Policy and Planning

Out on a LIM:  The role of Land Information Memorandum in natural hazard management

Land Information Memorandum (LIM) contribute to the management of natural hazards by providing information to property owners and potential purchasers. LIMs were included into the Local Government Official Information and Meetings Act (1987) in 1992, and after more than two decades of being enacted, there is still a lot of confusion and inconsistent approaches to managing information requirements within LIMs.   This report investigated the following questions :

  • What is the role of the LIM in communicating natural hazard information?
  • When should information be included in a LIM?
  • What improvements could be made to the LIM system?

The research identified a number of challenges and opportunities with LIMs that currently hinder the effectiveness of them being able to effectively communicate information to the public. Councils have struggled with developing a consistent approach to effectively deliver a LIM within the statutory timeframes, while balancing the requirements of providing information. The type and level of information included varies considerably, and the within the Wellington Region the natural hazards information has been used inconsistently. The LIM is considered to be council’s biggest exposure to liability, making it vitally important for councils to get it right.  Three levels of recommendations have been made at national, regional, and local level scales.  These include a full review of the LIM system; improving regional and district information sharing; and recommendations for information providers. Download below.

Misc Series 95 LR.pdf (3.19 MB)

Effective land use planning

We are researching best practice examples of innovative land-use planning in hazard prone areas, both in New Zealand and internationally. With a better understanding of innovative practice, we can assist agencies in developing and applying land-use planning initiatives that minimise risk to communities. MS67_Riskbased_planning_report.pdf (3.32 MB)

Improving scientific guidance for land use planners

The aim of this project was to determine what makes good natural hazard guidance for land use planners. Five focus groups were undertaken across the country with planners, emergency managers, and others, to ascertain what are the key success factors for guidance. While specifically focused on natural hazards, the key recommendations are transferable to other subject areas. MS64_Doing_it_better.pdf (299.48 kB)

Incorporating risk-based land use planning into a district plan

This report provides a comprehensive example of how a district plan can include risk-based planning for natural hazards. Misc Series 63.pdf (618.43 kB)

Proposed changes to RMA report cover
Response to proposed changes to the RMA natural hazard provisions

In July 2012 the Ministry for the Environment released the Technical Advisory Group (TAG) review of the Resource Management Act (RMA), which specifically looked at how natural hazard management can be improved under the RMA. In response, GNS Science has compiled a report on the implications of the TAG recommendations on natural hazards planning. The report "Putting R(isk) in the RMA: Technical Advisory Group recommendations on the Resource Management Act 1991 and implications for natural hazards planning" is available to download below.
GNSScienceMiscSeries48.pdf (1.38 MB)

Planning guidelines for hazard prone areas
Matata house

GNS Science, with support from the planning and geotechnical community, is developing guidelines for land-use planning in hazard prone areas.

The guidelines seek to increase planners’ understanding of natural hazards to enable them to develop and assess natural hazard land-use policy with the aim of minimising hazard risk.

Guidance available:

  • Planning for the development of land on or close to active faults: A study of the adoption and use of the Active Fault Guidelines - Download .pdf (2.40 MB)
  • Guidelines for assessing planning policy and consent requirements for landslide prone land - Download.pdf (6.00 MB)
  • New Zealand's Next Top Model - Integrating tsunami inundation modelling into land use planning - EQCReport_NZNTMv3.pdf (1.30 MB)
  • Just add water: When should liquefaction be considered in land use planning? - Misc_Series_47_Liquefaction_Planning.pdf (1.88 MB)
Pre-event (land use) recovery planning

Communities and local government to consider land use recovery following a natural hazard event, before an event actually occurs.

As part of our research we have developed a methodology that outlines a process for land-use recovery that requires consideration of a range of options such as repairing, reconstructing or relocating existing at-risk land-uses before a natural hazard event occurs.

Project Example:

  • Updated methodology - Pre-event recovery planning for land-use in New Zealand - Download.pdf (1.07 MB)