Protecting our coast

The coastal management strategy was adopted by Council in June 2018.

Coastal living, here and in many other parts of New Zealand, involves being aware of and prepared for the natural processes changing our coastline, and hazards that can arise more suddenly.

Our Council is focused on building ‘resilient’ coastal communities that can respond to and recover from these sorts of hazards that are common to many parts of New Zealand.

All the planning and work we are doing to support our communities in this way comes together in our Coastal Management Strategy (CMS).

Coastal Management Strategy

In 2018, our Council adopted the Coastal Management Strategy, which sets out a range of initiatives we will be taking over the coming years to better manage our coastal assets and understand the risk of coastal inundation and coastal erosion. The 2018-2028 Long Term Plan includes $2.6 million over three years to help us implement this strategy. 

This approach to coastal management activity ensures a district-wide approach, allowing us to better-manage our coastline from a holistic and long-term perspective. We work together public and private organisations such as the Waikato Regional Council, New Zealand Transport Agency (NZTA), the Department of Conservation, iwi and community groups with an interest in coastal protection.

‘Coastal management’ encompasses a wide range of projects to identify hazards and risks and develop Shoreline Management Plans to combat these, with a view to building ‘resilient’ coastal communities.

The CMS was adopted by Council in June 2018. You can download the strategy on the top right-hand-side of this page.

Council adopts revised climate change assumption for Long Term Plan

In February 2018, our Council adopted the Government's revised climate change guidance based on forecasting assumptions the Ministry for the Environment published in December 2017.This means a potential sea-level rise of up to 1.88m by 2150 will be taken into account for all major infrastructure projects adopted as part of our Council's 2018-2028 Long Term Plan. You can read more about this here.The document 'Coastal Hazards and Climate Change Guidance' for Local Government 2017 is available from the Ministry for the Environment website.

Shoreline Management Plans

Shoreline Management Plans (SMPs) are being developed to outline how each stretch of shoreline is most likely to be managed to address flood and/or erosion.

SMPs assess the flooding and erosion risk to people and the environment in the given area over the next century. They also identify the preferred interventions for managing those risks in a sustainable manner.

Coastal Hazards Policy

Our Council adopted the Coastal Hazard Policy on August 7, 2018. This policy sets out our approach to sustainably managing the effects of coastal hazards on our district’s coastal foreshore.

You can download the policy here.

Meet our coastal engineer

Our Council's coastal engineer Jan van der Vliet

Our Council has established a coastal engineering section within our infrastructure team in 2018 we hired an experienced coastal engineer to implement our Coastal Management Strategy and to develop site-specific Shoreline Management Plans.

Jan van der Vliet (pictured) is a civil engineering professional with more than 35 years’ experience across Europe, Africa, central and south-east Asia and the Pacific.

Jan completed his engineering degree in the Netherlands and spent several years working with the Netherlands Development Organisation in places such as Zambia, Nepal and Cambodia, and eight years at the UK Environment Agency working on catchment and shoreline management plans.

He joined our Council in January 2018 from the Marlborough District Council where he was the rivers investigation and planning engineer.

Jan averages at least two days each week on site with coastal communities across the Coromandel to see how they and nature has adapted to the challenges we face on the coast.

"Adopting our Coastal Management Strategy this year has been a positive step by our Council," Jan says. "It provides a more coordinated approach to how we manage and protect our coast and sets us up to manager our coastlines for the next 50-100 years.”