Much of New Zealand’s urban development and infrastructure is located in coastal areas, some of which are vulnerable to coastal hazards such as coastal erosion and inundation. In recent years, coastal development and associated infrastructure have intensified, and property values have increased. As development increases, the potential impacts and consequences of coastal hazards also increase. Managing this growing risk now presents a significant challenge for planning authorities in New Zealand.
Preparing for coastal change provides information to help local government and others across New Zealand strengthen the integration of coastal hazards and climate change considerations into policy, planning, asset management and decision-making.
Climate change effects are gradual, but have implications for many land-use planning decisions. They have long-term implications because of the long lifetime of structures (eg, buildings, roads, network utilities, residential developments). Considering climate change is not only a requirement of the Resource Management Act 1991, it is also wise and good business practice.
The guide comprises three parts:
Part One – The changing climate:
• discusses how climate change affects sea level
• provides guidance on planning for future sea-level rise in New Zealand
• explains the impacts of climate change on other physical drivers that influence coastal hazards such as high tides, storms, storm surge and storm tides, wave climate and sediment supply to the coast.
Part Two – Implications for New Zealand’s coastal margins:
• outlines some implications of climate change for the risk of coastal inundation and coastal erosion
• recommends how to assess these effects
•outlines the implications for salinization of surface freshwaters and groundwater covers, coastal defences and inundation by tsunami
Part Three – Responding to climate change:
• covers the legislative context
• suggests mechanisms for managing, avoiding and reducing coastal hazard risks
• deals with managing residual risk and monitoring change
• discusses some challenges in reducing coastal hazard risk