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Discrepancy in Christchurch City Council flood modelling

Discrepancy in Christchurch City Council flood modelling uncovered by Empowered Christchurch

Empowered Christchurch has recently discovered that, due to incorrect flood modelling by the Christchurch City Council, minimum floor levels for new houses in some areas have been set at almost 50 cm lower than they should be. This error means that a number of new insurance rebuilds, and rebuilds currently underway, are now significantly lower than the minimum level to protect against flooding. Following an urgent meeting held on Monday 26 April, the Christchurch City Council gave an assurance that it would contact all the affected parties (homeowners, insurers, EQC) and revise its flood models and information.

However, the full extent of the problem is yet to be determined. A number of rebuilds have been completed at the wrong height, some are in the building stage, and others have still not started because of disagreements with insurers.

In addition, it appears that EQC has used the same flood modelling for land settlement for IFV (increased flooding vulnerability). This may require EQC to re-visit and re-calculate some of its land claims. At this stage it is unclear what the Christchurch City Council will do to rectify this problem for homeowners who have had rebuilds recently completed, or whose rebuilds are currently underway, and where the house is now up to 50 cm below the Council’s minimum required level.

Following last week's meeting with Empowered Christchurch, the Council made an undertaking to:

• Make a presentation to the Community Board on the issue

• Review all PIMs that had been issued for rebuild projects in the affected area(s)

• Notify Councillors

• Advise the homeowners (that they are aware of) who are affected

Homeowners we have spoken to are angry that this has gone unnoticed for three years. "I am disgusted by this," said one resident we spoke to, "and I informed the Council about this situation several years ago."


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