Journey towards sustainable coastal communities

Image: Supplied/Thames-Coromandel District Council.

The Thames-Coromandel District Council is reaching out into the community to glean stories and knowledge about our coastal environment to help with their milestone coastal management project.

Following on from the adoption of the Coastal Management Strategy and Coastal Hazards Policy in 2018, the council is now developing Shoreline Management Plans.

This is a three-year project to define, in general terms, the flooding and erosion risks to people and the social, cultural, economic and natural environment across all parts of the coastline over the next century and beyond.

As council develop these plans, they 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,” says a Thames-Coromandel District Council spokesperson.

“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 like 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, the council appointed a consortium led by international consultancy Royal Haskoning DHV to support the development of the 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 the 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.

Thames-Coromandel District Council’s operations group manager Bruce Hinson says SMPs are one of the proactive steps the 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,” says Bruce.

“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.”

Join the council at a meeting near you:

Thames: Thames Civic Centre - Monday, August 12, 12:30pm-1.30pm

Te Puru: Te Puru Community Hall - Monday August 12, 5:30pm-6.30pm

Colville: Colville Community Hall – Tuesday August 13, 5:30pm-6:30pm

Coromandel Town: TCDC Coromandel Service Centre, 355 Kapanga Rd, Coromandel Town - Wednesday August 14, 12:30pm-1:30pm

Kuaotunu: Luke's Kitchen – Saturday August 17, 9:30am-10:30am

Whitianga: Whitianga Town Hall - Saturday, August 17, 12:30pm-1:30pm

Tairua: Tairua Country Club – Saturday August 24, 10:30am-11.30am

Whangamata: TCDC Whangamata Service Centre, 620 Port Rd, Whangamata - Saturday August 24, 2pm-3pm

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