a particular level of risk threshold (e.g. up to 100 on the Dow Hazard Index). Hazardous facilities which exceed this threshold are a discretionary activity. The Special Business Activity Area rules also restrict the establishment of sensitive activities which may be exposed to unacceptable risk near hazardous facilities.

State of the Environment

14.  The greatest potential for adverse effects on the environment, and particularly the health and safety of people, is in those localities where the greatest concentrations of hazardous substances are present. In Lower Hutt, these tend to be in the main industrial area of Seaview/Gracefield, and to a lesser degree, other industrial areas such as the industrial areas in Petone, Alicetown, Wingate and Taita.

15.  The Health and Safety at Work Act 2015 (the HSW Act) includes requirements for ‘major hazardous facilities’ (MHFs). MHFs are facilities of a size, scale and nature where they can pose significant risks to the health and safety of people (workers on-site and the general public off-site). There are six MHFs in Lower Hutt:

·    Chempro Logistics Limitted, Chemical Storage Facility, Seaview Road, Seaview

·    New Zealand Oil Services Limited, Petroleum Storage Facility (two sites), Port Road, Seaview

·    Mobil Oil New Zealand Limited, Petroleum Storage Facility, Seaview Road, Seaview

·    Z Energy 2015 Limited, Petroleum Storage Facility, Seaview Road, Seaview

·    Elgas Limited, LPG Storage Facility, Eastern Hutt Road, Silverstream

·    On Gas Limited, LPG Storage Facility, Bouverie Street, Petone

16.  In addition to these MHFs, there are a range of other activities which use and store hazardous substances at varying scale and nature, including industrial operations, workshops, agricultural and horticultural activities, and domestic activities, which can all involve the storage, use, and transport of hazardous substances.

17.  Between 2010 and 2019, five resource consent applications were received for activities under the hazardous facilities rules. These resource consent applications are listed below:

·    Vector Ltd, LPG Depot, 38 Bouverie Street, Petone. Granted  February 2011.

·    Sussex Properties Ltd, Paint Manufacturing Facility, 49 Victoria Street, Petone. Granted October 2012.

·    BP Oil New Zealand Ltd, Install and operate a semi underground 110kL butane tank and associated structures, 119 Port Road, Seaview. Granted November 2012.

·    Chempro New Zealand Ltd, Expansion of chemical storage facility to include battery recycling plant, 42 Seaview Road, Seaview. Granted June 2014.

·    Tecom Ltd, Redevelopment of warehouse for hazardous substances storage, 1E Quadrant Drive, Waiwhetu. Granted August 2016.

18.  Resource consent was required for the above facilities as the facilities exceeded the District Plan’s permitted activity standards for hazardous substances.

Statutory and Policy Context

19.  The following sections summarise the statutory and policy context for the District Plan Review with regard to hazardous substances.

Resource Management Act 1991 (the RMA)

20.  Sections 30 and 31 of the RMA were amended by the Resource Legislation Amendment Act 2017 (the RLAA 2017) to remove the control of hazardous substances as an explicit function of councils, resulting in them no longer being obliged to manage hazardous substances in RMA policy statements or plans. However, councils still have a broad function of achieving integrated management, and can use this function to impose additional controls on hazardous substances under the RMA if existing Hazardous Substances and New Organisms Act 1996 and Health and Safety at Work Act 2015 controls inadequately address the environmental effects of hazardous substances.

21.  The RMA enables councils through their District Plans to include additional land use controls for the prevention or mitigation of any adverse effects of the storage, use, disposal and transport of hazardous substances. Land use controls may relate to matters such as the location of hazardous facilities, their potential impacts on other land uses and the natural environment. In addition, land use controls may be used to manage incompatibility between activities, such as new sensitive activities locating in areas at unacceptable risk from existing significant hazardous facilities.

22.  In considering any additional land use controls, under section 18A decision-makers are required to take all practicable steps to, amongst other matters, avoid unnecessary regulatory duplication by ensuring that policy statements and plans include only those matters relevant to the purpose of the RMA.

23.  Since the District Plan became operative in 2003, regulations under the Hazardous Substances and New Organisms Act 1996 (the HSNO Act) and the Health and Safety at Work Act 2015 (the HSW Act) have come into effect and are now considered to be the primary legislative and regulatory mechanisms to address hazardous substances matters. Given this, the District Plan Review should focus on placing additional controls on hazardous substances only if it is necessary to control legitimate RMA related effects not covered by the HSNO or HSW Acts.

24.  Guidance from the Quality Planning website on managing hazardous substances under the Resource Management Act indicates that it may be appropriate for city and district councils to control hazardous substances in their district plans where this involves:

·    Land use near particularly sensitive areas (e.g. wetlands, open rivers and streams).

·    Areas prone to natural hazards (e.g. areas that are flood prone, susceptible to liquefaction, close to active fault lines, or susceptible to coastal storm surges).

·    Major hazardous facilities (in particular, considering potential cumulative effects on adjacent land uses).

·    Reverse sensitivity (where more sensitive receiving activities such as residential activities are allowed to locate in proximity to existing hazardous facilities).

25.  Further, the guidance states that any additional rules should also avoid creating unnecessary confusion with existing provisions under HSNO and HSW Acts.

26.  At a local policy level, the Vision Seaview Gracefield 2030 document sets out the future direction for the Seaview Gracefield area. The four themes of this vision are:

·    Providing stability and efficiency to support existing businesses

·    Creating a suitable environment for the growth of new/emerging businesses

·    Making better use of recreational opportunities

·    Contributing towards a better environment

27.  The Vision document recognises that:

“one of the advantages of Seaview and Gracefield is that it is separated from the adjacent residential areas by several natural “buffers” - Hutt Park, Waiwhetu Stream and Point Howard hill side. There is in place successful management to minimise the risk of hazard or nuisance, arising from the industrial activity, to communities in the vicinity of the area.”[3]

28.  Despite this recognition, the Vision suggests initiatives including:

·    Reviewing the District Plan and other Council Policies to support non-residential mixed use, such as social hubs, cafes and service shops, and

·    Encouraging development of modern buildings, such as offices and light manufacturing facilities that better meet the needs of new and emerging businesses.

29.  The District Plan review will need to reconcile this Vision direction, the national guidance, and recognition of existing hazardous facilities.

Key Resource Management Issues

30.  The following key resource management issues have been identified for hazardous substances:

a.    Issue 1: There are risks to human health, property and the environment when new significant hazardous facilities are established and when existing significant hazardous facilities are expanded or changed.

b.    Issue 2: There are risks to human health and property from incompatible land use when new sensitive activities locate in proximity to existing significant hazardous facilities.

c.     Issue 3: New sensitive activities that locate in close proximity to existing hazardous facilities can have reverse sensitivity effects on the existing facilities if the hazardous facilities need to respond to the increase in risk associated with the new sensitive activities.

d.    Issue 4: The operative District Plan applies an out of date method and does not reflect best practice and consistency/coordination with the current hazardous substances legislation and regulations.

Options

31.  Set out below are three options for the nature, scale and extent of the scope of the review for hazardous substances.

Option 1: Targeted review focusing on refining to align with the National Planning Standards and address workability of the Plan provisions.

32.  Under this option, the general approach in Chapter 14D: Hazardous Substances of the existing District Plan would be carried over into the new district plan format (as required by the National Planning Standards). This option would be simpler and require fewer resources than other options for the review. Given the narrow scope of this review option, limited specific engagement for the hazardous substances topic would be undertaken. 

33.  The main reason for adopting this option is that it reflects the limited issues identified for hazardous substances, and more time and resources can be put into other topics for the District Plan review.

34.  The disadvantage of this option is that it would have limited regard to the changes in the legislation and policy direction since the District Plan was made operative. The changing or emerging issues with hazardous substances may not be fully considered. 

35.  Under this option, it is expected that Council would still include many of the current provisions as part of a proposed district plan and these would be open to submissions.

Option 2: Complete review addressing issues for significant hazardous facilities.

36.  This option includes all components of Option 1, plus it would address issues for significant hazardous facilities, including:

·      Review the approach for significant hazardous facilities, including site-specific risk assessments.

·      Compatibility of other land use activities near existing significant hazardous facilities.

·      A comprehensive review of the effectiveness and appropriateness of existing provisions.

·      Consideration of the appropriateness of the zoning for significant hazardous substances – e.g. Special Business Activity Area (links with the Industrial Zone Report). Includes identification and assessment of areas that maybe suitable for significant hazardous facilities.

37.  This option would involve targeted engagement with owners/operators of existing significant hazardous facilities and people in the surrounding areas. 

38.  The main reason for adopting this option is to implement the changes in legislation and policy direction since the adoption of the District Plan. For example,

·    the HSNO and HSW Acts;

·    Vision Seaview Gracefield 2030

39.  This option responds to the resource management issues and would provide direction for significant hazardous facilities. The time and resources would be commensurate with other topics with similar scale and significance of issues. The disadvantage of this option is that some specific issues may not be as thoroughly researched or evaluated as some parties may seek.

Option 3: Comprehensive review, involving an all-encompassing approach and addresses a number of Council’s wider aspirations for the District.

40.  This option includes all components of Options 1 and 2, plus undertaking a strategic land-use study investigating options for the location of significant hazardous facilities. This study would consider proximity to sensitive areas, areas prone to natural hazards, cumulative effects of a number of significant hazardous facilities in a concentrated area, and reverse sensitivity issues. This study would be in advance of the Future Development Strategy required under the National Policy Statement for Urban Development which is required to be completed by 2024. 

41.  This option would involve comprehensive technical investigations to understand the global and local trends for significant hazardous facilities.

42.  The main reason for adopting this option is that it comprehensively responds to the issues for significant hazardous facilities and is not necessarily influenced by the existing location of these types of facilities. The disadvantage of this option is that it would take considerable time and incur additional costs and is likely to go well beyond the requirements of the RMA.

Climate Change Impact and Considerations

43.  The matters addressed in this report have been considered in accordance with the process set out in Council’s Climate Change Considerations Guide.

44.  Some of the significant hazardous facilities in the district use and storage substances which can contribute to the impacts of climate change – for example, storage of petroleum products. In addition, one of the considerations for the appropriate location of significant hazardous facilities is areas prone to natural hazards – the impact of sea level risk and inundation in Seaview will need to be evaluated as part of the review, whichever option is selected.  

Consultation

45.  No engagement or consultation has been undertaken so far specifically on issues relating to the topic of hazardous substances.

46.  Depending on the option selected for reviewing this topic, the following level and nature of engagement is anticipated to be incorporated within the wider District Plan consultation and engagement processes with strategic partners, significant hazardous facility owners/operators, local communities and the wider community to develop an effective district plan.

47.  This engagement is anticipated to take place via a range of methods, including:

·    Online surveys/forums considering land use and acceptable level of risk.

·    Consultation events or workshops for key stakeholders and local communities alongside other district plan topics.

·    Public meetings or open days on the whole plan review.

·    Iwi, internal and strategic partners via targeted meetings.

48.  The primary consultees that have been identified, in no particular order, are:

·      Owners/operators of significant hazardous facilities

·      Local communities near existing significant hazardous facilities

·      Mana Whenua

·      Greater Wellington Regional Council

·      Worksafe NZ (High Hazards Unit)

·      Transport and infrastructure providers

·      Wider community

Legal Considerations

49.  The legal consideration for this decision is the necessity for Council to meet its legal obligations under the RMA. The specific legal considerations for hazardous substances are outlined in the Statutory and Policy Context section of this report.

Financial Considerations

50.  Options 1 and 2 would be undertaken within the current District Plan Review budget. Option 1 would involve minimal costs and would be undertaken by Council officers. Option 2 would involve moderate costs, with the majority of work undertaken by Council officers. Costs would also be incurred in obtaining technical advice on hazardous substances. Option 3 would involve commissioning external technical advice to undertaken this study, which is estimated to cost in the order of $80K-$100K. Additional budget would be required for this study under Option 3, unless there was reduced scope for the review of other topics.

Appendices

There are no appendices for this report.   

 

 

 

 

 

Author: Hamish Wesney

Head of District Plan Policy

 

 

 

Author: Nathan Geard

Senior Environmental Policy Analyst

 

 

 

 

 

 

Reviewed By: Hamish Wesney

Head of District Plan Policy

 

 

 

Approved By: Helen Oram

Director Environment and Sustainability



[1] https://www.mfe.govt.nz/climate-change/likely-impacts-of-climate-change/how-could-climate-change-affect-my-region/wellington

[2] https://mapping1.gw.govt.nz/GW/SLR/

[3] Vision Seaview Gracefield 2030, page 17