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Ngā momo whakamōrearea whenua

Property risk categories

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


We have assigned initial risk categories to properties in the areas of Muriwai where we have done a geotechnical assessment on widespread slope instability.

Read the latest Muriwai recovery updates.

Piha and Karekare

We expect the geotechnical assessment on widespread slope instablity to be complete by the end of September 2023.

We will assign initial risk categories then.

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.

For land stability issues outside of Muriwai, Piha and Karekare it will take about a month to go from a site assessment to being provided with a category.

The entire process is likely to take three to six months to complete. This is based on the number of individual geotechnical inspections needed across the Auckland region.

Non-residential or mixed-use land

The government risk categories only relate to residential properties. We are working with the government on the next steps for non-residential or mixed-use land.

Risk categories explained

Category Definition
​Risk Category 1

​These properties are considered low risk.

This means the home can be repaired.

​Risk Category 2

These properties are considered managed risk.

Community or property-level interventions will manage future severe weather event risks.

This category is split into three sub-categories.

​Risk Category 2C (community) ​We create and expand flood protection works to reduce the risk of future flooding events.
​Risk Category 2P (property)

​Property specific measures are necessary, such as improved drainage, raising houses.

Property owners will benefit but some may face affordability issues.

​Risk Category 2A (assessment)

This means your property needs further assessment and we need more information to provide initial categorisation.

​Risk Category 3

Areas in the high-risk category are not safe to live in because of the unacceptable risk of future flooding and loss of life. Homes in these areas should not be rebuilt on their current sites.

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.

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 risk assessment showed that the risk is lower than identified by the rapid building assessment
  • 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

Some details will be determined by the government negotiations.

Auckland Council also needs to make decisions specifically for Auckland, such as:

  • whether we agree with the government co-funding offer
  • how things such as property valuations are set.

Aucklanders are currently being consulted on their views and preferences relating to the proposal for Category 3 buyouts. For more information, see Funding Auckland's Storm Recovery and Resilience.

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.

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

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

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

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.

Information that may go on your property Land Information Memorandum (LIM) report

If we have sent you a property categorisation letter or email, this will not go on your property LIM report.

If you have been contacted, it is because we need further information to do a risk assessment for your property. The assessment helps us determine a risk category for your property.

A confirmed risk categorisation may appear on your property LIM report or property file in the future.

To find out how we use the information you include on the Flooding and landslide registration form, see Flooding and landslide registration form details.

See What is a Land Information Memorandum (LIM)? for more information about a property LIM.

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