Sunday, April 14, 2024

Three property categories revealed as Govt progresses cyclone recovery work

Cyclone Recovery Minister, Grant Robertson has outlined the three categorisations of property in areas affected by the severe weather events earlier this year.

In March, the Minister asked the Cyclone Taskforce to work with insurance companies and local councils to build a picture of high-risk areas following Cyclone Gabrielle and January floods.

“That work has been progressing well, but is more advanced in some regions than others,” Mr Robertson said today.

“We recognise the need to provide certainty as soon as possible to individuals in affected areas. There’s no one size fits all approach – each area is unique and influenced by a number of different factors which is why we are taking the time to get this right.”

Three categories have been settled on under which the future of flood and landslide affected properties will be assessed:

  1. Low Risk – Repair to previous state is all that is required to manage future severe weather event risk. This means that once any flood protection near the property is repaired, the home can be rebuilt at the same site.
  2. Managed Risk – Community or property-level interventions will manage future severe weather event risk. This could include the raising of nearby stop banks, improving drainage or raising the property. (Category two is split into three sub-categories as outlined in table below)
  3. High Risk – Areas in the high risk category are not safe to live in because of the unacceptable risk of future flooding and loss of life. Homes in these areas should not be rebuilt on their current sites.

“Communities will be consulted before any final decisions are made about which category properties are placed into. Those discussions will begin as soon as assessments are completed and quality assurance is done,” Minister Robertson said.

He said the Government’s intention is to complete assessments for low risk properties in Category One quickly, so that people in those homes can settle with their insurance companies and get on with their recovery.

“Decisions on properties in Categories Two and Three will take a bit longer – but will be completed as soon as they are possible.”

“We know it is stressful for residents waiting to hear about the future of their properties and I want to assure people we are doing all we can to move through this process as quickly and effectively as we can.

“The worse thing would be for us to announce a property or community was in one category, only to change that shortly thereafter. We need to make the right decision not the quick one,” the Minister said.

Initial risk categories and definitions:

CategoryDefinitionsExamples
1Repair to previous state is all that is required to manage future severe weather event risk.Minor flood damage to repair but no need for significant redesign/retrofitting.
2CCommunity level interventions are effective in managing future severe weather event risk.Local government repairs and enhances flood protection schemes to adequately manage the risk of future flooding events in the face of climate change effects.
2PProperty level interventions are needed to manage future severe weather event risk, including in tandem with community level interventions.Property specific measures are necessary e.g., improved drainage, raising houses is necessary. Benefits accrue to property owners but some may face affordability issues.
2APotential to fall within 2C/2P but significant further assessment required.Interventions may be required / possible but insufficient information to provide initial categorisation (these may subsequently move between “2” categories or to categories 1 / 3).
3Future severe weather event risk cannot be sufficiently mitigated. In some cases some current land uses may remain acceptable, while for others there is an intolerable risk of injury or death.In the face of enhanced climate risks the property may face unacceptable risk of future flooding. Other property could be subject to unstable land that poses an ongoing risk.

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