Friday, 16 November 2018

WHITIANGA WEATHER

Preparing our communities for coastal hazards

Thames Coromandel District Council has been working on a coastal management strategy to help communities be better prepared for the hazards on the Coromandel coastline.

Stretching 400 kilometres, the Coromandel district has one of the largest coastlines in the country, and is projected to have some big impacts from environmental factors, including weather.

One of TCDC's key objectives is to build resilient coastal communities to cope with coastal hazards, which are common to many parts of New Zealand.

This week, Council approved a budget of nearly $2.6M over the next three years to investigate coastal hazards, fund community-based resilience, coastal hazard response planning and to draft a shoreline management plan.

This work is part of implementing the Coastal Management Strategy (CMS), which TCDC engaged with communities on last year, and which will be adopted in June alongside their Long Term Plan.

The CMS provides strategic direction to help with Council's planning, to support responsible management of assets in communities and to determine ways to help coastal communities become resilient to coastal hazards.

As part of the CMS, major new council infrastructure and renewals will be tested against the assumptions in the LTP of a potential sea level rise of 1.4m by 2120, and up to a rise of 1.88m by 2150 - as adopted by Council in February this year.

These levels are from the Ministry for the Environment (MFE) guidance published in December 2017, which is set out for councils across the country.

TCDC Mayor Sandra Goudie says while the MFE guidance is a start, she wants to see more guidance from central government around projected sea level rises.

"Central government needs to take the lead and set the direction, including providing mechanisms to help local governments financially.

"This is because so much of this type of risk is directed and controlled at a national level, and smaller councils such as ours need help."

TCDC will provide a further update on their LTP outcomes for coastal management in July, when the current LTP is completed.

 

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