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Common sense wins in coastal hazard decision

The Government’s agreement to remove the coastal hazard section from the Christchurch City Council’s district plan review is common sense, says Labour MPs Ruth Dyson and Poto Williams.

This section has caused considerable concern amongst the 18,000 affected residents who have been grappling with the implications of the council’s proposals, says Ruth Dyson.

“Uncertainty about property values and insurance issues has further heightened this concern. 

“It’s the Council’s responsibility to consider risks and respond appropriately in the best interests of residents.  However, the truncated process of the district plan review does not allow for appropriate information to be gathered and input from the community.

“We now have an opportunity to develop responses together to climate change that work for our residents and our region,” Ruth Dyson says. 

Poto Williams says it also makes sense that central government provide leadership and support, rather than leaving local councils and communities to re-invent the wheel.

“The National Policy Statement on natural hazards – recently proposed by Nick Smith – should be developed and released ahead of councils having to respond to these issues.

“Residents need certainty about options for mitigation, the impact on property values and insurance coverage. Other countries have developed collaborative responses and these models can now be replicated in Christchurch.

“Our constituents are up to this challenge and we are confident the results of a collaborative process will be enduring and fair,” says Poto Williams.