Draft NZ guidance document on coastal impacts for local government leaked


The New Zealand Greens have leaked a draft policy guidance document, Coastal Hazards and Climate Change, prepared by the NZ Ministry for the Environment for local governments.

The document, published in April this year but yet to be released by Environment Minister, Nick Smith, warns that hazard risks are compounding as more people and assets locate in coastal areas coinciding with more frequent coastal impacts and rising sea levels.

“Sea level will continue to rise for at least several centuries, posing an ongoing challenge for managing the transition to more sustainable coastal communities, both globally and locally.”

The report estimates that property and infrastructure in New Zealand lying 1.5m above the high water spring mark would face ‘higher levels of coastal risk exposure’.

It estimates risk exposure in those low lying areas would affect:

  • 133,000 people (resident population)

  • 43,680 residential buildings

  • 5 airports

  • More than 2000kms of road

  • 46kms of railway

The 250-page document provides a step-by-step approach for local government to assessing, planning and managing the increasing risks facing coastal communities due to climate change.

The document, Coastal Hazards and Climate Change, is available here.

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