Plan Change 1: Natural Hazards

Natural hazards overview

We’re reviewing the rules around development in natural hazard-prone areas as part of our regular reviews of the District Plan.

In 2022, we sought your feedback on an early version of these changes. We formally consulted on the changes having responded to the feedback received. 

In May 2023 Plan Change 1 was formally notified. To see the most up to date information on this plan change, please click on the sections above.

What changes are being proposed?

The proposed Natural Hazards rules are designed to reduce the risk to people and property from development in areas at risk of natural hazards.

Proposed Natural Hazards Chapter(PDF, 719KB)

What does this mean for my property?

Any rule changes will not come into effect until the formal consultation process of submissions, hearings and appeals is complete.

The new rules will not affect existing buildings or property, unless you plan to make changes to them.

In some cases, the changes proposed may affect new developments and subdivisions. 

Natural hazard maps

You can see if a natural hazard is mapped on your property by using the link below.

Proposed natural hazard maps (wdc.maps.arcgis.com)

Coastal erosion and coastal flooding

Coastal erosion happens when land is worn away (suddenly or over time) by coastal processes such as waves, tidal currents and storm events.

Coastal flooding happens when low-lying areas become submerged under sea water, often due to storm surges generated by large storms.

Coastal hazards map

Coastal hazard reports

The Northland Regional Council holds the most recent reports relating to coastal hazards:

Coastal hazard assessment reports (nrc.govt.nz)

These coastal hazards reports have informed the mapping that is proposed to be included in the Natural Hazards plan change.

Land instability

Flooding

Flooding is caused by high-intensity rain causing run-off, the overflowing of streams and rivers, or a combination of the two.

Flood hazard area map

River flood hazard reports

The Northland Regional Council holds the most recent reports relating to river flooding.

Region-wide river catchments analysis - technical reports (nrc.govt.nz)

These reports have informed the mapping that is proposed to be included in the Natural Hazards plan change.

Mining subsidence hazards

Coal mining was a major industry in Te Kamo and Hikurangi. Residential land developed above the mines has become at risk of ground subsidence over time.

Mining subsidence hazards map

Mining subsidence reports

The following technical reports relate to the mining subsidence maps.

Mine Subsidence Hazard - Hikurangi Area(PDF, 242KB)

Mine Subsidence Hazard - Te Kamo Area (2013)(PDF, 2MB)

Mine Subsidence Hazard - Te Kamo Area (2005)(PDF, 307KB)

Kamo Mine Zones Map (March 2005)(PDF, 1MB)

Notification and submissions

The following documents in this section contain information on the plan change notification and submissions. 

Submissions

Hearings

Hearing was held at 9:00am on Monday 19 February 2024 at Whangarei District Council, Te Iwitahi, 9 Rust Avenue, Whangārei.

The following documents contain information on the Natural Hazards Hearing.

Information from the hearing panel

Hearing evidence

Pre-circulated evidence 

Pre Circulated Legal Submissions - Northpower(PDF, 248KB)

Evidence to be tabled - Golden Bay Cement(PDF, 874KB)

Evidence to be tabled - Liam Watson(PDF, 2MB)

Evidence to be tabled - The Fuel Companies(PDF, 227KB)

Evidence to be tabled - Transpower(PDF, 445KB)

Evidence to be tabled - Greg Bracey(PDF, 618KB)

Evidence to be tabled - Gary Martin(PDF, 4MB)

Evidence to be tabled - Woolworths(PDF, 2MB)

Evidence to be tabled - Ministry of Education(PDF, 216KB)

Evidence to be tabled - Whangarei District Council Infrastructure(PDF, 290KB)

Pre Circulated Evidence - Channel Infrastructure NZ Limited(PDF, 267KB)

Pre Circulated Evidence - David and Jane Garrick(PDF, 5MB)

Pre Circulated Evidence - Fire and Emergency New Zealand(PDF, 285KB)

Pre Circulated Evidence - Fonterra Limited (Graeme Mathieson)(PDF, 413KB)

Pre Circulated Evidence - Fonterra Limited (Suzanne O'Rourke)(PDF, 225KB)

Pre Circulated Evidence - Foodstuffs North Island (David Badham)(PDF, 1MB)

Pre Circulated Evidence - Foodstuffs North Island (Jonathan Williamson)(PDF, 5MB)

Pre Circulated Evidence - Fred Morgan(PDF, 2MB) 

Pre Circulated Evidence - Hika Limited, Jackson Hikurangi, Mouresses Trust No.2, Quality Developments, DC Group, Otaika Valley Free Range Eggs Ltd and Commercial Centres(PDF, 9MB)

Pre Circulated Evidence - HKRS Holdings Ltd(PDF, 2MB)

Pre Circulated Evidence - Kāinga Ora (Brendon Ligget)(PDF, 224KB)

Pre Circulated Evidence - Kāinga Ora (David Badham)(PDF, 3MB)

Pre Circulated Evidence - Marsden Cove Limited (James Greenwood)(PDF, 6MB)

Pre Circulated Evidence - Marsden Cove Limited (Kaaren Joubert)(PDF, 6MB)

Pre Circulated Evidence - Marsden Cove Limited (Gray Hopper)(PDF, 113KB)

Pre Ciculated Evidence - Metlifecare Retirement Villages Limited (David Badham)(PDF, 2MB)

Pre Circulated Evidence - Metlifecare Retirement Villages Limited (Matthew Packard)(PDF, 12MB)

Pre Circulated Evidence - New Zealand Transport Agency Waka Kotahi(PDF, 275KB)

Pre Circulated Evidence - Northland Regional Council(PDF, 407KB)

Pre Circulated Evidence - Northpower (Brett Hood)(PDF, 839KB)

Pre Circulated Evidence - Northpower (Michael Gibbs)(PDF, 161KB)

Pre Circulated Evidence - Northpower (Shaun Brown)(PDF, 2MB)

Pre Circulated Evidence - Onoke Heights Limited, Hurupaki Holdings Limited, TMB Limited and Totara Estate Developments Limited Partnerships (Aaron Holland)(PDF, 2MB)

Pre Circulated Evidence - Onoke Heights Limited, Hurupaki Holdings Limited, TMB Limited and Totara Estate Developments Limited Partnerships (Melissa McGrath)(PDF, 22MB)

Pre Circulated Evidence - Peter Topzand(PDF, 3MB)

Pre Circulated Evidence - Regeneration Holdings (Callum Sands)(PDF, 21MB)

Pre Circulated Evidence - Regeneration Holdings (Emma Miller)(PDF, 19MB)

Pre Circulated Evidence - Te Whatu Ora (Jefferey Garnham - Ngā Tai Ora Public Health)(PDF, 286KB)

Pre Circulated Evidence - Te Whatu Ora (Melissa McGrath)(PDF, 3MB)

Pre Circulated Evidence - Telecommunications Companies (Chris Horne)(PDF, 180KB)

Pre Circulated Evidence - Telecommunications Companies (Joint Statement of Evidence)(PDF, 2MB)

Pre Circulated Evidence - The University of Auckland (David Badham)(PDF, 2MB)

Pre Circulated Evidence - The University of Auckland (David Ouwejan)(PDF, 12MB)

Pre Circulated Evidence - Clyde Stevens(PDF, 3MB)

Pre Circulated Evidence - Campbell Challenger Family Trust(PDF, 11MB)

Pre Circulated Evidence - John Glenie(PDF, 584KB)

Pre Circulated Evidence - Marian and Leonard Dissanayake(PDF, 8MB)

Pre Circulated Evidence - John Calder(PDF, 2MB)

Tabled evidence

Tabled Evidence - T and D Baxter(PDF, 33MB)

Tabled Evidence - Channel Infrastructure (Riann Elliot)(PDF, 64MB)

Tabled Evidence - Channel Infrastructure (Teresa Calmeyer)(PDF, 87KB)

Tabled Legal Submissions - Channel Infrastructure (Ebony Ellis)(PDF, 842KB)

Tabled Submitter Joint Witness Statement – Planning – Permitted Activity Rule Framework (Brett Hood, Emma Miller, Melissa McGrath, and David Badham)(PDF, 2MB)

Tabled Evidence - New Zealand Transport Agency (Cath Heppelthwaite)(PDF, 110KB)

Tabled Evidence - Steedman(PDF, 1MB)

Tabled Evidence - M Aylward(PDF, 643KB)

Tabled Evidence - Derek Slatter(PDF, 35MB)

Tabled Evidence - Marian and Leonard Dissanayake(PDF, 1MB)

Tabled Evidence - HKRS Holdings Ltd(PDF, 3MB)

Tabled Evidence - Max Haag(PDF, 4MB)

Supporting information

Supporting information – Planning – Permitted Activity Rule Framework (Brett Hood, Emma Miller, Melissa McGrath, and David Badham)(PDF, 688KB)

Supporting information – Kāinga Ora(PDF, 1MB)

Supporting information – Metlifecare Retirement Villages Limited(PDF, 2MB)

Supporting information – The University of Auckland(PDF, 1MB)

Supporting information – Foodstuffs(PDF, 2MB)

Supporting information - Marian and Leonard Dissanayake(PDF, 1MB)

Proposed natural hazards map

You can see if a natural hazard is proposed to be mapped on your property as part of the Plan Change.

  1. Open the Proposed natural hazard maps in GIS
  2. Search icon with magnifying glass in the middle. Look for the magnifying glass icon. Type your property address into the search bar.
  3. Legend icon with a list in the middle. To see what the different colours on the map means, you can view the legend by clicking the legend icon.
  4. Layers icon with a stack of square items in the middle. To turn some parts of the map on or off, select the layers icon and then toggle each layer on Layer On icon which shows an open eye. or off Layer Off icon which shows a line through an open eye. .

Comparative mapping

You can compare the mapping proposed as part of the Plan Change to what is currently mapped in the Operative District Plan.

Coastal hazards map

The proposed plan change replaces existing coastal hazard maps with maps developed by Northland Regional Council based on the most up to date hazard information. Under the Northland Regional Policy Statement, district councils are required to incorporate coastal erosion and coastal flooding hazard maps prepared by Northland Regional Council into their District Plans.

The maps are a trigger for proposed rules to manage new subdivision and development activities within identified coastal hazard areas. 

Viewing your property hazards

You can view the coastal hazards mapped on your property and compare the proposed mapping to what is currently mapped in the Operative District Plan.

  1. Open the Coastal hazards map in GIS
  2. Search icon with magnifying glass in the middle. Look for the magnifying glass icon. Type your property address into the search bar.
  3. Legend icon with a list in the middle. To see what the different colours on the map means, you can view the legend by clicking the legend icon.
  4. Layers icon with a stack of square items in the middle. To turn some parts of the map on or off, select the layers icon and then toggle each layer on Layer On icon which shows an open eye. or off Layer Off icon which shows a line through an open eye. .

Example of comparative map

Comparative coastal hazards map example showing what people will see when they open the GIS map.  

Land instability map

The proposed plan change introduces existing land instability mapping developed by us. It aims to manage land instability risks by identifying areas of moderate and high susceptibility to landslides, and setting out rules for new activities within identified areas.

Viewing your property hazards

You can view the land instability hazards mapped on your property. This is a new addition to the District Plan so there is no current comparison.

  1. Open the Land instability map in GIS
  2. Search icon with magnifying glass in the middle. Look for the magnifying glass icon. Type your property address into the search bar.
  3. Legend icon with a list in the middle. To see what the different colours on the map means, you can view the legend by clicking the legend icon.
  4. Layers icon with a stack of square items in the middle. To turn some parts of the map on or off, select the layers icon and then toggle each layer on Layer On icon which shows an open eye. or off Layer Off icon which shows a line through an open eye. .

Flooding hazard area map

We are proposing to replace the existing Flood Susceptible Area maps with flood maps developed by the Northland Regional Council based on the most up to date hazard information.

The Northland Regional Policy Statement requires district councils to incorporate these maps into the District Plan. These maps may trigger proposed rules to manage new subdivision, land use and development within the flood hazard areas.

Viewing your property hazards

You can view the flooding hazards mapped on your property and compare the proposed mapping to what is currently mapped in the Operative District Plan.

  1. Open the Flooding hazard area map in GIS
  2. Search icon with magnifying glass in the middle. Look for the magnifying glass icon. Type your property address into the search bar.
  3. Legend icon with a list in the middle. To see what the different colours on the map means, you can view the legend by clicking the legend icon.
  4. Layers icon with a stack of square items in the middle. To turn some parts of the map on or off, select the layers icon and then toggle each layer on Layer On icon which shows an open eye. or off Layer Off icon which shows a line through an open eye. .

Example of comparative map

Comparative flood hazards map example showing what people will see when they open the GIS map.  

Mining subsidence hazard map

Mining subsidence hazard maps for Kamo and Hikurangi are already part of the District Plan. The plan change proposes some minor changes to mapping for Hikurangi to reflect updated geo-technical data.

New provisions are proposed to manage new subdivision, land use, buildings, major structures and earthworks in mining hazard areas identified on the proposed maps.

Viewing your property hazards

You can view the mining hazards mapped on your property and compare the proposed mapping to what is currently mapped in the Operative District Plan.

  1. Open the Mining subsidence hazards map in GIS
  2. Search icon with magnifying glass in the middle. Look for the magnifying glass icon. Type your property address into the search bar.
  3. Legend icon with a list in the middle. To see what the different colours on the map means, you can view the legend by clicking the legend icon.
  4. Layers icon with a stack of square items in the middle. To turn some parts of the map on or off, select the layers icon and then toggle each layer on Layer On icon which shows an open eye. or off Layer Off icon which shows a line through an open eye. .

Example of comparative map

Comparative mining hazards map example showing what people will see when they open the GIS map.  

Frequently asked questions

What is a District Plan?

Whangārei’s District Plan sets out how land in the District can be used, developed and subdivided.

It includes objectives, policies and methods to achieve the sustainable management of resources within the Whangārei District.

Why is a Natural Hazards chapter needed?

Natural hazards can result in damage to property, buildings, and even loss of life. Identifying and managing potential risk areas can reduce the possibility of damage and harm.

Under the Resource Management Act 1991 the management of significant risks from natural hazards is a matter of national importance that needs to be addressed in the District Plan.

It is also a requirement of the Northland Regional Policy Statement to introduce hazards mapping for coastal erosion, coastal flooding and river flooding.

The changes we are proposing to make incorporate the most up to date hazard information and give effect to national and regional guidance.

How do these proposed changes affect me?

At this stage the plan change does not have legal effect. Any rules proposed in the plan change will not apply to subdivision and development until the plan change has progressed through the formal submissions process and has been adopted by Council.

The proposed plan change has been developed with a risk-based approach to the management of natural hazards. The rules proposed are triggered when new subdivision and development occurs in mapped natural hazard overlays shown on proposed Planning Maps.

The mapped hazard overlays indicate locations where there is potential for a natural hazard to occur. When the proposed rules are triggered, a site-specific assessment to understand the nature and extent of the identified hazard risk and any necessary mitigation is required.

The proposed changes would only apply to new projects. If your building complies with the requirements that were in place when it was built, and you are not proposing to change it, then you won’t need to do anything.

Hazard mapping is already included on Land Information Memoranda reports, independent of this proposed plan change. If your property is affected by the hazard mapping, any new Land Information Memoranda report for your property will already contain a note to indicate the potential hazard susceptibility. The note will also identify the latest technical information held by us.

It is a legal requirement for us to include all the relevant natural hazard information we hold about a property in a Land Information Memoranda.

How has climate change been factored into this plan change?

It is recognised that climate change will lead to a rise in sea level over time affecting coastal processes, and flooding in coastal areas and further inland.

Climate change projections have been used within flood modelling to include an allowance for sea level rise and changing rainfall as a result of ongoing climate change.

Will this impact my insurance?

Insurers gather their own information when making assessments. They already hold information on how much risk properties carry, including from natural hazards such as flooding and landslips, whether we map them in our District Plan or not.

The modelling in the proposed maps establishes risk profiles for the next 50 to 100 years for flooding and coastal hazards.

The Insurance Council of New Zealand has indicated that in most cases this will not have an immediate effect for property owners on the availability of insurance or its affordability as the changes are likely to occur over a long period of time.

However, you should contact your private insurer directly if you have any questions about insurance.