Skip to main content

Ngā momo whakamōrearea whenua

Property risk categories

Last updated: 4 April 2024

You should know

To learn what Category 2 and Category 3 details will appear on your property file and LIM, see How we use your flooding and landslide information.

A Section 74 notice applies to properties affected by natural hazards. A property's risk category does not determine if it needs a Section 74 notice.

What is involved in assigning a risk category

In Auckland, we need:

  • an estimated 5000 individual flood assessments
  • 250 geotechnical inspections (plus geotechnical studies in Muriwai, Piha and Karekare).

Each property is unique. It takes time to work through the information as we want to ensure we assign the correct category to a property.

The scale of site assessments taking place across the Auckland region will take months to complete.

The skills shortage in the technical fields of flood and geotechnical engineering is preventing us doing this work faster.

We are sharing a limited number of specialists with affected regions. These professionals were already in short supply before the disasters.

We are contracting teams outside of Auckland to help with geotechnical desktop work because there are not enough resources available here.

Understanding the property risk categorisation process

Watch a video about the National Risk Category Framework.

 

Read the transcript of this video.

About risk categories

Three risk categories were announced by the New Zealand Government in the Update on assessment of affected properties post Cyclone and flooding to apply a framework for homes affected by recent extreme weather and residential properties that may be considered high risk in future events.

When we will confirm your property's risk category

Muriwai

Our geotechnical supplier GHD is completing onsite assessments of the area and providing mitigation options for properties.

Most affected Muriwai properties have received their final property categorisation.

We aim to release the Muriwai Landslide Risk Assessment Report and Muriwai Mitigations Options Report to affected property owners in March. The second (and final) release of this report will be made publicly available at a later date.

Read the latest Muriwai recovery updates.

Piha and Karekare

We are working on property categorisation and landslide reports. Read the latest Piha and Karekare updates.

Rest of Auckland

We know people want certainty as soon as possible. We are working through this major piece of work as fast as we can.

We are also balancing the need to make quality, evidence-based decisions on the future of people's properties.

The timeframe for us providing you with an initial category depends on:

  • the individual property situation - whether it was affected by floods, landslides or both
  • whether the property is in an area which may become a blue-green network under the Making Space for Water programme.

Non-residential, mixed-use and vacant land

The government risk categories only relate to properties with a legally established residential dwelling on the site. This aligns with the buy-out scope under the government framework.

Businesses are not included in the risk category framework. If your property is mixed-use (combines a business and living space) then only the residential part is eligible for Category 2P grants or Category 3 buy-out. We will assess mixed-use properties in consultation with the owner(s).

Retirement villages and cross-lease properties

Decisions on cross-lease properties will depend on how flooding and/or landslips have affected the property and whether all affected owners have opted into the assessment process. We will make category decisions on a case-by-case basis. Owners of blocks of units or cross-lease properties need approval from all related parties as part of any consent or sale and purchase process. This applies to any mitigations or buy-outs under the categorisation process.

If an owner decides to opt out or dispute categorisation of their unit, it will not affect other units.

We will also assess properties such as retirement villages on a case-by-case basis.

How we assign categories

Our approach to deciding an eligible property’s category is to:

  • complete a risk assessment to confirm whether there is 'intolerable risk to life' from flooding and/or landslides for people in residential properties on the property (not the land)
  • complete a feasibility assessment to confirm whether there are feasible changes (mitigations) available to reduce the risk to life to a tolerable level
  • complete the category decision based on the assessments and inform the property owner.

Risk categories explained

The risk categories below relate to 'intolerable risk to life' from flooding and/or landslides for people in residential properties on the property (not the land).

Crown-owned property is not eligible for the Category 2P or Category 3 buy-out schemes. Kāinga Ora is running its own process to assess and repair or remove homes.

Category

Definition

Risk Category 1

These properties do not meet the threshold for intolerable risk to life.

Risk Category 2

These properties meet the threshold for intolerable risk to life.

This category is split into three sub-categories.

Risk Category 2C (community)

Community level scheme to reduce the risk of future weather events.

Risk Category 2P (property)

Property specific measures to reduce the risk of future weather events.

Risk Category 2A (assessment)

Property needs further assessment - more information required to provide categorisation.

Risk Category 3

These properties meet the threshold for intolerable risk to life.

Property purchase required to reduce the risk of future weather events.

About risk categories and placards

The new risk categories do not directly align with the coloured placards we issued after rapid building assessments were carried out.

All previously placarded buildings, including white-stickered homes, will only be assigned a category if the homeowner has applied for an assessment and categorisation.

The risk categorisation considers future risk at the property while the rapid building assessments consider the immediate risk to life and safety following the storms.

For example, a property with a red placard could be classed as:

  • Risk Category 1 if a more detailed assessment showed the risk is lower than identified by the rapid building assessment and does not meet the threshold for intolerable risk to life
  • Risk Category 2 if the risk assessment showed that the risk is too high but could be reduced by undertaking some work (such as building a retaining wall)
  • Risk Category 3 if the risk assessment showed that the risk is too high and that there is no way to reduce the risk.

There may also be some circumstances where a property with a yellow placard, or even no placard, is identified as being Risk Category 3 following a more detailed risk assessment.

See Placards issued to properties after a natural disaster for more information.

What happens after a risk category is assigned to your property

We know that you need to understand what happens next after you receive your risk category. We are working to confirm these details as quickly as we can.

After we finish the risk assessment process, we will contact you about your property’s risk category and provide you with written confirmation, along with your next steps.

Once your property is given a category, it cannot be uncategorised – it can only be given a different category. This is because 'uncategorised' is not a recognised entry in the Government's risk assessment framework.

What to do if you disagree with the category assigned to your property

You will have an opportunity to provide additional information if you disagree with the risk category that has been assigned to your property.

We will take an evidence-based approach to assigning categories, including technical site assessments where needed.

Find out more about Disputing categorisation and buy-out decisions.

Opt out of assessment / categorisation process

Property owners can opt out of the risk assessment process at any time before a risk category has been assigned. To do so, email propertycategory@aucklandcouncil.govt.nz with your details as soon as possible to confirm your decision.

Once you have opted out, you cannot opt back into the risk assessment process and recovery assistance programme.

There may be long-term implications if you decide to opt out of the assessment and categorisation process. We strongly recommend seeking independent legal advice before deciding to opt out.

Your completed Flooding and landslide registration form and a record of your decision to opt-out will be included in your property file.

What the categories mean for Māori land

Alongside the Crown, we will work with affected iwi, hapū, and whānau to find solutions for their whenua, including collective land and places of cultural significance.

We are continuing to develop how engagement with Māori will work.

We expect this will include:

  • exploring ways to protect significant sites from future events
  • building adaptation into the design of developments
  • considering relocation of communities away from high-risk areas if necessary.

As well as your home, you may also be dealing with uncertainty about the future of your collective places of significance, such as your marae and urupā. You will have the opportunity to be part of the conversation about the best way forward.

We need to balance the significance of these areas and communities with safety and protecting lives.

More information and support

Emails to piha@aucklandcouncil.govt.nz and karekare@aucklandcouncil.govt.nz will be redirected to the recoveryoffice@aucklandcouncil.govt.nz address.

 Related topics

 

 

Register online for a storm-affected property risk assessmenthttps://www.aucklandcouncil.govt.nz/recovery-extreme-weather-disasters/property-categorisation-resolution/Pages/risk-assessments-properties-storm-affected-areas.aspxRegister online for a storm-affected property risk assessmentFind out why we are doing risk assessments and how you can register your property details with us.aspxCivil defence Environment Disaster and emergency recovery
Category 3 property buy-out information between Auckland Council and the governmenthttps://www.aucklandcouncil.govt.nz/recovery-extreme-weather-disasters/property-categorisation-resolution/Pages/category-3-property-buyout-information-auckland-council-government.aspxCategory 3 property buy-out information between Auckland Council and the governmentFind out about the cost-sharing agreement between Auckland Council and the New Zealand Government to buy out Category 3 properties.aspxCivil defence Environment Disaster and emergency recovery
Information for buy-outs and insurance payouts for storm-affected propertieshttps://www.aucklandcouncil.govt.nz/recovery-extreme-weather-disasters/property-categorisation-resolution/Pages/information-buyouts-insurance-payouts-storm-affected-properties.aspxInformation for buy-outs and insurance payouts for storm-affected propertiesFind out what the government buyout programme could mean for you if your property is classed as Risk Category 3.aspxCivil defence Environment Disaster and emergency recovery
How we use your flooding and landslide informationhttps://www.aucklandcouncil.govt.nz/recovery-extreme-weather-disasters/property-categorisation-resolution/Pages/how-use-flooding-landslide-information.aspxHow we use your flooding and landslide informationFind out how we use the information you include on the Flooding and landslide registration form when you register for a risk assessment.aspxCivil defence Environment Disaster and emergency recovery
Category 2P decision information for property ownershttps://www.aucklandcouncil.govt.nz/recovery-extreme-weather-disasters/property-categorisation-resolution/Pages/category-2p-decision-information-property-owners.aspxCategory 2P decision information for property ownersFind out about the key decisions made by the Governing Body on funding mitigations for Category 2P properties.aspxCivil defence Environment Disaster and emergency recovery
Rapid building assessmentshttps://www.aucklandcouncil.govt.nz/recovery-extreme-weather-disasters/recover-disaster/help-buildings-land-compliance/Pages/rapid-building-assessments.aspxRapid building assessmentsLearn about what rapid building assessments are and how they are carried out.aspxCivil defence Environment Disaster and emergency recovery