South Waikato District Plan

8 Hazards and Risks

8.3- NH  Natural Hazards


The purpose of the natural hazards chapter is to manage land-use in areas subject to risk from natural hazards. The issue of hazard risk associated with development adjacent to waterbodies, is managed through specifying minimum setbacks for relevant zones, and minimum  floor levels. Where specific land-use or subdivisions have been identified as RDIS in the relevant zone, land instability and subsidence risk has been added as a matter over which the Council will reserve its discretion, where it is considered relevant for that activity. This provides a basis to require geotechnical investigation and risk assessments to support the development of a site within each zone. 

The locations for rural lifestyle activity are predominantly adjacent to the three main settlements of Tokoroa, Tīrau and Putaruru, along with several locations near Council reserves adjacent to the Waikato River. In such riverside localities however, the land may be subject to inundation and erosion hazards.



To safeguard people, properties and the environment from the adverse effects of natural hazards.


To put in place adaption and response mechanisms to manage the challenges of, and respond to the opportunities afforded by, future climate change.



Minimise risks to the health and safety of people by controlling the location and design of subdivision and buildings in areas subject to natural hazards.


Ensure that development minimises risks to people, properties and the environment from natural hazards.


Avoid development and land management practices that result in adverse environmental effects from natural hazards such as erosion, flooding, subsidence or landslip.

NH- Rules

NH-R1- GRZ-PREC1-Putaruru and PREC3-Tokoroa, COMZ and MU-SETZ

(1) The floor level of any habitable building shall be at least 0.5m above the 1% design flood level

(2) All buildings shall be set back at least 25m from the edge of any river.


(1) The floor level of any habitable building shall be at least 0.5 metres above the 1% design flood level.


(1) The floor level of any Caretakers’ accommodation shall be at least 0.5m above the 1% design flood level

(2) All buildings shall be set back at least 25 metres from the edge of any river, except for necessary utility structures such as pump sheds and water intake structures.

NH-R4- Other Plan Matters

The following also may be relevant:

(1) Section 7.1 Energy, 7.2 Infrastructure, 7.3 Transportation

(2) Section 8.1 Contaminated Land, 8.2 Hazardous Substances

(3) Section 9.1 Historic Heritage, 9.2 Sites and Areas of Significance to Māori

(4) Section 10.1 Ecosystems and Indigenous Biodiversity, 10.2 Natural Character, 10.3 Natural Features and Landscapes, 10.4 Public Access

(5) Chapter 11 Subdivision      

(6) Section 12.1 All Activities

(7) Section 12.3 Air Emissions, 12.4 Earthworks, 12.6 Light,12.7 Noise, 12.8 Signs, 12.9 Temporary Activities

(8) Part 3- Any relevant zone or overlay

NH- Other Methods


Hazards Register and actions under Health Act, Building Act, and other legislation.



Electricity (Hazards from Trees) Regulations 2003


Local Action Plan on Climate Change, and Council’s Energy Plan


Standards under the WRITS that promote low-impact environmental design solutions and consider climate change implications for stormwater networks.

NH- Anticipated Results


Buildings and structures are set back from waterways a sufficient distance to avoid natural hazards.


New residential units are located and designed so that floodwaters from floods smaller than a 100 year event do not enter them, that no new residential units are built in areas known to be subject to deep and/or fast-flowing floodwaters, and no residential units are damaged or destroyed by land instability or subsidence (except those that are subject to Section 72 of the Building Act 2004).