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Long term vision for Hawke’s Bay’s coastline considered

Long term vision for Hawke’s Bay’s coastline considered

Hawke’s Bay Regional Council is looking to work with Napier City and Hastings District Councils to develop a strategy to provide a long term vision for the region’s coastline in light of the predicted impacts of climate change.

The move comes in response to a report presented to today’s Environment and Services Committee meeting reviewing the potential impacts of climate change on the coastal environment, and how that may impact on coastal processes, rates of erosion, and the risks of flooding from the sea.

Prepared by Paul Komar & Erica Harris, the report (known as the Komar Report) says there are predictions of a rise in sea level of between 0.9 and 1.3m by the year 2100, which will bring about greater erosion and sea flooding impacts. It says there will be greater impacts if the changing climate also produces more intense storms, which in turn generate more extreme waves and storm surges.

The report states gravel extraction at Awatoto and Napier’s main beach should be stopped. Resource consents for this extraction expire in 2017. HBRC is in discussions with Winstone Aggregates, who extract 30,000m3 per year at Awatoto, to identify alternative sources of gravel and sand. In addition an alternative site of gravel for the Westshore renourishment programme will need to be found.

Today’s Environment and Services Committee is recommending a joint committee of Napier City, Hastings District and Hawke’s Bay Regional Councils and local iwi be formed to oversee the project, which is expected to take several years. Councillors Christine Scott and Peter Beaven have been recommended as HBRC’s representatives on the joint committee.

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