Land-use planning for natural hazards in New Zealand: the setting, barriers, ‘burning issues’ and priority actions
Land-use planners have a critical role to play in building vibrant, sustainable and hazard resilient communities in New Zealand. The policy and legal setting for natural hazards planning provides a solid foundation for good practice. But there are many examples of ‘bad practice’ that result in unnecessary risks and, in some cases, exposure to repeat events and potentially devastating impacts. Much, therefore, remains to be done to improve hazards planning policy and practice in New Zealand. This article explores the questions: What role does land-use planning play in managing hazard risks in New Zealand; and what needs to be done to reduce hazard risks and build community resilience? The article starts by describing the milieu within which natural hazards planning takes place. It goes onto outline the stakeholders and institutional and legal setting for natural hazards planning in New Zealand, including barriers to realising the potential of natural hazards planning. This synthesis reveals a number of ‘burning issues’, including the need to: (a) Improve understanding about the nature of hazards; (b) Prioritise risk avoidance (reduction) measures; (c) Provide national guidance for communities exposed to repeat events and address the relocation issue and (d) Mainstream climate change adaptation. Each ‘burning issue’ is discussed, and priority actions are recommended to realise the potential of land-use planning to reduce natural hazard risks and build community resilience in New Zealand. Ultimately, the challenge is to develop a cooperative hazards governance approach that is founded on coordinated policies, laws and institutions, cooperative professional practice and collaborative communities. Copyright Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2010
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Volume (Year): 54 (2010)
Issue (Month): 3 (September)
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