Friday 20 October, 2023
More than 1000 properties have been removed from the Future of Severely Affected Land (FOSAL) framework after further assessments of properties.
Letters have been sent to these property owners, as well as those remaining in FOSAL Category 2A to provide an update on their classification.
Council Director Sustainable Futures Joanna Noble says some of the properties removed are bare land lots with no dwellings.
“When the FOSAL framework was first announced by Central Government, Council took a conservative approach to land classification.
“As we’ve worked through the process it’s become clear properties without dwellings can be safely removed regardless of whether they were inundated as there is no risk to life.”
Ms Noble encourages any property owner, previously classified as category 2A, to review the updated FOSAL maps on our website if they haven’t received their letter to see the updated classifications.
Approximately 770 properties remain in FOSAL Category 2A with 51 in Category 3.
Ms Noble says up to ten of the Category 3 properties will be eligible for the Whenua Maori process being managed by Central Government.
“For the properties that remain in Category 2A, further assessment needs to be done to identify the best intervention options to reduce future risks.
“These could be property-based (Category 2P) such as raising floor levels, or community-based (Category 2C) such as stormwater improvements or stopbanks, or both.
“Undertaking this work means it’s going to take some more time before Council will be able to discuss possible options with property owners before they confirm the category for each property.”
Ms Noble says the categorisation process was carried out by experts as a technical assessment of the risk to life from future severe weather events.
“However as many of the assessments were conducted several months post Cyclone Gabrielle, there may have been little evidence to show inundation levels in dwellings.
“If property owners feel like the categorisation for their property is incorrect, they are encouraged to contact Council with information about how their property was or wasn’t impacted.
“In addition, if they are concerned about landslide risk at their property, they also need to get in touch with Council.”
If people are satisfied with the classification for their property, there is nothing further they need to do.
“Any property owners who are in Category 2A yet had no sign of inundation or landslide, please contact the Recovery Office with evidence in the form of a statement and/or photos.” `
The Government is yet to determine the mechanisms to release the $15million funding for the Resilient Homes initiative, which will raise homes at risk of future flooding across Tairāwhiti.
Toitū Tairāwhiti Housing, Te Aitanga a Mahaki and Council are working collectively to expedite this process for eligible property owners.
“The Government needs an agreed process before it will release any funding. Once this happens, we will let eligible property owners know how to access funding.”