Shoreline Management Plans

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Coastal newsletter now available

Our latest Coastal Newsletter is available here, on the top-right hand side of this page, or at one of our Council service centres.

In this, you’ll find an update on what we’ve been working on in our three-year, Shoreline Management Plan project, as well as a look at the timeline of work ahead. We have also uploaded a factsheet ‘Who does what in the coastal environment’, exploring some of the differences in fuction under the Reserve Management Act (1991) between the Waikato Regional Council and our Council. For this and more information on our SMP project visit

Thames coastline in focus as coastal project gets underway

The spotlight shines initially on Thames and the Thames Coast as our major project to develop four Shoreline Management Plans (SMPs) across the Coromandel enters the next phase.

Thames Coast will be the first area to start work on an SMP, defining the flooding and erosion risks to people in the community and the cultural, economic and natural environment over the next century and beyond.

Mayor Sandra Goudie says the SMP project is focused on building resilient coastal communities. 

"The Thames coastline, from Kopu and the mouth of the Waihou River to Wilsons Bay, has been identified as a high priority for the project," Mayor Sandra says.

The initial focus within the Thames ward will be on identification and modelling of coastal hazards in the area, allowing us to then explore: what do we value that's at risk, now and in the future?

Other areas to be progressed in due course include Mercury Bay, the Coromandel-Colville coast and the coastline from Tairua through to Pauanui and Whangamata. 

This milestone coastal project is being managed by our Council in partnership with a consortium led by Royal HaskoningDHV, which is preparing SMPs across all parts of the Thames-Coromandel coastline over a three-year period.

So far, work has been in a ‘scoping phase’, which included several engagement initiatives with community meetings held across the district last year.

At a meeting this week, Council adopted the next steps and recommendations of the SMP scoping report, which outlines the approach to assessing coastal hazards and presents conceptual coastal process models for our coastline. The scoping report is available to view here.

“These plans will establish a framework for managing coastal hazards by addressing more immediate issues in the context of long-term adaptation to coastal change. The plans will be grounded in the best available science and build from the aspirations and concerns of our diverse communities,” Mayor Sandra says.

"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. 

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.

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Help us with our journey towards sustainable coastal communities

We are reaching out to our communities to glean stories and knowledge about our coastal environment to help with our milestone coastal management 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.

And that’s why we need to hear from you.

Our communities are invited to a series of outreach meetings during August where you can hear about the SMP process and engage in discussion about your coastline.

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

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.

Our Council’s operations group  manager Bruce Hinson says SMPs are one of the proactive steps our Council is taking in response to the challenge of climate change for our communities, ensuring we are engaged, prepared, protected and safe in the long-term..

"Over the next three years, with your  valued input, capturing learning from SMP practices locally and internationally and our legislative requirements, we will produce SMPs that cover the entire Thames-Coromandel coast,” Mr Hinson says.

"This is your coast. We believe that by striving together to create resilient coastal environments we will ensure thriving coastal communities long into the future.

“Come and learn and help us contribute to a sustainable coastal future.”

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

Community information meetings held during August 2019

  • Thames: Thames Civic Centre - Monday, August 12, 12:30pm-1.30pm
  • Te Puru: Te Puru Community Hall - Monday 12 August, 5:30pm-6.30pm
  • Colville: Colville Community Hall - Tuesday 13 August, 5:30pm-6:30pm
  • Coromandel Town: TCDC Coromandel Service Centre, 355 Kapanga Rd, Coromandel Town - Wednesday 14 August, 12:30pm-1:30pm
  • Kuaotunu: Luke's Kitchen - Saturday 17 August, 9:30am-10:30am
  • Whitianga: Whitianga Town Hall - Saturday, 17 August, 12:30pm-1:30pm
  • Tairua: Tairua Country Club - Saturday 24 August, 10:30am-11.30am
  • Whangamata: TCDC Whangamata Service Centre, 620 Port Rd, Whangamata - Saturday 24 August,  2pm-3pm

Consultant appointed for milestone coastal project - April 2019

Our Council has taken a major step forward in the delivery of our Coastal Management Strategy with the appointment of international consultancy Royal HaskoningDHV to support the development of our Shoreline Management Plans.

Royal HaskoningDHV (RHDHV), an independent engineering and project management consultancy, has been awarded the $1.9M contract, as part of the $2.6M total budget, fo rwhat will be a milestone three-year project for our Council and New Zealand more broadly.

While Shoreline Management Plans (SMPs) 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 stakeholders along our beautiful yet fragile coastline.

These plans and subsequent action plans are a key outcome of our Coastal Management Strategy. SMPs will provide a large-scale hazard assessment on our flooding and erosion issues and identify subsequent risk to people and the environment for our coastline over the next century. SMPs also identify the possible interventions for managing those risks in a sustainable manner. Read more about what’s involved with our Coastal Management Strategy here.


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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.