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Nelson City Council Updates 5,500 LIMs Following New Information On Natural Hazards And The Atawhai Closed Landfill

Nelson City Council has new and updated information after it commissioned a series of independent, region-wide assessments of liquefaction and fault rupture as part of its responsibility to investigate potential risk from natural hazards.

The assessments identified areas in our region that may be potentially susceptible to liquefaction, fault rupture and deformation. Council is contacting people who own properties in the identified areas.

As part of the legal responsibility of having this new hazard information, approximately 5500 homeowners in Whakatū Nelson will receive a letter this week alerting them to new Land Information Memorandum (LIM) notations on their property files. Letters will only be sent to owners of properties that do not have an existing LIM notation relating to liquefaction or fault rupture. Where a LIM notation already exists, it will be updated to reflect the recent information and property owners will not receive a letter.

Clare Barton, Group Manager Environmental Management, says Council’s responsibility to keep residents informed about natural hazards is an important one.

“As a Council, in addition to our legal and regulatory obligations, we feel it’s important property owners are kept up to date and informed about any potential hazard information that may affect their property, particularly people that are considering developing, purchasing, modifying or changing the use of properties in some way.”

Liquefaction, fault rupture and deformation 
The Nelson region contains eight known fault lines – Flaxmore, Waimea, Eighty-Eight, Jenkins, Whangamoa, Bishopdale, Grampian and Hira faults.

The updated reports and maps show areas where faults could potentially deform or rupture the ground surface. The reports also update information on areas prone to liquefaction – the process where soil behaves more like a liquid than a solid after an earthquake. However, to assess the specific fault hazard at any individual site or property, a site-specific assessment may need to be undertaken by a technical expert.

As this information is technical in nature, residents are encouraged to go to the Nelson City Council website nelson.govt.nz/natural-hazards to read the full reports, FAQs and view the maps.

Physical copies of the reports and FAQs are also available to view at Nelson’s public libraries and Council’s Customer Service Centre.

Closed landfill
Nelson City Council has previously undertaken work to identify the area where the former landfill was located in Atawhai. A small number of affected households will receive a letter to inform them that a LIM notation is being applied to their property’s file that states that their property is within the contamination footprint of the old landfill site.

The affected area is bounded by Queen Elizabeth II Drive to the northwest, Atawhai Drive to the east, Weka Street to the south and Sovereign Street to the west.

By identifying sites where hazardous substances have been used, stored or disposed of, Council can ensure that the sites do not present a risk to human health when they are used or developed.

Council has carried out regular monitoring in this area, including for gas emissions and groundwater contamination.

The Site Investigation Report held by Council includes some testing results for specific test locations – some of which are on private properties.

Not all properties within the contamination footprint of the old landfill will have contaminated soil, and property owners can carry out their own site-specific assessment to determine whether their land has been affected. Test results can then be attached to a property’s LIM.

The Site Investigation Report, Site Monitoring and Management Plan (SMMP) and FAQs are available at nelson.govt.nz/atawhai-closed-landfill. Physical copies of the report and FAQ sheet are also available to view at Nelson’s Elma Turner Library and Council’s Customer Service Centre.

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