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From Mayor Len

Update for our coastal communities from Mayor Len

With about 400km in our district, the coast and the sea are integral parts of life, work and play here on the Coromandel.

This is why more than three years ago our Council embarked on our nation-leading Shoreline Management Pathways Project. The project was completed in September last year and included coastal hazard modelling and the development of community-led, long-term coastal adaptation pathways for those hazards, including sea level rise.

Altogether 138 pathways specific to separate stretches of coast were developed, setting out how our communities want to manage the risks of living close to the sea.

These pathways describe trigger points, such as a certain amount of sea level rise, that may be reached in the coming decades and the options available to improve community resilience, such as maintaining natural defences through dune management, raising buildings and infrastructure, improving or building coastal defences such as sea walls or groynes, or managed retreat.

Our communities were closely involved in the development of the pathways, through our Coastal Panels, alongside iwi, Council staff and other partners such as Waka Kotahi, Waikato Regional Council and the central government.

Deservedly, the project won a significant award earlier this year in the local government sector for environmental leadership. The award is a tremendous achievement, reflecting years of hard work by those involved. Thanks to this work, our district now has an evidence-based path forward to consider how we cope with hazards that affect our coastal communities.

You can find out more about our Shoreline Management Pathways Project, including the adaptation pathways for the stretches of coastline you’re interested in, on our Council website:

Where does that leave us now?

We are now prioritising and implementing projects from those pathways. We’re considering the urgency of projects and their importance in relation to social, environmental, economic, community and tangata whenua criteria.

In September we’re beginning a series of public meetings to update our coastal communities. Come and find out about the proposals for:

• Seawall management in Moanataiari in Thames

• Stopbank enhancement in Thames

• Sediment recycling

• Other sea level rise management projects

We’ll be discussing the next steps to manage our shoreline, including:

• What projects will we prioritise?

• How much might they cost?

• Who will pay for them?

The first three meetings – save the date

• Te Puru Hall – 4 West Crescent, Saturday 2 Sept 10am

• Tairua Golf Club – 283 Main Road, Saturday 16 Sept 10am

• Whitianga Town Hall – 24 Monk Street, Saturday 16 Sept 2pm

Other meetings in Moanataiari, Thames and Tararū will follow. Please keep your eye out for these.


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