Christchurch property values lost in climate fear

Christchurch, mountains and sea. Earthquakes have caused great loss in reality. But stupendous imaginary sea level rise is causing great loss through insanity.

• Guest post •

— by Andy Scrase, member, Christchurch Coastal Residents United (CCRU)

Coastal residents’ nightmare drags on

We’ve written before about the serious climate problem destroying the property values of tens of thousands of Christchurch home owners. It’s an escalating tragedy.

TV One has just screened the story of a young couple $250,000 out of pocket after buying a property they’re not now permitted to build on. There’s a continuing lack of government leadership, meaning the problems are still not resolved.

Christchurch City Council, along with most local government agencies in NZ and even beyond, are assuming a “worst case” scenario of one metre of sea level rise by 2100 (now just 81 years away in 100 years, (with no sign of acceleration in sea level rise), but this is based on an IPCC scenario called RCP 8.5. It’s a scenario beyond any worst case we could imagine. It was never designed to represent reality.

A recent meeting of concerned residents brought together various parties with stories to tell.

A total of 11 property owners, from Redcliffs to Southshore, were represented. Some were attempting to build on vacant land, four were replacing existing houses, one wanted to repair an earthquake-damaged house and one was extending a house. All these owners had failed to obtain a resource consent for these perfectly ordinary works on private property. Some had been scared off by pessimistic council responses.

Some had given up and moved on, others are stuck after spending hundreds of thousands of dollars buying land and developing plans to apply for a resource consent they just cannot get.

Risk to life

The core issue seems to be the council’s stance that any intensification in the HFHMA (High Flood Hazard Management Area) must be stopped to avoid additional risk to life.

What this “risk” might entail is anyone’s guess, since the risk of long-term sea level rise would seem to be much lower than the short-term flooding risk due to rivers overflowing. The latter is, of course, a real and present threat to any settlement near a river, yet the risk often gets conflated with the putative risks of long-term sea level rise.

During Independent Hearing Panel (IHP) hearings some time ago, a Residential Unit Overlay (RUO) map set was developed. This was designed to provide flood risks based on various sea level scenarios — 0m, 0.5m and 1.0m over 100 years (the 0m set is designed as a control, not a realistic projection).

This RUO would have solved the problem except that a clerical error left out the enabling paragraph.

This has enabled (or forced) the council to go back to the original ‘building non-compliance’ stance they had pushed for earlier. This stance, and lack of awareness of it, has put many people in truly horrible situations. At this stage, whether the council were enabled or forced to do this is uncertain.

People trying to build new homes on vacant land are the worst affected, but the same applies to anyone trying subdivide their land.

Confusion and inconsistency

The problem seems also to apply to people extending existing homes, rebuilding existing homes and in one case even repairing earthquake damage or adding a garage. There have been additional anecdotes of consent being denied for building a workshop on an additional property.

How much of this is policy and how much is internal confusion and inconsistency is unclear but the impacts on people are real and severe.

Existing use rights only last a year, so some people who had houses demolished after the quakes and were unable to rebuild within the year or didn’t know they had to have been caught in an impossible situation. They’re unable to build after spending tens of thousands of dollars going through the process of design and building consent only to find they need a resource consent but the council won’t give them one. One person was told that if a house was vacant for over a year existing use rights would be lost.

Christchurch residents have had a long and hard road since the earthquakes of 2010 and 2011.

Life isn’t getting any easier and the inconsistent and confusing coastal hazards policies are driving some people to despair.


NOTE: The Royal Society was asked by the NZ Climate Science Coalition but refused to provide evidence that human activity causes dangerous global warming. This coastal “problem” so exercising local bodies around New Zealand and the world is, according to the RS and RSNZ, unknown to science. Is anyone listening? —Ed.

52 Thoughts on “Christchurch property values lost in climate fear

  1. Ian Cooper on May 26, 2018 at 1:33 pm said:

    Given that so many of the general populace have been indoctrinated into believing that humanity is responsible for all of the increasing amount of extreme weather events, and the likelihood of a worst case scenario in global sea level rise, it is unsurprising that territorial authorities have fallen into the trap of working from the most unlikely of future scenarios when deciding profound policies that affect their communities.

    It is even doubly damning on the Christchurch City Council and staff that have foisted this response on vulnerable people still recovering from the worst natural disaster in New Zealand in modern times. The full story of what has happened to Christchurch since September 2010 has yet to be told, but this latest chapter is no brighter than the rest!

    These authorities need to be held to account for their lack of due diligence when acquiring knowledge upon which they make such decisions. The CCC have obviously not sort the advice of those working in the field of sea level rise, otherwise they wouldn’t have rushed to promote the ridiculously extreme outcome that they have. If it turns out that they sort advice from the supposed science authority in New Zealand, i.e the R.S.N.Z., and this was their conclusion then that ‘science authority’ needs to be brought to task.

    Could this be why the R.S.N.Z. are keeping quiet? Rather than risk a debate that would highlight the credible doubt about projected sea level rise in the rest of this century from those who work in the field, The R.S.N.Z. refuse to answer pertinent questions. While the R.S.N.Z. sits on its hands, New Zealanders are unnecessarily suffering because other authorities are acting on poor advice!

  2. Richard Treadgold on May 26, 2018 at 1:47 pm said:

    Yes, nicely put, Ian, and absolutely true. However, I’d point out that the problem lies deeper than that, since many of the scientists “in the field” are not reporting the science in a scientific fashion, but acting like activists and acolytes of the IPCC. The solution is the same, that is to bring all this to the attention of the voting public, but people need to be aware that the problem is very, very serious indeed. It could disrupt science, and therefore engineering, for many decades to come. Let’s hope, and I do hope, that Kiwis retain large globs of common sense with which they will fight their way out of this swamp before even the British and the Europeans, though possibly after the Americans.

  3. Ian Cooper on May 26, 2018 at 6:56 pm said:

    Yes Richard. I should have been more specific in mentioning the few scientists not corrupted by the lure of the almighty greenback. Just look at how bad things are in Australia with what is coming out of the JCU as an example of when politics & money corrupt science to the extreme.

  4. Man of Thessaly on May 26, 2018 at 10:57 pm said:

    Thanks Andy, good to hear a report from someone close to the action.

    I have a few questions.
    “There’s a continuing lack of government leadership”: what would you like to see from Government? I see there’s public consultation on climate adaptation coming up (end of this article: http://www2.nzherald.co.nz/the-country/news/article.cfm?c_id=16&objectid=12057342) – an opportunity to let them know!

    Is CCC really planning for 1 m sea level rise by 2100, or is it actually in the next hundred years? (which would be consistent with MfE guidance, for some situations).

    It does seem strange that CCC would be stopping development in the coastal HFHMA “to avoid additional risk to life”. Can you provide a link to that statement? As you say, it makes sense wrt river flooding; not so much for sea level rise.

    No doubt we’ll see this situation played out around the country: Matata residents are facing loss of existing use rights because of a hazard right now; CCC trying to do something similar for an expected future increase in hazard risk.

  5. Richard Treadgold on May 26, 2018 at 11:33 pm said:

    MOT,

    Anyone contemplating action of any kind in response to RCP 8.5 hasn’t read RCP 8.5. It’s so far from a possibility it can only be described as implausible. No oil left, 12 billion people on the planet, burning 10 times more coal than we do today, energy efficiency little improved? As Matt Ridley said in 2014, these are highly unlikely assumptions. In conclusion, Ridley said:

    The IPCC produced two reports last year. One said that the cost of climate change is likely to be less than 2% of GDP by the end of this century. The other said that the cost of decarbonizing the world economy with renewable energy is likely to be 4% of GDP. [See for example, this summary.] Why do something that you know will do more harm than good?

  6. Man of Thessaly on May 27, 2018 at 12:36 am said:

    Richard,
    I’m inclined to agree with you, that as far as emissions are concerned RCP8.5 is just as unlikely as RCP2.6 – both would demand a global united effort to achieve! But sea level is a different beast to global temperature:
    – it’s much less sensitive to the emissions scenario. None of the RCPs produces a stable sea level in the foreseeable future, so we’re talking about “when” we get 1 m rise, not “if”.
    – the RCP sea level projections don’t include the “several tenths of a meter” the IPCC says is possible from the collapse of marine-based sectors of the Antarctic ice sheet. Risk assessments can’t ignore this possibility.

    So from a risk perspective, planning for the sea level rise associated with RCP8.5 seems sensible enough. Hard for affected residents, no doubt, and they need to be looked after somehow. But not due to malice or incompetence from the CCC. Finger pointing won’t help; it’s just one of the impacts of global climate change. Minimising the hardship to people and the cost to the country is the challenge ahead.

    I haven’t gone back to check that Matt Ridley piece and the Bloomberg link is paywalled, but I think either you or he has misread the IPCC: I think the cost of “less than 2%” is after limiting warming to 2 C, i.e. as well as the 4% cited cost of “decarbonizing the world economy with renewable energy”. The latest literature (this week, https://www.nature.com/articles/s41586-018-0071-9) makes mitigation look like a good deal.

  7. Barry Brill on May 27, 2018 at 3:06 am said:

    Man of Thessaly

    The IPCC regards the “collapse” of the East Antarctic ice sheet as extremely unlikely – much less likely than the next global glaciation, which is certainly a case of “when not if”. When that glaciation occurs, sea levels will fall by many metres.

    It’s fun to write dystopian scenarios for games and debates. When it comes to people’s lives and livelihood, the Government’s powers of coercion should be applied with a very light touch and great caution.

    The only reasonable and accepted way of estimating the future is to project forward the trends that have been actually observed in the past. If we do this with New Zealand coastal sea levels, there is no cause for future concern. If we do this with global temperatures, we see future warming at levels BELOW RCP2.6 by 2100. If we rely upon observed New Zealand temperature trends, there will be no future warming at all.

  8. Andy on May 27, 2018 at 9:38 am said:

    MOT
    Regarding somebody of your questions, CCC are planning for 1m over a 100 year time frame
    The 2100 year is an error in the article

    I don’t have a citable quote for the “loss of life” claim. There are a lot of rumours and hearsay and general distrust in council

    The stories of residents should stand on their own, and these have been ongoing since the earthquakes

  9. Man of Thessaly on May 27, 2018 at 9:50 am said:

    Barry,
    You don’t get much right in this comment, but that’s what happens if you write at 3 am, I guess!

    – I think you’re confusing the East and West Antarctic ice sheets, but even so the IPCC statement is “Exceptionally unlikely that either Greenland or West Antarctic Ice sheets will suffer near-complete disintegration”. But there’s been a lot published on this since the AR5, and the IPCC report next year (http://www.ipcc.ch/report/srocc/) will provide an update. And even incomplete collapse would be a problem!

    – the next glaciation is much further off than any reasonable planning time frame! And probably completely disturbed by current CO2 levels: “moderate anthropogenic cumulative CO2 emissions of 1,000 to 1,500 gigatonnes of carbon will postpone the next glacial inception by at least 100,000 years” (https://www.nature.com/articles/nature16494)

    – what are you referring to with “the Government’s powers of coercion”? As Andy says in the post above, the government hasn’t been intervening much on this issue.

    – “The only reasonable and accepted way of estimating the future is to project forward the trends that have been actually observed in the past.” No, that would be unbelievably stupid, and ignoring everything we have learned about why things change (in so many areas, not just climate).

  10. Richard Treadgold on May 27, 2018 at 11:37 am said:

    Andy,

    The 2100 year is an error in the article

    My apologies. I changed this while editing. It’s easy to find references to 2100 for various predicted elements of climate change. Without a reference, I made the wrong assumption. I’ve changed it to 100 years.

  11. Richard Treadgold on May 27, 2018 at 1:36 pm said:

    MOT,

    I’m inclined to agree with you, that as far as emissions are concerned RCP8.5 is just as unlikely as RCP2.6 – both would demand a global united effort to achieve!

    I like the attempt at amity, thanks, but that’s not agreeing with me, because I don’t believe that and haven’t said it.

    But sea level is a different beast to global temperature

    I don’t understand how you can say that. The single reason that allegedly links human activities with sea level rise is our CO2 emissions, which will raise surface temperatures, which it is claimed in turn will dangerously heat the ocean. Of course, it’s nonsense, but had you forgotten?

    it’s much less sensitive to the emissions scenario

    This is impossible, for sea level rise is directly proportional to atmospheric heating, which is directly proportional to our emissions. Or how else will the sea rise as a result of our activities?

    the RCP sea level projections don’t include the “several tenths of a meter” the IPCC says is possible from the collapse of marine-based sectors of the Antarctic ice sheet.

    I find it amazing that you can blithely include an enormous influence on sea level that thousands of IPCC scientists, after deliberating for several years, exclude. You seem greatly impressed by the word “possible”; heard of “likely”?

    But not due to malice or incompetence from the CCC. Finger pointing won’t help; it’s just one of the impacts of global climate change.

    It is incompetence on somebody’s part, that’s absolutely certain, for there’s no evidence underlying this climate crisis. Ask the Royal Society, don’t mind whether you pick Britain or New Zealand. They have none. Don’t know what you’ve got, but you’d better hurry up and declare it before the voters find out.

    The latest literature (this week, https://www.nature.com/articles/s41586-018-0071-9) makes mitigation look like a good deal.

    So you say; but I’m not paying $10 to read that impenetrable gobbledygook. Chance of this, 60% chance of that if we drop something else by 70%. It’s less than gripping. I like papers about reality.

    Climate models have never correctly predicted the future temperature; temperatures are not rising significantly, they have not risen in New Zealand since 1950, indeed, not since the 1860s. As Barry Brill says in Response to NIWA Comment:

    Official New Zealand temperature records for eight years in the 1860s, which are both reliable and area-representative, show the absolute mean temperature was then 13.1°C. A 30-year government record for the period ending 1919 shows the mean temperature to be 12.8°C. The current normal (30-year) mean 7SS temperature is 12.9°C. Clearly, New Zealand mean temperatures have remained almost perfectly stable during the past 150 years. [emphasis added]

    In addition to those defects, the dangerous anthropogenic global warming hypothesis reveals a glaring gap of knowledge about a crucial element: that of significantly heating the ocean by our airborne emissions alone. There’s no scientific mechanism by which this could be accomplished, only vague waffle about future melting icebergs (also by airborne radiative heating). The theorising at Real Climate about slowing the escape of thermal energy from the ocean by slightly warming the thin skin has never been demonstrated, much less had its magnitude established. Without this evidence, all the preparations for improving coastal defences, limiting development and ruining property values is without merit.

    You’ve heard the refrain: bring some evidence!

  12. Mack on May 27, 2018 at 3:25 pm said:

    The Dope of Thessaly says…. (countering Barry Brill)
    “– the next glaciation is much further off than any reasonable planning time frame!”
    This seems reasonable.. but the very next sentence he invokes some “climate science” article in Nature 2016….
    “……1000 to 1500 gigatonnes of “carbon” will postpone the next glaciation inception by at least 100,000 years”
    Wow! ….that’s some serious “climate science” bullshit you’ve linked to there, Thessalyboy…and brilliant hypocrisy, all in two sentences, on your part.
    Thousands of gigatonnes of “carbon”….POSTPONING the next glacial inception by at least 100,000 years!
    Wow! that scientific bullshit really is intense.
    Did you know there’s a mathematical formula for this “climate science”, Thessalboy ?
    The degree of credibility (of the “climate scientists”) is inversely proportional to intensity of bullshit.
    C with a little degree sign ,… then inverse proportional sign…..B to the power of i ( or I to the power of b …..not quite sure)

  13. Man of Thessaly on May 27, 2018 at 8:48 pm said:

    Andy,
    despite the other noise in this thread, I’m interested in your thoughts on the questions in my first comment:
    – what do you think government should be doing to ease the troubles of coastal communities? Repeal the laws/policies that require consideration of climate change? Or set up new insurance/compensation mechanisms? It’s clear you’ve had a bad time with CCC and don’t trust them, but it’s unlikely that local government would be stripped of their mandate to make local decisions. Is there another area of decision making where you think the central/local balance is better?
    – how do you and other coastal residents view the “risk-to-life” case playing out in Matata?

  14. Man of Thessaly on May 27, 2018 at 9:30 pm said:

    Richard,

    [MoT]: But sea level is a different beast to global temperature
    [RT] : I don’t understand how you can say that.
    I don’t understand how you could think otherwise. Different processes, different time scales.

    [MoT]: it’s much less sensitive to the emissions scenario
    [RT] : This is impossible, for sea level rise is directly proportional to atmospheric heating

    Only on very long time scales, beyond what we’re interested in here, and that’s a number you won’t like: 2.3 m per degree C. Look it up: figure 13-14 in the AR5 chapter on sea level.

    Why do you think the IPCC excludes the possibility of ice sheet collapse? They don’t. Although they say that near-complete disintegration this century is “exceptionally likely”, they conclude that if it does initiate, it could contribute up to several tens of centimetres. You might be willing to rule it out, but then again: you don’t have any responsibility for planning decisions in the coastal zone.

    I don’t know how you can repeatedly and churlishly demand evidence, while making excuses for not reading it when it’s offered (and even rudely dismiss it without reading it!). Nature may be paywalled, but you can read the abstract and politely request a pdf from the author; I’d be astonished if they refused. Make an effort, man. Nobody owes you anything.

    Finally, Richard, why do you tolerate Mack’s infantile content-free abusive posts? He does your website no credit at all. Please start a new thread for Denis Horne and him to play in, and keep them away from normal conversation.

  15. Man of Thessaly on May 27, 2018 at 10:21 pm said:

    Ha! “exceptionally unlikely” above, of course…

  16. Mack on May 27, 2018 at 11:42 pm said:

    “Finally, Richard, why do you tolerate….blah , blah, blah,….”
    Listen Thessalface,
    Richard will tolerate who he pleases on his site, and will not necessarily accede to any of your demands. I notice that Richard had reached a little point of saturation with your pedantic, perverse, nitpicking, grizzling, quibbling crap…., when he just ignored your smug demands, here…
    https://www.climateconversation.org.nz/2018/04/climate-of-conversation/comment-page-1/#comment-1551208
    “Make an effort, man”. …you demand of Richard….that’s the “normal conversation” from which you expect I should be excluded.?…you arrogant prat.

  17. Stephanie Hawking on May 27, 2018 at 11:52 pm said:

    https://www.dailykos.com/stories/2018/5/24/1766693/-Sprinting-to-the-finish-line-Earth-s-climate-to-increase-4-Celsius-by-2084

    A collaborative effort by Chinese researchers released a new study that was recently published in the journal The Institute of Atmospheric Physics with incredibly disturbing news for most life on the planet. They found that the world can expect a 4 degree Celsius increase above pre-industrial levels as early as 2064 (Median year will be 2084).

    As we barrel down to this frightening new world, the World Bank warned that we will witness a “triggering cascade of cataclysmic changes that include extreme heat-waves, declining global food stocks and a sea-level rise affecting hundreds of millions of people” as a result.

    Talking to the subject at hand, we’ve already locked in 5 metres of sea level rise. Experts like Richard Alley now say they now have no idea how much will be by 2100 – the Arctic and Antarctica are changing fast.

    Richard Treadgold. The oceans are warming due to the greenhouse effect, now enhanced by more GHG in the atmosphere. In fact 93% of the additional energy retained goes into the ocean.

    If I said it wasn’t clear to me why you keep denying this I would be lying.

  18. Man of Thessaly on May 28, 2018 at 12:19 am said:

    Thanks, Mack, for a classic example of your work!

    Richard – is this really how you want your “conversation group” to be conducted? And is Mack right? Had you really “reached a little point of saturation with [my] pedantic, perverse, nitpicking, grizzling, quibbling crap…., when [you] just ignored [my] smug demands” on the other thread? ‘Cos I just assumed you just didn’t have any evidence to back up your claims. Or maybe you do, but have just been too busy to post it. I’m certainly still interested, when you find the time.

  19. Mack on May 28, 2018 at 12:52 am said:

    Stephanie, why do you keep regurgitating fearmongering AGW tripe from newspapers (dailykos etc.)
    “As we barrel down to this frightening new world,….”
    We’ve already barreled down to this frightening new world, Stephanie… filled with idiots who still believe in people heating the planet.
    “Experts like Richard Alley now say they now have no idea how much will be by 2100….”
    Well, if the EXPERTS have no idea,.. who in the hell does, Stephanie? Maybe Richard Alley could consult a psychiatrist for the answers.
    “In fact 93% of the additional energy retained goes into the ocean.”
    I’ve already politely discussed this with Mr Horne, here….
    https://www.climateconversation.org.nz/2018/02/reprehensible-display-by-renwick/#comment-1543766

  20. Andy on May 28, 2018 at 9:15 am said:

    Councils need better guidance from national government. An MfE report was leaked a while back (by the Green Party, I think). However, this isn’t clear in its policy recommendations

    The other problem in Christchurch is the lack of consistency. For example, Sumner is not in the flood management zone (HFHMA) as far as I know, despite being a coastal suburb at sea level

    Southshore residents feel that they are being picked on unfairly. If CCC genuinely believe one metre of SLR is likely then they need to stop much of the redevelopment of the city, since it is all very low lying

  21. Richard Treadgold on May 28, 2018 at 10:15 am said:

    SH,

    Richard Treadgold. The oceans are warming due to the greenhouse effect, now enhanced by more GHG in the atmosphere. In fact 93% of the additional energy retained goes into the ocean.

    So you say. How does it happen?

    If I said it wasn’t clear to me why you keep denying this I would be lying.

    No, I keep asking “how does it happen?” Nobody tells me. Our only influence on sea level rise is through airborne radiative heating from an unimaginably minuscule portion of the atmosphere. So what’s the mechanism and what’s its magnitude?

  22. Andy on May 28, 2018 at 11:29 am said:

    Some time ago I calculated the acceleration (using a second order polynomial) required to achieve 1 metre of sea level rise over 100 years. This is not only much higher than any acceleration reported in any paper (e.g Church and White), it would also provide a fairly short time frame in which to establish whether the theory is correct or not.

    However, no one is interested. The doomsday scenarios keep getting delayed, so by 2025 the projections will be for 2125.

    I call this “free beer” science, as it reminds me of signs I have seen in pubs, that read:

    “Free Beer: tomorrow”

  23. Stephanie Hawking on May 28, 2018 at 12:10 pm said:

    Oxford professor Myles Allen has an excellent tutorial:
    http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2018/04/the-alsup-aftermath/

    Richard Alley – 4.6 Billion Years of Earth’s Climate History: The Role of CO2. NAS
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ujkcTZZlikg

  24. Andy on May 28, 2018 at 12:17 pm said:

    “Oxford professor Myles Allen has an excellent tutorial:”

    I am sure he has.

    However, it doesn’t really address any of the issued raised here, which are to do with local council’s response to climate policy, or lack thereof

  25. Stephanie Hawking on May 28, 2018 at 12:40 pm said:

    Once some of you show the slightest understanding of the science then we could move on to the issue: anticipating sea level rise.

    For nine years the National government practised de facto denial, instead of guiding and governing. There’s no indication now any of them see what’s coming: by 2100, 1-2 metres slr but possibly more. The dynamics of ice sheets is complex; all we know is in the past changes have been very rapid.

  26. Andy on May 28, 2018 at 2:28 pm said:

    It’s not about “understanding the science”. It’s about a clear and consistent public policy that is fair and even handed, which it isn’t

  27. Andy on May 28, 2018 at 4:41 pm said:

    Man of Thessaly asked upthread:

    It does seem strange that CCC would be stopping development in the coastal HFHMA “to avoid additional risk to life”. Can you provide a link to that statement? As you say, it makes sense wrt river flooding; not so much for sea level rise.

    I made some enquires and got this partial copy of an email from a planner:

    As I am sure you are aware, your site is in a High Flood Management Area ( HFMA ) and therefore subject to Policy 5.2.2.2.1 (b)) in the District Plan. This policy seeks to avoid any development where it will increase the potential risk to people’s safety, wellbeing and property. The advice Council staff have been providing is that it would be difficult to establish a new dwelling as that would increase the potential risk. We have also been saying that this is a new set of provisions and it can be expected that the position will evolve over time as we start to deal with real examples. As you are aware, the Council is currently processing an application to establish a house on a site in a HFHMA in another part of the city. A hearing for the application was held yesterday and a decision is expected in the next three weeks. Hopefully that decision will provide some guidance which will assist other applicants wanting to establish houses in these areas.

    So I stand slightly corrected in the wording, as “risk to safety well being and property” rather than “risk to life”

    The relevant section in the district plan can be found here:
    http://districtplan.ccc.govt.nz/Pages/Plan/Book.aspx?hid=84918&exhibit=DistrictPlan

    Avoid subdivision, use or development in the High Flood Hazard Management Area where it will increase the potential risk to people’s safety, well-being and property.

    The 100 year time horizon is beyond not only our lifetime but also any building’s, so the point seems debatable

  28. Richard Treadgold on May 28, 2018 at 4:55 pm said:

    Andy,

    You’re neutral through and through, sir, so let me say it for all coastal residents:

    The point is not only debatable, I would express it differently, to highlight what is being done here by the CCC. Cease and desist, you jumped-up despots, from claiming I or my forlorn property might be at risk of injury, death or damage 100 years from now. What happens then can be mended by those present, you morons.

    [Sorry, this is out of sync, the comment has been sitting on my screen for a couple of hours while I made a pie for dinner. Yes, it’s a bit late.]

  29. Andy on May 28, 2018 at 6:56 pm said:

    This just in from the NZ Coastal Residents facebook page

    Just received an invoice from CCC for our pre-application meeting for $1800! Which was for three senior planners and $250 for the minute taker – 90minute meeting. We have to pay for the privilege of being told we are in the HFHMA and we will end up with a hazard notice on our title (if we can manage to get consent) after rebuilding our EQ damaged house in Moncks bay.

    Just so you all know how grumpy Christchurch residents are getting..

  30. Andy on May 28, 2018 at 7:54 pm said:

    You’re neutral through and through, sir, so let me say it for all coastal residents

    In my offence (*) I would say that I am not neutral but try to remain so in these circumstances. Any deviation from the PC line leads one into the wasteland so it’s best to remain neutral

    (*) The opposite of “in my defence”?

  31. Richard Treadgold on May 28, 2018 at 8:00 pm said:

    Andy,

    I am not neutral but try to remain so in these circumstances.

    I know, I know, and you do really well. But this is so manifestly unfair that they must be made aware of the depth of feeling in the community they’re mismanaging.

  32. Man of Thessaly on May 28, 2018 at 9:16 pm said:

    Andy,

    your comments and research are much appreciated, thanks. And your efforts to remain neutral!

    [AS]: Councils need better guidance from national government. An MfE report was leaked a while back (by the Green Party, I think). However, this isn’t clear in its policy recommendations

    In the meantime it’s been published (by the same man who leaked it!). It’s not light reading, and I haven’t seen it referred to by councils much (but see TCDC). You haven’t been hearing about it from the CCC?

    Thanks for seeking out and clarifying the “risk-to-life” thing. Perhaps it’s less similar to Matata than I thought. But the rule you quoted (“Avoid subdivision, use or development … where it will increase the potential risk… “) seems incredibly restrictive if interpreted rigidly. I thought there was an Environment Court ruling regarding the Coastal Policy Statement that hinged more on “appropriate” development than a rigid consideration of any increase in risk… more reading to do.

    [AS]: The 100 year time horizon is beyond not only our lifetime but also any buildings, so the point seems debatable

    Well, it looks like there’s pressure to extend the Building Act into the 100-year time frame, rather than the other way around. I just looked at the adaptation report released last week. They recommend the government:
    “Require planning, building and risk management decisions to consider changing climate risks over long timeframes. […] Allow building standards to be prescribed for the changing environment over the life of a building … by amending the Building Act 2004 and Building Code. We consider the 1-in-50-year flood protection standard prescribed in the Building Code is too low for addressing climate change impacts because it is inconsistent with current flood management design practice (typically the 100-year flood) and does not provide for any increase in flood hazard risk with time.”

    If they do that, I guess it’ll only make it even harder to get building consents near the coast.

  33. Mack on May 28, 2018 at 11:26 pm said:

    I wouldn’t worry too much about sea-level rise.
    A 90+ year old pushing a walking frame could out-run it. (ht. Air Con, Ian Wishart)

  34. Mack on May 29, 2018 at 8:45 am said:

    There seems to be quite a lot of woolly headed thinking by the CCC. wrt sea-level rise. I hear that they are enforcing a law which insists that the piles of the house must be at a certain height above ground level.
    I suppose they envisage, by the year 2100, for a house in that area, visitors will have to leave their waders at the doorstep.
    The more affluent suburbs will have the family jet-boat or hovercraft, with jet-skis for the kids to get to school on….while the poorer families will only have a swamp-skimmer parked in the shed.

  35. Andy on May 29, 2018 at 9:17 am said:

    The floor level issue is certainly an interesting one. Southshore properties are now being built with increased floor heights to cope with the projected sea level rise, but as Mack says there is no provision for getting out of the property.

    This has led to a mixture of older properties sitting next to newly built ones (those that got consent early on) that loom over the older properties and interrupt privacy

    The other issue is that the extra verandas, steps etc that are now required to access the property are taken as part of the footprint of the property, so the useable footprint of the house is reduced, and the council usually won’t grant an extension of the size of the footprint

  36. Man of Thesssaly on May 29, 2018 at 10:47 pm said:

    [Andy]: Southshore properties are now being built with increased floor heights to cope with the projected sea level rise, but as Mack says there is no provision for getting out of the property.

    If the hazard is seen as “risk to safety well being and property” rather than “risk to life”, then this seems ok to me. Flooding from the estuary side will be predictable (at high tides + storm surge + sea level rise), and avoidable for most people (nonagenarians with walking frames may need assistance). Raising floor levels avoids the crippling damage to flooded homes that often sees them written off rather than repaired. And each 100 mm higher buys you 10 to 30 years of of equivalent risk. Having a mix of floor levels in the area must be a bit weird, but a small price to pay for avoiding the spectre of retreat, I reckon.

    The utilities at/below ground don’t have this option, of course.

  37. Stephanie Hawking on June 1, 2018 at 9:17 am said:

    https://www.nzherald.co.nz/business/news/article.cfm?c_id=3&objectid=12061956
    Brian Fallow: Property values at risk as climate changes. 1 Jun, 2018

    Over the coming years, thousands of New Zealand families are going to get some seriously bad news about climate change’s impact on the value of their properties. The only question: who will get to deliver it?

    It might be insurers, reducing the extent and increasing the cost of cover until declining cover altogether. As they like to say, they cover risks, not certainties.

    It might be potential buyers pulling out because they couldn’t get a bank to lend on the security of the property.

    It might be the local council drawing lines on a map or attaching some warning to land information memoranda and talking of managed retreat.

    Or the message might be delivered by Mother Nature herself.

    Once sea level has risen 30cm – which is quite possible by 2065 — what is a once-in-100-year event could become an annual event in Christchurch and Wellington. [continues]

  38. Mack on June 1, 2018 at 2:54 pm said:

    His name is Brian Fallow, Stephanie….he’s got an empty paddock for a brain. Receiving science education from him is similar to getting your medical prescription from a taxi-driver.

  39. Man of Thessaly on June 1, 2018 at 5:09 pm said:

    [Andy]: Southshore properties are now being built with increased floor heights to cope with the projected sea level rise, but as Mack says there is no provision for getting out of the property.

    As the concern seems to be about risk to safety and property, rather than risk to life, this seems fine to me. Inundation from the estuary side should be come with quite reasonable warning: it will be when a storm surge and high tide (with sea level rise) coincide. Nonagenarians with walking frames may need assistance, but most people should be fine. Increased floor heights will avoid a lot of the damage that means flooded houses often have to be demolished rather than repaired. And every additional 10 cm buys you 10-30 years of maintaining the risk level. Seems like a good idea. Having a mix of floor heights might make the neighbourhood seem a bit weird (and difficult re privacy, as you say), but a lot better than the alternative, surely?

  40. Simon on June 1, 2018 at 5:12 pm said:

    Brian Fallow is one of the few journalists in this country who understands economics. Note that he also called
    the Government’s oil and gas exploration ban a pointless, self-righteous policy:
    https://www.nzherald.co.nz/business/news/article.cfm?c_id=3&objectid=12035925&ref=rss

  41. Man of Thessaly on June 1, 2018 at 5:21 pm said:

    I meant to add: services below ground can’t be protected as easily as raising floor levels, obviously. As we’ve seen in the news this week at the Selwyn Huts, that might be the first thing to go, as some places become no longer viable…

  42. Ian Cooper on June 2, 2018 at 10:29 am said:

    Richard, I posted this as the last comment on the De Freitas post so you may have missed it. Here it is again.

    Richard, would you be able to contact me on e-mail? I am working on something local that relates to this post (the De Freitas-NIWA post) and I would like some advice if possible.
    Cheers, Ian,

  43. Andy on June 2, 2018 at 1:10 pm said:

    Brian Fallow is described this:

    ” Brian Fallow is a former economics editor of The New Zealand Herald”

    probably should read

    “Brian Fallow is a former economics editor of The New Zealand Herald, a former newspaper”

    (channelling Andrew Klavan)

  44. Richard Treadgold on June 2, 2018 at 3:20 pm said:

    Andy,

    “Brian Fallow is a former economics editor of The New Zealand Herald, a former newspaper”

    Thumbs up to that!

  45. Stephanie Hawking on June 6, 2018 at 4:57 pm said:

    https://tamino.wordpress.com/2018/06/02/sea-level-rise-denial-by-bullshit/
    Killer Storms get Stronger. Sea Level Rise: Denial by Bullshit
    Sea level rise is such a huge problem, and is so undeniable, that climate deniers have gone loony trying to blame it on anything and everything but global warming. It’s not working; the recent idiocy from congressman Mo Brooks trying to blame sea level rise on rocks and dirt filling the oceans didn’t increase doubt about human cause like he hoped, rather it raised extreme doubt about his competence. He, and his idea, quickly became a laughingstock. Others have been ridiculed for similarly ridiculous ideas. Now Roy Spencer has joined the crowd with something almost as dumb as rocks.

  46. Andy on June 6, 2018 at 5:12 pm said:

    Sea level rise is such a huge problem, and is so undeniable, that climate deniers have gone loony trying to blame it on anything and everything but global warming

    I agree. 100 years ago sea level rise was a modest 1.9 mm a year in Lyttelton. Now it is a catastrophic 1.9 mm a year.

    We all agree that this is the biggest crisis facing humanity.

    The only people who disagree are “loonies”

  47. Stephanie Hawking on June 6, 2018 at 11:14 pm said:

    Amazing. When the satellite data, derived by calculations based on radiation from oxygen in the whole depth of the troposphere, showed little warming, the satellite data set was the “gold standard” and the temperature data based on thermometers on the surface where we live were wrong.

    Now the satellite data show a global mean 3.3mm per year increasing…

    Sure the local rise depends on many factors, but no rational person would be reassured by one tide gauge. Even assuming it’s precise, let alone accurate.

  48. Andy on June 7, 2018 at 7:46 am said:

    Amazing
    The satellite data is 3mm a year but most of the worlds tidal gauges show much less than that

    The tidal gauges are less accurate so they are wrong.
    However, we can compare the tidal gauges which are wrong to the satellite data which is right, to infer an acceleration without stating the value of that acceleration

    One has to be either retarded or a dishonest liar to claim any validity to this argument

  49. Simon on June 7, 2018 at 8:22 am said:

    Tidal gauges measure the difference between the height of the sea surface and the height of the land. Land can shift quite a bit in a geologically unstable country like ours. You are correct in stating that there may be a discontinuity at the time when satellite data became available; there are techniques to correct for the differential. There is some evidence for acceleration, but the time period is probably not long enough to state this conclusively. The experts tell us that acceleration is to be expected once the big ice sheets really start melting. IMHO, we should be looking further than 100 years in our urban planning, because future sea level rise in the order of meters is already built in. The question is how long it will take to get there.

  50. Andy on June 7, 2018 at 11:00 am said:

    The problem in the Christchurch situation is that a presumed high risk of sea level rise is being applied across the board regardless of the actual threat to the properties concerned.

    The reality is that the Southshore spit is a very fragile environment. No one would build a new subdivision on a sand spit these days, irrespective of climate or any other factors. However, the area built up from any area of baches into a suburb over a number of decades, and is here to stay, unless the council manage to boot everyone out.

    Refusing a consent for a subdivision is one thing. Applying the same rules for a garage on an existing property, for example, seems excessively draconian to me

  51. Simon on June 7, 2018 at 11:22 am said:

    I suspect the Southshore spit will continue accretion barring a massive storm or tsunami event. In this instance I agree with you, new dwellings should be discouraged near the entrance but there seems little harm in a change to an existing garage. Residents should be aware though that insurance could be difficult and that the Council is not liable in the event of a natural disaster. Councils are scared of liability from approving development in inappropriate places and signing off on shoddy workmanship.

  52. There is still a lot going on in Christchurch

    This Kiwiblog article is a fair summary of recent meetings

    https://www.kiwiblog.co.nz/2018/09/eastgate_ii_sir_tipene_oregans_imperious_sultans.html


    I should have acknowledged this earlier, Andy. Thanks for keeping us updated. – RT

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