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Video transcript for Property categorisation process

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[Title card]

Update on the National Risk Category Framework by Deputy Group Recovery Manager Mace Ward.

[Mace Ward appears on screen wearing tortoiseshell glasses and a checked shirt standing against a black background with the Auckland Council pohutukawa logo]

[Voice of Mace Ward] Kia ora I'm Mace Ward, Deputy Group Recovery Manager for Auckland.

I'm here to talk to you about the property categorisation process that Auckland Council was undertaking for homes and storm-affected areas.

It's a really complex process so hopefully this video will help you understand it.

I want to acknowledge upfront the impacts that the storms have had on you and your families and the ongoing toll, both financial and emotional, that this is having.

I receive emails and calls every day from people that are in really difficult situations. You can't live in your homes, many of you are paying both mortgages and rent, and you are desperate for certainty about the future so you can move on with your lives.

I want to assure you that we are listening to how tough it is for you and we are moving as quickly as we can to get to the outcome for you.

On the 1st of May this year, the government unveiled a new national framework to give homes and the storm-affected areas a risk category. And that's what we're working through now.

This new property categorisation process is a completely different system to the red yellow white placards that you may have received immediately after the storms.

Placards are issued by council inspectors doing a rapid building assessment or an (RBA).

A RBA looks at the immediate risk of being in a building that's been damaged in a flood or landslide.

It's a really quick assessment that's focused on immediate safety to people.

The government's categories are very different because they look at whether there is a risk to people in the future, if another weather event occurs.

There are four main categories:

[Slideshow text]

Risk categories explained

Risk Category 1: These properties are considered low risk. This means the home can be repaired.

Risk Category 2C: We create an 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 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.

[Slideshow ends]

[Voice of Mace Ward]

Category 1 means it's low risk and doesn't require additional interventions to manage the risk, Category 2C means there are community level interventions needed to manage severe weather risk, Category 2P means there are property interventions needed –this could be something like improving drainage through to raising your home.

Category 3 means there's no way to sufficiently mitigate the risk, and in the government's framework, this means a buy-out offer would be the outcome.

Because placards and risk categories are focused on different things, there isn't a direct link between the colour of a placard and the risk category, so just because you've got a red placard it doesn't mean you'll automatically be a Category 3.

To get a property category, councils have to do a detailed risk assessment to take into account a range of factors.

A risk assessment is made up of a few different parts: a desktop assessment using property information, predictive modelling data, and in most cases, an on-site inspection.

The risk assessment helps build a picture of how likely it is that future severe weather events would pose a risk to life and whether there's a way to manage the risk so it's safe for people to live in the home.

It's the risk assessment that gives us information– the information needed to apply a risk category to your property.

There are around 7000 properties in Auckland that need a risk assessment and it will take some time to work through them all.

In June, we wrote to you and asked you to fill in a flooding and landslide registration form.

When we get this information, our engineers do a desktop assessment based on all the information you give us and what we already hold and they then identify where the most high- risk properties are, those that are Category 2 and Category 3.

Where a home is likely to be in Category 2 or Category 3, we'll arrange for an engineer to come and do a site assessment.

You won't have to pay for this. We'll have to do around 5000 flood assessments, and in the order of 250 geotechnical assessments, so I need to tell you that it will take some months to get around everyone.

During the visit, the engineer will see if there's an engineering solution to minimise the risk to life for people at the property, if another severe weather event hits.

If this is a feasible option on your property, it's likely to be a Category 2P, meaning there's a property intervention.

If there is nothing that can be done at an individual property, there might be something that can be done in your neighbourhood or the suburb, in which case you may be a 2C, meaning there is a community intervention.

This information you provide will also help us identify Category 1 homes – those are the ones that are considered lower risk.

Category 3 homes are those where there's no practical solution to minimise the risk to life to a level that's tolerable.

In June, the government said they support a buy-out program for Category 3 homes and want to share the costs with councils and storm-affected regions.

At the moment Auckland Council is negotiating with the government to agree how cost-sharing and a buy-out program would work.

There's a lot of lot to work through: things like how homes will be valued, who would own the home once it's bought and what financial support will be available to help pay for the work needed for Category 2P and Category 2C properties.

There's no confirmed funding agreement between the government and Auckland Council yet.

We're getting close, but it's likely to be a few weeks away. As soon as we have the details agreed we'll be sharing them.

It's possible that Category 3 homes will be identified before all the details of the buyers are known.

We don't want to slow down the categorisation work while these details are still being agreed on though. We want to give you certainty about your property category as soon as possible.

We know that you have lots of unanswered questions and you need information and help quickly.

We keep getting more details confirmed every day, so we'll keep updating the Auckland site with the latest question and answers and information about how the categorisation process is progressing.

There's lots of information available both on OurAuckland and on the Auckland Council website about the property categorisation process, how to apply for rates relief and access wellbeing services, plus information about repairing your home.

You can use our dedicated customer services phone number and email address if you have any questions about property categorisation.

Thank you.

[Cut from Mace Ward to slide image displaying Auckland Council pohutukawa logo and contact details.]

[Onscreen text] Website:


Call: 09 884 2070

[Cut to black. Video ends]

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