Plan Change 41 – Removal of Fault Lines
Proposed Plan Change 41 (‘PC41’) to the Taupō District Plan seeks to remove the fault lines from the planning maps and references to the Fault line Hazard Area from the District Plan provisions. The District Plan maps include fault lines which are very thin lines that were introduced into the District Plan around 1998. These originally were hand drawn, simplified and transferred into digital maps.
The Institute of Geological and Nuclear Sciences Limited, (GNS Science - Te Pu Ao) has recently undertaken an assessment of the fault lines, and as a result the identified fault hazard areas have changed, with new classifications, mapped hazard areas, some changes to fault alignments, the removal of some faults and the identification of some new fault lines. This means that the fault lines as currently contained on the planning maps are inaccurate and need to be removed.
The district plan rules create a buffer 20m either side of lines as being unsuitable for any structure (excluding network utility lines, cables, and pipelines). Structures within 20m of the mapped fault line requires resource consent. Removing the fault lines and associated provisions from the district plan maps means that the more accurate GNS report can be relied upon for subdivision and development resource consents and building consents. Without fault lines being identified in the District Plan, the subdivision consent and Building Act/ building consent process would be the primary mechanisms for ensuring that the risks posed to buildings from potential fault lines are mitigated.