Kāpiti Coastal Science Report Due Soon
Kāpiti Coast District Council will soon receive a report assessing potential future changes to its coastline to guide community discussions on the district’s coastal planning, Mayor K Gurunathan says.
“The Takutai Kāpiti coastal adaptation project has now brought on board its community panel to lead the conversation on solutions for adapting to coming change. The ‘coastal hazard susceptibility and vulnerability assessment’ report will provide key evidence and technical data to inform the discussions.”
Council commissioned the report to assess potential changes to the Kāpiti coastline under various sea level rise scenarios over the next 30, 50 and 100 years to see how this could affect critical council infrastructure and community assets.
Mayor K Gurunathan says it is a Council priority to plan for the significant coastal changes that lie ahead for Kāpiti’s coastal communities and infrastructure assets.
“In response to community concerns, Council has made important commitments to tackle the challenges posed by climate change and adapt to impacts on our coastline, so our district remains a great place for residents and visitors.
“Like Parliament and many communities around New Zealand, we have declared a climate emergency to underscore the need for urgent action. In July, we adopted a climate emergency action framework to embed thinking about climate change implications in our planning and work programmes,” Mayor Gurunathan said.
“In our Long-term Plan consultation, people told us they wanted Council to do more in response to climate change. Our community said it’s important Council plans for quality growth, particularly in relation to climate change. This needs to be balanced with ensuring our existing infrastructure is effectively maintained, managed, and expanded as we grow.
“This all adds up to deliver the strong message that we can no longer ignore what lies ahead. We need to understand the likely future changes to our coast in more detail, so we can make good decisions for the entire district. Our coastline belongs to all of us, and ratepayers expect us to invest sensibly when we build or maintain council infrastructure or property that belongs to us all.
“We know from the recent international report released by the IPCC that climate change action is more urgent than ever. We cannot afford to put this off any longer, but we also know the changes to our coast are not occurring evenly, so there is unlikely to be a blanket solution. The panel will look at this in detail and make recommendations to help Council develop a suitable approach for coastal management.”
Council commissioned international engineering and environmental consultancy Jacobs Ltd to undertake the assessment. It has been independently reviewed by Beca Ltd.
The report methodology is already on the Council’s website. A link to the methodology and final assessment will be placed on affected property LIMs. When the panel delivers its recommendations to Council these, along with potential costs and legislative requirements, should also guide development of District Plan coastal provisions which will be consulted on as usual. Once any changes become operative, the assessment report information may no longer be needed on LIMs.