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Coastal Hazards Re-engages Ahead Of Consultation


The Hawke’s Bay coastal hazards project is re-engaging with the community to build solutions for the coast between Clifton and Tangoio.

The Joint Committee met to discuss a series of community workshops, aimed at testing the project workstream outputs ahead of formal consultation in 2021, as well as a proposed funding review.

“This is complex work that we’re asking the community to look at and consider. We’re talking about engineering design, and the related impacts – costs, communities, housing, recreation, longevity of solutions. We want to take action on solutions as quickly as possible, but we know this needs to be with community support,” says Jerf van Beek, Chair of the Coastal Hazards Joint Committee and Regional Councillor.

“Since assessment panels gave us their report in 2018, the project team have been busy developing the detail around those recommendations, including developing a coastal processes model, concept designs for the proposed actions, revised costings, and a funding model,” adds Mr van Beek.

“We’ve got a series of workshops lined up to talk about this work over the next six months. This is really exciting, nationally-leading work on coastal hazards and climate change, but it takes time to develop scenarios and work through with the community."

Mr van Beek says the first workshop was in November and looked at the design options for the Northern Cells – Pandora, Westshore, Bay View, and Whirinaki.

The committee, made up of partner councils and iwi, confirmed retired judge Mr Raynor Asher QC to lead a proposed funding review. The review will resolve questions about which council should lead the implementation of the Strategy, in part due to a lack of legislative guidance.

“While this issue has been highlighted to central government and new legislation may be in development to resolve it, the committee elected to push on with seeking a local solution, and are looking to develop recommendations based on current law and practical and administrative considerations. This outcome, once developed, will provide all parties with clarity of role and a clear path to implementing outcomes confirmed by the Strategy,” says Mr van Beek.

Mr Asher was appointed to the High Court Bench in 2005 and to the Court of Appeal in 2016. He retired from the Court of Appeal in 2019, and is now practicing as a barrister and arbitrator/ mediator. Mr Asher is now being briefed and will commence work on the Review early in 2021.

The funding model, individual designs, costs and other elements will be the focus of public consultation before any final decisions are made.

Additionally, two reports were presented covering policy and regulation, and consentability. The reports have been developed as part of the Regulatory Workstream, and were contracted to Mitchell Daysh Limited.

The Policy and Regulation Report covers key national, regional, and local documents that could impede or support the implementation of the Strategy, and offers recommendations on what changes may be required to existing documents.

The Consentability Report identifies resource consent requirements and key consenting challenges based on the environmental values and the planning framework, as well as methodologies for mitigating those challenges.

These two reports will inform the wider Stage 4 programme, and ultimately the Joint Committee’s thinking about the overall strategy to manage coastal hazards along the Clifton to Tangoio coastline

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