The Regional Policy Statement has the following objectives relating to natural hazards.
3.8.3 Objective: Management of Natural Hazards
The roles of all relevant agencies for the management of natural hazards in the Waikato region clearly identified and their responsibilities consistently implemented.
3.8.4 Objective: Adverse Effects
The adverse effects associated with natural hazards minimised, the resilience of the community and public awareness of the causes and potential effects of natural hazards events increased.
A third objective has a direct relationship with the management of coastal hazards:
3.5.4 Objective: Natural Character and Coastal Processes
Preservation of the natural character of the coastal environment, including the physical and ecological processes which ensure its dynamic stability.
- Natural hazards are increasing in the region, particularly river flooding, tsunami risks and coastal hazards. Therefore objective 3.8.4 of the Regional Policy Statement, which seeks a reduction in natural hazards, is not being achieved.
- Objective 3.8.3 of the Regional Policy Statement seeks clearly identified roles for all natural hazard management agencies in the region and consistent implementation of these roles. This is partially achieved in that the roles are now generally clear, but not always consistently implemented.
- The main reason for the increased hazard risk is that development is still occurring, and in fact increasing, in hazard prone areas.
- There are many parts of the region where property and life are successfully protected by Waikato Regional Council's flood management systems. However such systems can only protect up to a certain sized flood event, so that further development in protected areas still represents an increased hazard risk.
- Climate change is also believed to be increasing the frequency and severity of bad weather that can lead to river flooding.
- This increased threat from climate change further underlines how preventing development in hazard risk prone areas is the best way of protecting people and property from natural hazards in our region.
- Our land use planning in the region needs to take a very proactive approach to minimising natural hazard risk.
The full report is available for download below.
Progress toward achievement of Environment Waikato's Regional Policy Statement objectives: Natural hazards
(4994 kb, 713 seconds to download, 56k modem)