Christchurch is vulnerable to a range of natural hazards, with the potential for significant harm to people and property. The council has an obligation to assist in minimising the effects of, and mitigating a number of these hazards.

Risks from natural hazards are minimised

Christchurch is vulnerable to a range of natural hazards, with the potential for significant harm to people and property. Both the Canterbury Regional Council and the Council have responsibilities for the avoidance or mitigation of natural hazards.

Key points

  • In 2013 there was around 74,000 people living in areas at risk of flooding, and around 39,000 people living in areas where there is a risk of coastal inundation. This accounts for approximately 21% and 11% of the city's population respectively. 
  • In 2013 number of households living in areas susceptible to coastal inundation declined from close to 20,000 households around 15,000 households; 32% of these households are living in rental properties.
  • Similarly, the number of households living in areas at risk of flooding decreased from 34,000 to around 29,000 in 2013; around 34% of these households live in rental properties.
  • The proportion of children living in areas at risk of flooding has remained relatively stable since 2001, sitting at around 18% of the population in 2013. The proportion of children living in areas that are at risk of coastal inundation has declined slightly since 2001, but also accounts for 18% of the population.
  • 13% of residents living in areas susceptible to coastal inundation are over the age of 65; this has remained the same since 2001. However the proportion of residents over 65 years in flood zones has seen a small increase, reaching 14% in 2013 compared to 13% in 2001 and 2006.
  • Although there was a decline between 2006 and 2013, most people living in flood risk areas have lived there for less than five years (48%). Only 4% of residents in flood risk areas have lived there for 30 years or more.
  • 45% of residents living in areas at risk of coastal inundation have lived there for less than 5 years, whilst only 4% have lived there for 30 years or more.

Usually Resident Population Flood Zones

Usually Resident Population Flood Zones graph

Source: Statistics NZ, Census of Population & Dwellings(external link)


Usually Resident Population Coastal Inundation Zones

Usually Resident Population Coastal Inundation Zones graph

Source: Statistics NZ, Census of Population & Dwellings(external link)


Number of Households in Flood Zones

Number of Households in Flood Zones graph

Source: Statistics NZ, Census of Population & Dwellings(external link)


Number of Households in Coastal Inundation Zones

Number of Households in Coastal Inundation Zones graph

Source: Statistics NZ, Census of Population & Dwellings(external link)


Proportion of Children and Older People in Flood Zones

 

Proportion of Children and Older People in Flood Zones graph

Source: Statistics NZ, Census of Population & Dwellings(external link)


Proportion of Children and Older People in Coastal Inundation Zones

Proportion of Children and Older People in Coastal Inundation Zones graph

Source: Statistics NZ, Census of Population & Dwellings(external link) (external link)


Years at Usual Residence in Flood Zones

Years at Usual Residence in Flood Zones graph

Source: Statistics NZ, Census of Population & Dwellings(external link)


Years at Usual Residence in Coastal Inundation Zones

Years at Usual Residence in Coastal Inundation Zones graph

Source: Statistics NZ, Census of Population & Dwellings(external link)


More detail and information

Coastal Hazards: Around New Zealand, and the world, coastal communities are becoming increasingly aware of coastal hazards, such as coastal inundation (flooding by the sea), coastal erosion and tsunami. It's important we look ahead to ensure we are prepared to deal with the challenges of coastal hazards in the future, creating more resilient communities.

Slope Stability: The Council has released eight GNS Science reports detailing the level of risk from mass movement in eight areas in the Port Hills.

Our Changing Environment: The risks and challenges of living with natural hazards in Christchurch.(external link)

Managing Natural Hazard Risk in New Zealand – towards more resilient communities:(external link) This report reviews current arrangements for managing natural hazards risk in New Zealand. 

People are safe from crime

When considering community safety, neither the experience nor the threat of crime can be overlooked. Both in reality and perception, crime has negative implications for the quality of life of our residents.

Key points

  • From 1995 to 2014, total recorded crime per capita decreased by 38%, falling from 1,350 per 10,000 people to 840 per 10,000. The resolution rate for total crime offences has increased overall.
  • Assault offences were lowest in 2003 at 59 per 10,000 people, but have increased to 73 per 10,000 people in 2014.
  • Between 1995 and 2014, recorded sexual offences increased from 7 to 9 per 10,000 people, and the resolution rate was at its lowest in 2014 at 38%.
  • From 2004 to 2014, around 90% of residents feel safe in their home after dark. Those who feel unsafe in their home after dark increased from 3% in 2004 to 11% in 2012, decreasing slightly to 8% in 2014.
  • Dangerous driving was percieved to be the biggest local issue issue reported by residents from 2006 to 2012. In 2014 vandalism was the biggest perceived problem in local areas.
  • The presence of unsafe people increased significantly between 2012 and 2014 as a problem in local areas, while car theft, dangerous driving, and alcohol and drug problems all had a marked decrease.
  • In the 14-16 years age group, offending has decreased by 54% since 2007.
  • Youth apprehensions is greater for males. Both male and female apprehensions have been decreasing in the last 5 years.
  • The number of family violence investigations has increased by 18% since 2006, reaching its highest number in 2014, at 7000.
  • Motor Vehicle thefts and related offences have decreased overall to 134 per 10,000 people in 2014. The resolution rate for such offences remains low at 8%.
  • Illicit drug offenses decreased by 47% between 2010 and 2014. The resolution rate has decreased by 6% over the same period, but still remains over 90%.

Total Crime Offences Per 10,000 People

Crime Offences per 10,000 People graph

Source: NZ Police, Crime Statistics


Perception of Safety

Perceptions of Safety graph

Source: Quality of Life Survey(external link)


Perception of Local Issues

Perception of Local Issues graph

Source: Quality of Life Survey(external link)


Youth Offending

Youth Offending graph

Source: NZ Police, Crime Statistics


Motor Vehicle Theft

Motor Vehicle Theft graph

Source: NZ Police, Crime Statistics


Illicit Drug Offences

Illicit Drug Offenses graph

Source: NZ Police, Crime Statistics


More detail and information

Safer Christchurch Strategy: the Strategy aims to make Christchurch a safer place to live, work, play and learn by setting the strategic direction for the Safer Christchurch Interagency Group.

Transport safety is improved

The Council undertakes a significant work programme each year, investing in making our roads as safe as practicable and promoting the safe use of our roads. Reducing intersection collisions and improving cycle safety are two areas we are currently focussed on. 

Key points

  • The social cost of road accidents in the city has been around $250 million since 2000.
  • In the 2016 June year, there were 133 motor vehicle (car, van, ute, SUV, truck and bus) casualties, a decrease of 63% from 368 in 1986.
  • 9 cyclists per 100,000 people were seriously injured or killed in 2016.  
  • Pedestrian casualties (death and serious injury) have averaged 10 per 100,000 people since the mid 1990s. 
  • In the 2016 year, 79% of Christchurch residents thought that dangerous driving (including drink driving and speeding) has been a problem in the city; it has been at this level since 2004.

Motor Vehicle Casualties (Fatal & Serious Injury)

Motor Vehicle Casualties (Fatal & Serious Injury) graph

Source: NZTA, Crash Analysis System


Cyclist Casualties

Cyclist Casualties graph

Source: NZTA, Crash Analysis System


Pedestrian Casualties

Pedestrian Casualties graph

Source: NZTA, Crash Analysis System


Dangerous Driving in the City

Dangerous Driving in the City graph

Source: NZTA, Crash Analysis System


More detail and information

(external link)NZTA Crash Analysis System:(external link) The CAS is an integrated computer system that provides tools to collect, map, query, and report on road crash and related data. It contains data from all traffic crashes reported by police.

CCC Road Safety: It's important for all road users to be and feel safe using the roads in Christchurch. 

Injuries and risk to public health are minimised

Ensuring residents and visitors are safe from the risk of injury and breaches of public health promotes the health and wellbeing of our community and enables people to focus their efforts on more productive things. The Council's range of regulatory functions ensure monitoring, enforcement and proactive reduction of health risks is undertaken. This takes the form of building regulation control, health regulation and ensuring water and wastewater systems are safe at all times.

Key points

  • Campylobacteriosis is the most common notified disease; since 2008 it has averaged around 700 notifications per year, although there was a peak in 2012 where there was 1124 notifications.  
  • A growing proportion of residents feel water pollution is a problem in the city- this was an issue before the earthquakes but has also been exacerbated by them. 
  • Hospital discharges for unintentional injuries in those aged 0-14 years have decreased by 21% since 1988. People aged 65+ years continue to have the most discharges per 100,000 people, with 2860 in 2014. This compares with 2050 per 10,000 in 1988 and 2,900 in 2011.
  • Injuries caused by falls are the most common non-fatal hospital admission, followed by reactions to medical care. Falls are also the most common fatality.
  • The number of non-fatal injuries from unintentional falls in the 65+ age in 2013 was 2150 per 100,000 people, an overall increase of 93% since the lowest figure of 1100 in 1990.

Notifications of Infectious Diseases

Notification of Infectious Diseases graph

Source: Canterbury District Health Board


Perceptions of Water Pollution

Perceptions of Water Pollution graph

Source: Quality of  Life Survey(external link)


Top 5 Causes of Unintentional Non-Fatal Injuries

Top 5 Causes of Unintentional Non-Fatal Injuries graph

Source: University of Otago: Injury Prevention Unit


Discharge Rates for Unintentional Injuries

Discharge Rates for Unintentional Injuries graph

Source: University of Otago: Injury Prevention Unit


More detail and information

Community and Public Health:(external link) Community and Public Health provides public health services to those people living in the Canterbury, South Canterbury and West Coast regions.