Thames-Coromandel: Coastal protection plans on display

Members of the Thames-Coromandel District Council’s Coastal Panels recently toured the district, looking at areas of current and future risk of coastal inundation, erosion and sea level rise.

The site visits followed on from the initial orientation workshop last month, where coastal panelists came together as they start working as advisors on the Shoreline Management Plan (SMP) project.

Ultimately, this three-year project will lead to the development of SMPs for the entire length of the coastline, including their offshore islands.

“The project is all about helping our communities and coasts adapt to coastal hazards through site-specific plans,” Mayor Sandra Goudie said.

“It’s is an important journey we are embarking on together – one that will be made up of many small steps along the way. I look forward to the panels working with us as we come up with community-led adaptive solutions,” she says.

The coastal visits allowed panel members to visit current coastal hazard spots in the areas they represent. This provided an opportunity to see things first-hand and begin to understand what communities value about the coast.

The site visits were led by their coastal scientist and included Council staff, the SMP project international consultants Royal HaskoningDHV, iwi, community board members and Councilors, Waikato Regional Council and NZTA.

“The tours were a valuable way for panellists to orientate themselves with sites in their communities that are an issue,” said Council’s SMP project manager, Amon Martin.

“This sets the scene well for the work ahead, where input from our  panels will help build our understanding of how flooding and erosion will impact on the social, cultural, economic and natural environment across all parts of our coastline over the next century and beyond.”

Thames ward Councilor, Martin Rodley, also joined the panels on three tours, and said they were a useful way to see the different issues around the Coromandel.