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Coastal Hazards, Coastal Adaption, Coastal Protection – Get Involved

Residents and Ratepayers Association speaks up

By Deborah Phillips

The residents and ratepayers is a mandated group who promote and defend the interests of our local community and its residents. This includes tenants, shared owners, leaseholders and homeowners. Because we are a mandated group, a local Council cannot legally ignore us.

Mayor Len Salt addressed the current state of our roads at a recent public meeting organised by Mercury Bay Business Association. As the Chair of Whitianga Resident and Ratepayers Association (WRRA), I have asked for a public meeting to be held with the Mayor and relevant Council members ( TCDC) to discuss and present our options around recent and future coastal erosion. When I get a response, I’ll advertise the details of where and when the meeting will be held.

In 2019, Mayor Sandra Goudie and our previous Council (TCDC) spent $1.9 Million on a “Coastal Protection Feasability Study for the Coromandel Peninsula”. The summary is available on TCDC’s website. I urge you to read it. Page 12 is specific to Whitianga with graphics showing six metre high walls and huge metal ‘lock’ gates at the entrance to the Waterways. Their closing summary was “a staggered approach with modest levels of defence which initially may provide a pathway to delivering defences for this community.”

So, are we staggering toward six metre high sea walls based on a 100 year model of 1.88 metre sea rise?

The “Coromandel District Council Coastal Hazards Policy” is a must read as well, especially if you are an affected property owner as it outlines legal and resource consent requirements and consequences.

The Thames-Coromandel Coastal Adaption Pathways i-report appears to be an outline of Council’s strategy based on the Feasability Study. Council has adopted an approach based on “Coastal Hazards and Climate Change – guidance for local government” from the Ministry for Environment 2017.

I’ve highlighted all these relevant documents so that you can read them and be informed because we need to be, especially now!

I invite everyone to attend the Residents and Ratepayers meetings so we can discuss our concerns/ideas and present them to Council, who then has to acknowledge and provide a written response. My role is to ensure Council takes action on issues put forward by the community.

Meeting are 7.00pm on the first Thursday of the month in the rooms at the back of the Social Services though a special meeting may be required to suit the Mayor on these important issues. Next regular meeting is Thursday 6 April. 7:00pm.

We as a community need to get involved to enact a democratic process.

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