Shoreline Management Plans

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We are now at a new stage in our Shoreline Management Plan project. This project aims to ensure we have thriving and resilient communities and coastlines as our climate changes. 

We have four Coastal Panels working to define and reduce the coastal flooding and erosion risks to our people, property and assets. 

This important work will decide which sustainable flood and coastal defence measures are appropriate for each of our four main geographic areas on the Peninsula 

The coastal panels are now at the “what should we be doing” stage of the project. 

We need public input on the adaptation options for protecting and enhancing our coastline. These will allow us to adapt to the impacts of coastal hazards.

The options being considered range from soft solutions, such as dune restoration and wetland regeneration, to hard solutions such as stop banks, rock walls or managed retreat.

You can review the risk assessment for each area here. 

Click here to check out our interactive Risk Assessment Summary map

At the end of October 2021 there will be public meetings to introduce the options for each area. 

The meeting schedule is: 

Whitianga Town Hall Saturday, 23 October 9am–12pm 

Matarangi Fire Station Saturday, 23 October 2pm–4pm 

Whangamatā Community Hall Sunday, 24 October 9.30am–12.30pm 

Pāuanui Recreation Club Sunday, 24 October 2pm–4pm 

Tairua Golf Club Monday, 25 October 9.30am–12pm 

Cooks Beach Hall Monday, 25 October 2pm–4pm 

Thames Civic Centre conference room Friday 29 October 5pm - 7pm

Te Puru Hall Saturday, 30 October 9.30am–11.30am 

Coromandel Town Citizens Hall Saturday, 30 October 1pm–3pm 

Colville Hall Sunday, 31 October 10am–12pm 

The factsheets and posters from the previous open days can be found below:

Coastal Erosion Hazard Lines maps (draft):

Click to view

Draft Coastal Inundation maps (draft)

Click to view

How do we plan to manage the shoreline?

New Zealand's Coastal Policy Statement 2010 recognises that the changing climate will increase risks to life and property within the coastal zone and requires Council's to proactively manage coastal hazards over the next 100 years.

The approach we have adopted is based on the Ministry for the Environment’s 2017Coastal hazards and climate change: Guidancefor local government (illustrated in the cycle above).We are currently at the ‘WHAT MATTERS MOST?’ stage, where we are using Community Open Days and Coastal Panel input (Step 3 - values and objectives) to understand what matters most incombination with the coastal hazard information (from Step 2) to define vulnerability and risk (Step 4). This will allow us to then be able to identify appropriate community-led adaptation optionsand pathways. Ultimately, this process seeks to enable resilient coastal communities to enjoy ourcoastline now and into the future.

Our first co-governance committee for our Shoreline Management Plan (SMP) project was held in October 2020, involving our Council and the Pare Hauraki collective. You can watch the full unedited recording of the meeting here.

This is a milestone, three-year project to prepare adaptive SMPs for large sections of our coastline by 2022.

“The project is all about helping our communities and coasts adapt to coastal hazards through site-specific plans for the entire length of our coastline, including our offshore islands,” Mayor Sandra says.

Mayor Sandra Goudie welcomed the co-governance relationship with iwi and the guidance for this long-term project.

“This is an important journey we are embarking on together - one that will be made up of many small steps along the way. I look forward to this committee getting involved and working together as we come up with community-led adaptive solutions,” Mayor Sandra says.

“Our Council, together with Matamata-Piako and Hauraki district councils and the Pare Hauraki Collective will be working as a collective team,” Mayor Sandra says.

Co-governance through this SMP committee of Council reflects the importance of having iwi involved at all the various levels of the project, including the Coastal Panels that have been set up to cover our coastline in the following areas:

  • Thames and the Thames Coast
  • Coromandel Town Coast to Kennedy Bay
  • Whangapoua Harbour and the Mercury Bay Coast
  • South-East Coast (Tairua through to Whangamata)

As the project progresses, the committee will meet bi-annually or as required.

You can read more about our Coastal Panels including their meeting agendas and minutes here.

Shoreline Management Plans Overview

Each SMP will be presented to Council for adoption and eventual integration into relevant strategies, policies or actions within the Long-Term Plan or District Plan.

Our Council is establishing close working relationships with partners and key stakeholders including mana whenua, Waikato Regional Council (WRC), New Zealand Transport Agency (NZTA) and the Department of Conservation (DOC) in this project.

Following on from the adoption of our Coastal Management Strategy and Coastal Hazards Policy in 2018, our Council is now developing Shoreline Management Plans (SMPs). This is a three-year project to  define the flooding and erosion risks to people and the social, cultural, economic and natural environment across all parts of our coastline over the next century and beyond.

As we develop these plans, we have a valuable opportunity to understand our coastal environment more holistically, including the connections between people, catchments and waterways, landscapes, estuaries and beaches.

We will be examining the interaction between the way in which the coast behaves and is likely to evolve, and the way in which the coast is used and valued in each community.

Each SMP will:

  • be specific to a stretch of coast
  • identify what’s at stake and why
  • consider a number of different future scenarios of how coasts and communities may change
  • set objectives for the management of the coastal environment
  • be action-oriented and clearly link the actions of today with those we might need to take in the future
  • work through viable solutions
  • plot a course towards those solutions, making sure we use our collective knowledge and observations of the coast to keep track of our progress and enable a change of course if necessary.

In May 2019, our Council appointed a consortium led by international consultancy Royal HaskoningDHV to support the development of our Shoreline Management Plans. 

Community information meetings were held during August 2019 and January/February 2021.

While plans to deal with coastal change have previously been developed in a couple of other locations in New Zealand, the work our Council is doing is distinct in that we are developing SMPs across our whole district through active involvement of all key community stakeholders along our beautiful yet fragile coastline.

Read more about what’s involved with our Coastal Management Strategy here.