Land subject to natural hazards

If you are thinking about carrying out building works it is important to consider any natural hazards that may be present, and how they may affect compliance with the Building Act 2004 and the New Zealand Building Code.

Natural hazards include:

  • Erosion (including coastal erosion, bank erosion and sheet erosion)
  • Falling debris (including soil, rock, snow and ice)
  • Subsidence
  • Inundation (including flooding, overland flow, storm surge, tidal effects and ponding)
  • Slippage

A Land Information Memorandum (LIM) or Project Information Memorandum (PIM) will identify hazards that Council know about.

New building work or alterations should be designed with any natural hazard in mind.  The Building Act 2004 requires Council to look closely at building consents for new buildings or major alterations on land subject to a natural hazard and refuse to grant the building consent if the situation is made worse, or grant the building consent subject to Section 72 of the Building Act 2004.

What is Section 71 of the Building Act

Section 71 of the Building Act 2004 deals with building on land subject to natural hazards.

What is Section 72 of the Building Act

Section 72 of the Building Act 2004 deals with granting a building consent on land subject to natural hazards.

How do I know if my property is in a hazard area and could be subject to Section 72

There are a number of sites in Nelson that have had natural hazards identified on them.  Most areas that do have a natural hazard identified are noted in the Nelson Resource Management Plan or the Council's property conditions.  The Nelson Resource Management Plan and property conditions are available at Council's Customer Service Centre.

Will a building consent be granted in these areas

Section 71 of the Building Act 2004 states that Council shall refuse to grant a building consent for the construction of a building or major alterations unless it is satisfied that adequate provision has been, or will be made to protect the land or building work, or other property concerned from those hazards, or restore any damage to the land or property concerned that may result from the building work.

Where a building consent is applied for on land that is subject to one or more of the above hazards, and the Council considers that the building work itself will not accelerate, worsen, or result in erosion, falling debris, subsidence, inundation or slippage, then the building consent can be granted subject to Section 72 of the Building Act 2004.

When a building consent is granted subject to Section 72 the Council must notify the District Land Registrar to arrange an endorsement on the Certificate of Title advising that the consent has been issued pursuant to Section 72.

If I apply for a building consent in a known hazard area, will I need to have a report from a Geotechnical Engineer or Hydrologist

Unless the work is of a minor nature you may need a report from one of these professionals.  You should check with Council prior to lodging a building consent application.

What are the implications of having a Section 72 on the Certificate of Title

If there is a Section 72 endorsement on the Certificate of Title and the building is subsequently damaged by a hazard event, then the owner and subsequent owners may not be insured for that damage.  Refer to clause 3(d) of Schedule 3 of the Earthquake Commission Act 1993.

You are strongly advised to contact your solicitor, insurance company or the Earthquake Commission if you are purchasing a property in these areas or you are planning on doing any alterations or additions in the future.

Please note: The Building Act 1991 covered natural hazards under Section 36 of that Act and prior to the Building Acts 2004 and 1991 all building permits were issued under the Local Government Act 1974.  Section 641(A) of the Local Government Act has a similar meaning to Section 72 of the Building Act so check your title for any endorsement.

How do I know whether there is already a Section 72, 36(2) or 641(A) endorsement on the Certificate of Title

You will need to obtain a copy of the Certificate of Title from Land Information New Zealand.

Will all building consents in hazard areas be granted subject to Section 72

Not necessarily.  Section 72 allows Council to grant a building consent if Council is satisfied that adequate provision has been made to protect the land, building work or other property from the hazard, or restore any damage to the land or other property arising out of the building work.

Council strongly recommends that you or your advisors discuss your proposals with Council staff prior to lodging your building consent application.

Can a Section 72 be entered on my title if I don't apply for a building consent

No.

There are two copies of the title.  Do both copies get endorsed

The original is held by the District Land Registrar.  Only the copy held by the District Land Registrar is required to be endorsed.