Risk acceptance views

Public views on risk acceptability and mitigation

This is the stage where stakeholder acceptance of the previously determined levels of risk and associated consent categories is assessed. It is also when ideas about risk mitigation may be reviewed – particularly in relation to areas of greatest contention.

Risk communication at this step serves two purposes:

1. To get feedback from stakeholders and affected parties on whether the risk categories and/or consent levels are appropriate, and to check for perverse outcomes

2. To discuss what trade-offs might be made between extra margins of safety, possible benefits, and costs of mitigation.

Actions from this step

  • Review the proposed risk categories, current and proposed land use activity and identify areas of greatest contention.
  • Get stakeholder input on identifying any control options for reducing risk. If necessary review the risk control measures in terms of their impact on risk reduction, likely costs, and potential increased risk for other parties. Re-present these to stakeholders and affected parties for discussion about acceptable costs & benefits, and identification of any additional risks associated with the measures.
  • Check whether there are new stakeholders, affected parties or issues associated with implementing control measures and revise stakeholder analysis and engagement strategy to address this [see building an engagement strategy]


Information to share:

  • Clarify the purpose of this step - i.e. to agree categorisations of risk as acceptable, tolerable or intolerable so that appropriate decisions can be made about future land use.
  • Be transparent about the rationale (i.e. method, and assumptions) behind the proposed levels of risk and the consent categories
  • Discuss what is known about the likely impact of the proposed consent categories on foreseeable land use

Questions to ask and information to gather:

  • Are the risk levels for tolerable, intolerable and acceptable ok?
  • Are there concerns about the impacts on land use?
  • Are risk trade-offs possible and/or desirable?
  • Are risk reduction measures desirable & acceptable?
  • Is further consultation/discussion required before recommendations are made?

Be prepared for…

  • Changes from initial risk perceptions as earlier steps (1 &2 ) have raised awareness of both the natural hazard and the decisions and planning initiatives associated with this.
  • This stage may require several iterations

Engagement approach options:

Working groups, (e.g., community board members, CDEM representatives, iwi representatives, and local stakeholders) may be a useful scale at which to hold initial discussions of the issues at this stage. This group may also serve as a conduit for wider public engagement (see Tsunami example and Squamish example)