Flood maps 'may hit property values'

By John Cousins

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Guy Metz is urging people living in Tauranga's flood hazard areas to start joining the dots. Photo / George Novak
Guy Metz is urging people living in Tauranga's flood hazard areas to start joining the dots. Photo / George Novak

Tauranga residents whose homes feature on the latest city council flood hazard maps could be levied rates on over-valued properties, a Greerton businessman says.

Guy Metz, whose Roxanne Pl business was flooded from a combination of heavy rain and high tide, wants the council to recognise the impact that flooding and flood hazard maps will have on values.

"People are not joining the dots and asking: what are the implications of these new maps?"

With a year to go before the city was revalued for rating purposes, Mr Metz said hundreds of people were being rated on 2012 valuations when their buildings could be worth substantially less. Three real estate agents had told him not to waste his time trying to sell his $616,000 property until the council had fixed Roxanne Place's flooding problems.

He questioned how many people were aware of the impact that the flood hazard maps would have on their ability to sell and insure their buildings.

Whenever someone ordered a LIM report on a property they wanted to buy, the property file brought up whether it was in a flood hazard area. The new maps were radically different from the old flood hazard information. "The new models are telling us that it is worse than we thought."

Mr Metz said some properties highlighted on the maps may never have flooded but could at some time in the future. One-in-a-hundred-year floods were an indication of severity not regularity and could theoretically occur at any number of times. "This is certainly the case in Roxanne Pl, where we had two one-in-50-year events within the space of eight weeks this year."

Council corporate solicitor Kirsty Downey-McGuire said they had met a group from Roxanne Pl, including Mr Metz, and the council was looking at what it could do immediately and in the medium to long term. Valuations and rates might be in the mix when the council responded to the group. The council meets Roxanne Place businesses on August 2.

Council revenue team leader Jim Taylor said the flood hazard maps were a bit like leaky homes, they might or might not have an impact on the market.

City revaluations were done impartially and if there were lower sales because of the maps, then it would be reflected in 2016's valuation, he said.

Property owners could challenge their council valuation but it cost them $300, so they had to be sure that the cost would work for them.

Matua Residents Association chairman and real estate agent Richard Kluit said they had seen properties sell for below expectations because of flood hazard notations on property files.

Flood Hazard Mapping in Tauranga

Areas completed: Pillans Point and Bureta, Matua, Mount Maunganui South.

Areas for 2014: Waimapu, 13th-18th Aves, Mount residential, Sherwood, Papamoa East, Judea.

Areas for 2015-16: Gate Pa, CBD, Papamoa West, Brookfield, Bethlehem, Bureta Central, Wairoa, Maungatapu/Welcome Bay.

- Bay of Plenty Times

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