Coastal adaptation panel
A coastal adaptation panel of iwi partners, community and other key stakeholder and agency representatives will lead our community’s conversation about the coastal hazard risks of sea-level rise and climate change in our district.
Members’ backgrounds so far include climate change research, law, community volunteering, community engagement, senior government leadership, business consultancy, and a university science student.
They’ll be joined soon by six iwi representatives. The Takutai Kāpiti project is committed to iwi partnerships to ensure the collective environmental vision, values and position inherited and held by the iwi of Kāpiti are woven through the mahere (plan).
The panel will draw on robust, transparent and accessible technical evidence, Indigenous knowledge and wider community input, to develop medium- to long-term coastal adaptation options. They’ll present Council with a range of recommendations for how our community can manage and adapt to the coming changes. These recommendations will help guide the development of District Plan provisions to manage coastal issues, and an approach to help the district deal with coastal hazards in the future.
Project and panel role design
The project scope and make-up and role of the panel was co-designed by Council and a working group of our iwi partners, Coastal Ratepayers United, North Ōtaki Beach Residents Group, Waikanae Estuary Care Group, and regional council staff.
The panel was appointed through a recruitment agency, with another six representatives to be appointed by iwi. It’s led by former Prime Minister and Waikanae Beach resident Jim Bolger.
The iwi representatives will be announced in due course. The panel members named so far are:
Appointed chair of the coastal adaptation panel in April 2021.
Rt Hon James Bolger was Prime Minister of New Zealand from October 1990 to December 1997. During his 25-year career in politics he led the National Party for almost 12 years, was a Minister for 16 years and had three consecutive terms as the country’s head of government. He is a member of the Order of New Zealand (ONZ) and a former Ambassador to the United States. He currently holds a number of key governance roles including Chairman of the International Advisory Board of the World Agricultural Forum and Chairman of the Gas Industry Company Limited. He is also a member of the Te Uruwera Board and a Treaty Negotiations consultant. He was the Chancellor of the University of Waikato from 2007 to June 2019 and was Chairman of Mt Cook Alpine Salmond Ltd, NZ Post, Kiwibank and KiwiRail among other companies.
Kia ora, my name is Olivia Bird. I am a student about to finish my Bachelor of Science at Victoria University.
I have strong interests in climate change mitigation and remediation and am going to be pursuing my Masters in Ecological Restoration next year.
Having been a Kāpiti local for all 20 years of my life, my love for the environment and the Kāpiti community drew me to the coastal adaptation panel position. I am looking forward to learning from everyone and working together to find a solution that benefits our community and the environment we call home.
I have spent a significant part of my career in public sector management working with seven local councils in the Manawatu, Waikato and Taranaki regions. Along the way I continued my education firstly completing the NZIM Management Diploma and then a Master of Public Policy degree from Victoria University of Wellington. My wife and I moved to the Kāpiti Coast in 2002 to be closer to family based in Wellington. From our base at Paraparaumu Beach, I continued my career path working with governments, a not-for profit organisation, working as an independent consultant and as co-director of community engagement company, Engagementworks Ltd.
My current voluntary community service includes being a member on the KCDC Community Liaison Group for Kāpiti Airport, Board Member and Secretary/Treasurer for Kāpiti Living Without Violence and as an interviewer/Treasurer with Kāpiti Citizens Advice Bureau.
Membership of the coastal adaptation panel provides me with an opportunity to contribute to one of the most significant challenges confronting our community – the impacts of climate change.
I look forward to learning more about our changing environment, how we will be affected and to working with our community to develop responses that ensure the ongoing safety of our district for both present and future generations.
In August 2021, 195 governments formally approved a report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change that includes the most detailed scientific review so far of future changes in sea level. This clearly supports planning frameworks that have been established in some countries to consider sea level rising by one metre or more in the next hundred years. However, local effects of this on coastal erosion and flooding back from the coastline are still not well known.
In 2008, I established Victoria University of Wellington’s Climate Change Research Institute that has developed methods for planning in the face of uncertainties. These need to be part of a social networking process that brings together a range of views on when and how to respond in proactive ways.
My wife Janine and I have made the Kāpiti Coast our home since 1995, and our children have attended local preschools and schools here. I was born in Whanganui and I am of Māori and European descent. I have tribal affiliations across the central North Island from Whanganui to the Hawkes Bay and also English and Irish heritage.
My work has been at senior levels in the service of New Zealand, in public service and the military. I have governance and management experience handling complex and high value projects.
My interest in the Takutai Kāpiti coastal adaptation panel is based on its community engagement remit: enabling our communities to be better informed about the risks, threats and exposure of climate change along the Kāpiti Coast and enabling ‘Kāpiti Coasters’ to have an influential role in shaping adaptation strategies here. To preserve the character of the Kāpiti Coast as a place to live, work and play over the short, medium and longer term we have a collective responsibility to work together and share our knowledge, skills and experiences. As a community, we can prepare for and adapt to a rising sea level and coastal change (accretion and erosion).
Susie is from Waikanae Beach where she lives in her family home which was built in 1962 not far from the Waimeha Stream. Approximately 10 years ago following concerns with coastal erosion, she helped form the Field Way Dune Restoration Group. The group has been involved in restoration work around the Waimeha Stream supported by the Kāpiti Coast District Council. She is also a member of the Coastal Restoration Trust of New Zealand.
Susie has a law practice in Waikanae where she now works part time as a consultant. Her primary focus has always been land subdivision and historical property work, alongside a general law practice. She is also a member of the Waikanae Volunteer Fire Brigade and a founding trustee of the Kāpiti AED Trust. She is also known within the local art community with her involvement in glassmaking.
I have lived on the Kāpiti Coast since moving to New Zealand from Scotland in 1982 residing in Paraparaumu Beach, then Raumati, and finally Waikanae. I have grandchildren living on the coast and thinking of how we can make their future more sustainable is important – I believe our lot is trying to make life better for future generations.
I have had a long career in the IT industry and still maintain an interest running a small company.
I have helped organisations and departments restructure in roles as a business consultant prior to moving into a coaching role. This role involved career counselling which in turn led to team building, executive mentoring, and senior management development, primarily in central government.
Wanting to put something back into the community I am currently acting as a volunteer at Nga Manu, primarily working with the General Manager and Board to develop a Vision leading to a new Strategic Plan.
Having a great interest in weather and therefore climate change I see working as part of the coastal adaptation panel will give me an opportunity to contribute to the future of the Kāpiti Coast as well as gain a greater knowledge about the difficulties and options that are facing us.