The Resource Management Act 1991 defines a natural hazard as any atmospheric or earth related occurrence, the action of which adversely affects or may adversely affect human life, property, or other aspects of the environment. The geology of Tauranga and the proximity of many dwellings to the coast can present a risk to property and people.
Natural hazards are addressed by both Tauranga City Council and the Bay of Plenty Regional Council, as well as Civil Defence. Tauranga City Council is responsible for controlling land-use and management practices that avoid or mitigate the potential adverse effects of hazards. Activity and development in areas or situations that are at risk from known hazards can increase the severity of that hazard, and the risk of adverse effects occurring to life or property.
There is a significant amount of information about natural hazards in the State of the Environment Report.
Tauranga City Council has several responses to hazards. Usually the emphasis is on providing information and clearly identifying any hazard risk early in the planning process for land use activities or subdivision. People can then avoid situations in which they, or their property, could be at risk. It is also recognised that it is important to ensure mitigation measures are in place in the event of an emergency. Civil Defence planning focuses on informing and preparing the community for such emergencies. The Building Act 2004, Resource Management Act 1991 and Tauranga City Plan address specific and general natural hazard risk through resource consent and building consent requirements and restrictions on subdivision and development.
Tauranga City Council's Development Engineering and Land Information divisions are able to provide information on a range of natural hazards by property and area. Such natural hazards include flooding, geotechnical, slope stability, relic land slips and coastal erosion hazard. Current monitoring includes information on natural hazard awareness, unstable land, coastal and flooding hazard risk.
The Bay of Plenty Regional Council have policies, plans and information on regional hazards, such as flooding, drought, earthquakes, tsunami and landslides. More information can be found on the Bay of Plenty Regional Council website or freephone 0800 368 267.
Last Reviewed: 29/11/2012