If your land repair work involves soil disturbance or your land is affected by hazardous substances there are important health considerations before you begin work.

National Environmental Standard 

The National Environmental Standard for Assessing and Managing Contaminants in the Soil to Protect Human Health (NES) regulates land use and soil disturbance where land is or has been previously been used for a hazardous activity or industry.  Locations where these activities have taken place are known as Hazardous Activities and Industries List (HAIL) sites. 

The purpose of the NES is to ensure that soil affected by contaminants is identified and assessed when soil disturbance and/or land development activities take place, to protect human health.

If your land repair work involves soil disturbance (e.g. excavation or filling) or removal, and the land has previously been used for a hazardous activity or industry, then you need to know about the NES as it contains rules that will be relevant to your land repair works.

To find out more information about the NES(external link) visit(external link) the Ministry for the Environment’s website.

Hazardous Activities and Industries List (HAIL)

The Ministry for the Environment has developed the Hazardous Activities and Industries List (HAIL). This is a compilation of activities and industries that are considered likely to cause land contamination resulting from hazardous substance use, storage or disposal.

For more information about HAIL land visit the Ministry for the Environment website.(external link)

Listed Land Use Register (LLUR)

The Listed Land Use Register(external link) is a land use database managed by Environment Canterbury.

The electronic database manages information about sites that are known to have a past or present land use as detailed on the Ministry for the Environment's HAIL list.  

Properties listed on the LLUR include land which has previously been used for, or is currently associated with the use, storage or disposal of hazardous substances. 

Environment Canterbury is in the process of identifying HAIL land across the region and including this information on the LLUR.  It is possible that a property may be HAIL land, but not currently listed on the LLUR due to key information not being available at the time of the assessment.  Please note also that not all HAIL land is contaminated.  If your property contains HAIL land, it has the ‘potential’ to be contaminated, but this can only be confirmed through further investigations including site testing.

If you would like to find out more about your property’s HAIL status, see details below. 

The LLUR is available at ECAN's website(external link)

For more information about the LLUR visit ECAN's website(external link) or contact Environment Canterbury on 03 353 9007 or 0800 324 636.

Land repair on HAIL land

If your property is HAIL land (either because it is included on the LLUR database or because the Council has confirmed the HAIL status following a review of your property’s records), then you will need to consider the requirements of the NES when undertaking your land repair works. You will need to know whether the land repair works might cause contaminants to be uncovered or disturbed.

It’s important that you consider the safety of workers, your family, neighbours and the environment when undertaking land repair work on HAIL land. 

Depending on how the soil disturbance or excavation activity will take place (the amount of soil that will need to be disturbed or removed) you may need the assistance of a qualified practitioner to help you determine whether your activity is permitted under the NES.

Volume of soil disturbance and removal requiring resource consent under the NES

The level of soil disturbance that will require a resource consent is in excess of 25m3 per 500m2 of land being disturbed. As a rough guide, 25mis an amount just under 3m x 3m x 3m.

The level of soil removal that will trigger a resource consent application is in excess of 5m3 per 500m2 of land being disturbed. As a guide, 5m3 is an amount just over 1.7m x 1.7m x 1.7m. A typical household trailer holds about 0.6 – 1.0m³ of soil and a small truck usually hold about 5m³.

If your property contains HAIL land and you wish to undertake soil disturbance and/or removal of soil activities in volumes greater than those noted above then a resource consent will be needed. 

For more information about HAIL land and how it affects your land repair works please contact the Christchurch City Council’s Duty Planner on (03) 941 8999 for further information prior to commencing work.