Lower Hutt is vulnerable to a number of natural hazards including earthquakes, flooding, slips and erosion. Our history has been punctuated by these events since humans arrived in the region.
Natural hazards and the district plan
Natural hazards are the threat of naturally occurring events that could have a negative effect on people or our environment.
The district plan’s rules and policies are an important way of managing the impacts of natural hazards on life, property and roads and other infrastructure.
As part of our district plan review, we’re taking a fresh look at its natural hazards provisions. We will work with other organisations to identify areas at risk of hazards and look at managing the impacts of natural hazards which may include some restrictions on uses and activities.
While managing natural hazard risk is a moral responsibility, Hutt City Council is required to manage natural hazard risk under the Resource Management Act and the Greater Wellington Regional Policy Statement.
The district has a number of faults and the Wellington Fault runs along the northwest side of the Hutt Valley. Earthquakes are unpredictable. Their effects include ground shaking, liquefaction, ground subsidence or sinking, fault rupture, landslides, and tsunamis. All of these can cause major damage to buildings and infrastructure, and pose a significant threat to life.
Extreme weather and flooding have been the key causes of property damage and disruption in Lower Hutt. Flooding can be caused by rivers and streams, storm water runoff, storm surge causing large waves and tides, and sea-level rise.
The Hutt River Te Awa Kairangi valley is the most densely populated floodplain in New Zealand. Many of our settlements are also low lying and located along the coast such as Eastbourne and Petone.
This makes much of Lower Hutt particularly vulnerable to damage from flooding. Other streams flowing into the Hutt River Te Awa Kairangi also pose flooding risks, such as the Waiwhetū and Korokoro streams. Areas such as Stokes Valley and Wainuiomata are also built on floodplains. Flooding and storms can also cause slips and erosion.
Climate change is likely to make flooding worse in two ways:
- It is predicted to generate more intense storms
- It causes sea levels to rise, potentially causing low-lying coastal areas to flood and slowing drainage of our rivers, streams and storm water.
Flood water can pose serious threats to human life as well as damage to property and interruption of commerce and essential services such as drinking water and power.
Frequently asked questions
View the frequently asked questions.
You can contact our district plan team at: firstname.lastname@example.org