The Insurance Council of New Zealand (ICNZ) has welcomed the introduction of the Local Government Official Information and Meetings Amendment Bill, which seeks to improve access to information on natural hazards, such as flood risk and coastal erosion, for property owners and potential buyers.
The bill also specifically allows for projected climate impacts to be considered, ICNZ said.
“We have a real and ongoing problem with building and maintaining assets in dumb places that stand to cost many property owners and ratepayers dear as the impacts and costs of climate change continue to worsen,” said Tim Grafton (pictured above), ICNZ chief executive. “Clearer requirements for councils around the inclusion of natural hazard information on land information memorandums and protection for them in providing that information are long overdue. Individuals, communities, councils and lenders all need to know the long-term hazard outlook when considering committing to long term borrowing, investment and maintenance obligations.”
Grafton said that relevant parties should be able to access projections covering at least the next 50 years, where such information is available. Access to all available hazard information is especially important when considering applying for or writing a mortgage, he added.
“Beyond the enhanced provision of hazard information, it is also long past time that councils do more to simply stop development in high-hazard zones, particularly those identified around our coast and in known flood zones,” Grafton said.