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Waikato Regional Hazards Portal FAQs

How accurate is the hazard mapping information?

The hazard mapping on the Portal varies in accuracy, depending on the data it is based on. For example, detailed flood modelling is a different level of accuracy to post-event surveys or anecdotal evidence. Because of this, each of the data layers has been given an “Information Level” classification (within the “Layer Descriptions” section). The following table describes each of the information levels, and what the data is suitable to be used for:

Information Level Description

1

Property to local scale
Information that is suitable to be used for resource/building consents or for District Plans. This information is generally based on detailed modelling or hazard mapping that takes the effects of climate change into account (if applicable) and/or is based on many possible scenarios (probabilistic).

2

Local to regional scale
Information that is suitable to be used for District or Regional Plans. This information is generally based on modelling or hazard mapping, but may not take the effects of climate change into account and/or may be based on only one scenario (deterministic).

3

Regional scale
Information that is suitable to be used for the Regional Policy Statement or regional scale studies/projects. This information is generally based on previous event or historic mapping/aerial imagery.

4

General information
Information that is to be used for information purposes only. This information is generally based on national scale mapping, preliminary regional scale mapping, or susceptibility from other existing data (e.g. LiDAR data).

Will the Portal devalue my property?

The Portal does not provide property specific hazard assessment (although there is some property scale information), thus the tool in itself is unlikely to devalue a property. The information contained in the Portal has been available for some time and provided by Waikato Regional Council to anyone who has asked for it. Thus any proper due diligence on purchasing a house would include similar information, whether the Portal existed or not. In addition, much of the local scale flood modelling has been included in District Plans for a few years already.

Will the Portal cause issues for my insurance?

The Portal should not cause issues for your insurance. All of the information has been available for some time and provided on request (including to insurance companies). Our focus is that insurance companies only use the information for its intended purpose, e.g. regional scale information should not be used to determine property specific insurance.  In some cases, the information on the Portal may be used to question a decision made by an Insurance company.

I own a property that is shown as being affected by a hazard, what should I do now?

Depending on the hazard, you may wish to educate yourself further about what it means for you. You can contact the Regional Hazards team to help with this. Again depending on the hazard, it is recommended that you prepare yourself and your family for the event of a natural disaster. The Get Ready Get Thru website by Civil Defence (https://getthru.govt.nz/) is a great website to help with this, as is the Waikato Region Emergency Management Group website (https://www.waikatocivildefence.govt.nz). Actions to take may include familiarising yourself with tsunami evacuation zones, or creating (and practising) a Household Emergency Plan.

In addition, if you are looking to develop or sell the property then you or another party may need to provide/seek further information on the natural hazard. Any further information would likely have been required whether the Portal was used or not.

Can I use the Portal as part of information for a consent application?

Some data that is contained in the Portal can be used as part of a consent application. However, generally the only data that is suitable to be used is that classed as Information Level 1. (Property to local scale). The data in the Portal is at varying degrees of accuracy and thus suitable for different uses depending on its Information Level. The Information Levels are described in the table above.

Why is there no information showing when I zoom in to my property?

This may be for two reasons:

  1. There is no information currently available on the relevant hazard for your property. This may be because your property is not expected to be affected by that hazard, or it may be because no spatial information currently exists for that area (that Waikato Regional Council is aware of).
  2. The only information available for your property is not accurate enough to show at a property scale (due to data limitations, etc.). If you zoom out enough, the data layers will turn on. Examples of data that cannot be shown at a property scale are the earthquake and landslide data, volcano data, and regional scale flood hazard data.

Is all natural hazards information for the Waikato region shown on the Portal?

No. The Portal currently contains the majority of the spatial information that Waikato Regional Council holds on natural hazards. However, there is still some data to add, such as aerial imagery from previous flood events and the location of areas defended by stopbanks. As further spatial information is developed, it will be added to the Portal.

The next key stage of the Portal is to add spatial hazards information from other organisations. The Portal currently contains some data from GNS Science, Contact Energy, Mercury Energy and Thames Coromandel District Council. We want to add data from the rest of the district/city councils, and possibly universities and others as well.

It is important to note that the Portal is designed to show spatial information. There is a wealth of information in reports, research papers, etc. that is not in a suitable format to show on the Portal. The Regional Hazards team maintain a metadatabase of reports, etc. that are relevant to natural hazards in the Waikato region.

>>> Some of these reports are on this website, and can be viewed here.