As a result of Waikato District Council’s District Plan Review recent resource consent applications and the closure of the Huntly East Mine, Council had a specialist geological consultant relook at the risk of subsidence above the old Huntly East Mine.
The mines under and around Huntly East have recently been sealed and will now naturally fill up with groundwater as part of the closure plan. While the mine fills with water (estimated to take some 3-5 years), Council’s expert has indicated there is an increased risk of gradual land subsidence occurring. Once the mine is full of water it is generally accepted by experts that the risk of subsidence will be minimised.
As at March 2018 Council staff are investigating further modelling and monitoring options to increase certainty around subsidence risk while the mine fills.
Given the increased risk and uncertainty while the mine is filling, Council needs to be careful with what building activity is permitted over the next few years and as a result there will be a higher likelihood of consents being declined during this period.
Each application we receive for building consent or resource consent in the Huntly East Mine Subsidence Area (see map below) will be referred to a specialist geological consultant for comment. Council’s decision to grant or refuse consent will be based on the response we receive from the expert.
A number of properties in the area are still covered by the Government’s Huntly East Mine Subsidence Policy. For information on the policy please email email@example.com.
If you are intending on developing a property, we can seek comment from our expert through a pre-application process to provide more certainty up front. If you have further questions, it’s recommended you arrange a pre-application discussion with council staff.