Technical Peer Reviews of Groundwater Drawdown Settlement Effects

Fraser Thomas Ltd has been providing Auckland Council with Technical Peer Review services concerning groundwater resource consents. 

Many large building projects, particularly in the CBD, involve excavations below the groundwater level that affect the flow and/or the level of the groundwater. Under the Resource Management Act 1991 (RMA) and the Proposed Auckland Unitary Plan, the taking or diverting of groundwater that does not meet permitted activity criteria requires a resource consent.

Taking or diverting groundwater can potentially affect neighbouring properties due to ground movement and settlement.  Settlement can be caused by ground consolidation from groundwater drawdown and by deflection of retaining walls.

Pat Shorten, Director – Geotechnical Engineering of Fraser Thomas Ltd has been peer reviewing selected resource consent applications for the Natural Resources and Specialist Input (NRSI) unit of Auckland Council.  FTL provide NRSI with a technical memo covering the groundwater consent application, any s.92 requests and responses, and the potential effects on neighbouring properties, as well as a set of draft consent conditions. For some applications, attendance at meetings with an applicant’s technical consultants is also required.

Recent projects include the CRL tunnel in Albert Street, the redevelopment of the New Zealand Herald site on Mills Lane, the SH20A Kirkbride Road grade separated interchange, and the redevelopment of the Downtown Shopping Centre, Customs Street West.

Expertise provided:

  • Geotechnical
  • Planning
  • Resource management

Project cycle:

  • Peer review
  • Expert meetings
  • Technical memoranda and draft consent conditions