Coastal adaptation recommendations report received by Council

20 Jun 2024, 5:37 PM

Kāpiti Coast District Council received the independent Takutai Kāpiti Coastal Advisory Panel’s recommendations for coastal adaptation pathways at their Council meeting today.  

Mayor Janet Holborow says the Coastal Advisory Panel’s (CAP) work was commissioned in 2019 in response to the outcome of court mediation and concerns raised by groups in the community.  

“Coastal adaptation is a complex issue and we’re grateful to the CAP for completing the work that they were asked to do.

“This involved multiple rounds of community engagement across the district. These were both in person and online, equating to over 3,900 pieces of feedback.  

“They also drew on a range of technical experts and evidence, mana whenua knowledge, and risk assessments to produce a comprehensive coastal adaptation pathways recommendations report. 

“We accept that thinking about coastal change over the next century is hard to do as there is no single source of the truth around what will actually happen.

“Dealing with this uncertainty is not easy however the CAP has offered advice on how to identify options for the community to consider that aligns to national requirements,” says Mayor Holborow.

Receiving the Recommendation Report today signals the end of the Takutai Kāpiti project and the Costal Advisory Panel’s (CAP) mahi. Council will now take the time to consider CAP’s recommendations and the supporting information and data. No decisions have been made on the CAP’s recommendations.  

Existing actions relating to coastal adaptation that are already signaled in the Council’s Long-term Plan 2024-34, which is due to be adopted next week, will progress. This includes upgrades to the Raumati and Paekākāriki seawalls.

“Climate change is a concerning issue for many people, and we recognise that coastal change may have future implications on insurability and how they live,” says Mayor Holborow. “Council is committed to working with residents to address these concerns.” 

The Mayor confirmed that in response to feedback from some parts of the community, Council will be writing to the Department of Conservation Director General again to seek more clarity around the uncertainty of evidence for sea-level rise projections and requirement to take a 100-year perspective for planning.  

Council will also seek confirmation from the Insurance Council of New Zealand on the implication of CAP’s Recommendation Report on insurability.  

“Our district has one of the most vulnerable coastlines in the country, and that’s why we’ve prioritised making Kāpiti resilient and liveable for current and future generations,” says the Mayor. 

“We thank the community for their engagement to date and those that turned up for public speaking time and outside Council for what was a respectful protest today to share their thoughts directly with us.

“Consideration of the CAP’s Recommendations Report is the first of many steps towards our district adapting to coastal change.”