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One of Ōpōtiki District Council's roles is to be aware of and plan for natural hazards on behalf of our community, including the advanced impact of climate change on our planning and modelling. This work is part of national and regional best-practice as we ensure safety of lives and property well into the future.
Ōpōtiki District Council's Planning and Regulatory Group Manager, Gerard McCormack explained that research on coastal erosion and other hazards is run in partnership with Bay of Plenty Regional Council. Regional Council's coastal calculator provides the "broad brushstrokes" and that more detail wold be added as Ōpōtiki commissioned works in different key areas.
"This work is a paper exercise in identifying flooding and erosion risks along the coastline both in the here and now, and in light of changes we are already seeing in sea levels and more extreme events.
"Regional Council consultants, Tonkin and Taylor, are currently working on more detailed studies relating to erosion along our coast line so that we better understand these risks. The first of these reports has been completed covering the coastline between the Waiōtahe and Waioeka River mouths and provides a more detailed assessment of coastal erosion risk along the length of Waiōtahe Beach. It determines the location of coastal erosion lines based on various sea level rise scenarios and timeframes out to 2130, as required by the Ministry for the Environment.
"Now that we have that report, we need to make sure it is available through the LIM [Land Information Memorandum] reports and it will have an impact on the issuing of building consents and resource consents.
"Our primary goal is to ensure everyone understands the potential risks and can access the information we hold and it will give landowners, prospective buyers and developers the ability to see how erosion may affect any property on Waiōtahe Beach," Mr McCormack said.
Council is working to compile a list of landowners so that they can be made aware of the Tonkin and Taylor report and provide a copy to read more closely.
"This study allows us to consider these scenarios and plan for the future. It is our duty to enable our residents to do the same, which is why we release this information to landowners," Mr McCormack said.