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Support the community-based action plan

The Tangoio to Clifton Coastal Hazards Strategy Assessment Report Will councils adopt the report and agree to Stage 4?

The three Hawke’s Bay councils who committed to developing the Tangoio to Clifton Coastal Hazards Strategy are being asked to adopt and act on the recommendations of the community-based assessment panel.

22 March: Hastings District Council chambers around 2pm 28 March: Hawke’s Bay Regional Council chambers: 10.30am 3 April: Napier City Council chambers around 3pm

The local approach to community-based decision making on coastal issues; involving some of the country’s top minds in coastal processes and climate science, is seen as leading the nation, with all eyes on the process of how councils follow through.

The southern and northern panels working on the first three stages of the coastal strategy signed off their work on 14 February, with their work endorsed by the joint committee.

Between March 22 and April 4 Hastings and Napier City councils and Hawke’s Bay Regional Council will be asked to adopt the report worked on by community representatives over the past year or so and decide whether to commit to the next stage and act on the recommendations.

Stage four is the phase where the panel’s recommendations can be acted on after details of how and when to proceed are agreed on.

Work on how those action points are funded will be something councils individually and collectively will need to consider, once the specifics become clearer.

The process to date has been robust and collaborative with many questions and concerns worked through until a consensus was reached.

To get our heads around this daunting task the northern and southern cell committees have had to break the a 100-year challenge put to us by central Government into manageable, achievable chunks. While no-one can realistically plan that far ahead, our recommendations needed to be resilient enough for 50-years with a focus on what should be done in the next 5-10-years or sooner for those areas needing attention right now.

It is suggested councils also approach the recommendations in an adaptable, manageable way, prioritising according to urgency.

What is proposed is leading edge, it will be costly, and we need to get the funding model right so effected homeowners and businesses aren’t rated off their properties. And the wider community needs to understand the public good value of what they’re being asked to invest in; that our coastal areas are part of what makes Hawke’s Bay such a desirable place to live and work in and to visit.

Protecting vulnerable areas from inundation and erosion is not only about private property, it is about public reserves and infrastructure; roading access, cycle tracks, access to water, power, tourism impacts and an investment in the future look, feel and well-being of rate-paying communities.

So who will pay?

A public good radio of 60/40 has been proposed to ensure those on the coast aren’t overly burdened by the cost of any actions taken.

There’s been a loose agreement that all councils contribute to a regional fund to deal with urgent responses to sea-level rise, climate change and coastal protection options. Central government is being urged contribute, although there are no formal plans for this yet.

Dr Judy Lawrence, who co-chairs a group advising the government on climate change, believes she has hit upon a funding model for climate change adaptation, one that would aid cash strapped councils with low numbers of ratepayers.

She proposes creating a new Climate Adaptation Fund (CCAF) to pay for preventative work rather than post-event clear ups, and modifying other policy, such as around planning or funding public infrastructure, accordingly.

A CCAF would “enhance the capacity for anticipatory governance in relation to adaptation through the funding of cost-effective and equitable responses,” reducing climate change risk exposure over time and minimising future damage and loss.

The fund would effectively act as a “climate pension,” but would need central government involvement in the long-term. “It’s much better to put central government and local government money into this, rather than using money that is already in the consolidated revenue for foxing up the pieces after it’s happened.” Rising Seas, Dominion Post. Saturday March 3, 2018

Cellular approach

The area of the Hawke’s Bay coast covered in the strategy were broken down into 16 cells, some of them including Tangoio, Napier city, Marine Parade and Awatoto were not deemed to be under short-term threat while West Shore, Haumoana’s Cape View Corner and Clifton are considered in need of urgent attention.

The Napier foreshore in particular is not of immediate concern because of the wave angles and the fact the beach is accreting and will thicken even more since the closure of the Awatoto shingle plant

The Tangoio to Clifton Coastal Hazards Strategy 2120 (TCCHS) is a response to the Government’s requirement that local authorities come up with a response to climate change, erosion and inundation threats and the likely sea-level rise of up to 1.5 metres over the next 100-years.

The northern and southern cell committees comprising community representatives, mana whenua, the Department of Conservation (DOC) along with recreational, business and infrastructure interests, has the spent over a year defining the problems faced in each area.It came up with a decision-making framework to determine appropriate responses through a high-level consensus model.

The panels were chaired by HBRC’s Peter Beavan supported by a technical advisory group (TAG) including council engineers, representatives from Tonkin & Taylor, financial analysts, coastal scientists and policy experts from Victoria University’s Edge group, including government climate change advisor Dr Judy Lawrence.

The panels engaged in 11 workshops and day long site visits including learning about the cultural values of each location. There were evening community engagements sessions where people in each area were given a chance to comment on the progress of the groups who had been working on their behalf.

Managed retreat has been for the most part left as a last option, largely because of the complexity and cost involved and the realisation that in some cases there is nowhere for people to move to. In many cases the cost of retreat may be more costly than coastal protection options, at least in the short term.

The recommendations put to each council include ‘adaptive pathways’ over specific timeframes and it will be up to each council how to proceed.

The suggestion is that the success or otherwise of actions taken be reviewed every 10-years and adjustments made if necessary. The broad-brush solutions, if accepted, will in stage four be assessed in detail by working groups then adapted based on urgency, design, cost and further community input.

Full modelling and technical resources will continue to be offered to councils during the action phase by the CTCHG 2120 technical advisory group.

Recommendations made

In the southern cell area; (Unit E1), Pandora (Unit E2), Westshore (Unit D), Bay View (Unit C) and Whirinaki (Unit B), specific recommendations range from sea walls to inundation protection, re-nourishment and control structures.

In the southern cell recommendations have made for Clifton (Unit L), Te Awanga (Unit K2), Haumoana (Unit K1), East Clive (Unit J).

For Clifton written support has been submitted in favour of the present extension of the sea wall in front of the Clifton Marine Club, camping ground and access road. The report recommends further expanding the sea wall to provide protection for up to 50-years with managed retreat as an option beyond that point is sea-rise and erosion continues as expected.

At Te Awanga the recommendation is for a combination of gravel re-nourishment and groynes from the Maraetotara river north in an adaptive management approach for the foreseeable future.

The solution for Haumoana is similar, a combination of gravel re-nourishment and groynes from Elephant Hill to the Tukituki river mouth.

For East Clive, where the sanitation plant is a major asset that needs protecting, recommendations include the status quo, as some defence are already in place and re-nourishment already underway. Further re-nourishment is recommended over the next 50-years after which ‘retreat the line’, defending a new point beyond some areas at risk and managed retreat if erosion or inundation persists.

It has been suggested each council should establish a Coastal Hazards Action Group, including members of the assessment panel familiar with this process; elected councillors and officers and engineers to refine the specific recommendations.

If a section of the coast needs immediate attention then the various options should be tabled and worked on until there’s genuine agreement on scope, cost, consent conditions and how to proceed.

To assist with that Tonkin & Taylor, the Edge group and the Technical Advisory Group (TAG) have said they will make their resources and modelling available. If necessary, the assessment committee can be called together again in a support role.

Having decided on a workable plan, councils may decide they need central government guidance and financial assistance. If we do this right, the knowledge that so many other councils want a template for their own coastal concerns should be an incentive for them to get on board.

I view what is proposed for the Cape coast as an enhancement to the wider Hawke’s Bay story of coastline and communities linked by a cycle track and natural and man-made attractions that bring value to locals and visitors alike.

What is proposed here, when you link it up with the Cape Coast Reserves Management Plan and the Cape Coast Arts & Heritage Trust plan for the Te Matau a Maui Arts and Heritage Trail reminds us of the rich heritage of this area.

It is a natural fit with the developments along the Napier waterfront and at the Waitangi Reserve where the Celestial Compass (Atea a Rangi) is now situated, the limestone rock revetment and creatively constructed carpark by the sanitation plant and the Regional council’s extraordinary job restoring the inlets and estuaries north of the Tukituki river.

The challenge now to keep that theme of creative and practical care and maintenance in how things are approached on the coastal areas to the south of the river.

Protecting our coast is a public good issue impacting all of Hawke’s Bay across multiple generations. We will never get this chance again, and we cannot allow it to be hijacked by uninformed individuals, inflexible attitudes, bureaucratic approaches or consenting conditions that add cost and complexity and undermine what has been a hugely successful community and council-based collaboration.

It will now be up the councils and the community to ensure that this comprehensive report and its recommendations is not only adopted but acted on with confidence.

Alongside the various beautification, river and reserves management, and cultural developments along our coast, the Coastal Hazard Assessment report recommendations should be seen as part of an overall plan to give Hawke’s Bay an edge.

Keith Newman Chairman of WOW Inc Southern cell committee member

In the Southern Cell supplementary recommendations specific to certain areas are also included in the assessment report to be tabled with Hastings District Council.

Clifton: The council has been asked to consider a groyne-head at the end of sea wall to build up the beach and protect low tide access at Clifton. It was noted, there is a high degree of urgency for Clifton to respond to current erosion losses.

Te Awanga: The Councils should look at the existing vertical railway irons as a genuine short-term solution while the Strategy is being developed and implemented. A functional, and preferably aesthetically improved option, potentially highlighted as public art reflecting the cultural heritage of the area, could be an experimental short-term measure, together with crest maintenance. This should be monitored for effectiveness.

If, however, existing railway irons are removed for health and safety reasons then a suitable, alternative needs to be put in its place.

Special consideration needs to be given to consulting with surfers / people with knowledge of the surf break where there are any artificial interventions that may affect the surf break.

Haumoana Domain and Cape View corner: Several points are raised in relation to this cell. The Domain off Grange Rd North is at risk from inundation and flooding due to failure to maintain the crest. The groyne saddle needs to be filled so that the beach can build back up.

Vehicles the beach at the groyne end of beach and pushing through gaps in the Ngaio and blocks are causing significant erosion / losses. Vehicle access through and behind the crest needs to be managed to protect this area. This needs urgent attention.

While viable access to the beach needs to be maintained, the beach crest needs to be protected and built up. It needs to be clearer what people can and can’t do.

The report supports the Cape Coast Reserve Management Plan prepared by Hastings District Council which includes works to maintain / enhance the beach crest and manage vehicle access.

There is a duty of care to protect power, water and road access at Cape View Corner which supplies the entire Cape Coast area. Similar efforts as those made at Clifton to create a revetment in response to erosion are recommended. It is urged that rock placement and beach crest maintenance be carried out to give a temporary respite while a longer term solution is developed

Clive / East Clive: Beach scraping, crest management and planting is required as a short-term measure and as an enhancement to the status quo.

Awatoto: While this area has not been considered in the Strategy so far, the section that extends from the Waitangi Reserve to the northern end of Waitangi Road is at risk of inundation. As the impact of protection measures south of this area is as yet unknown the Strategy may need to be reviewed earlier than the suggested 10-year period.

A big thankyou to all who served on the Southern committee representing our cell: Tom Evers-Swindell; Maurice Smith; Martin Bates; Mike Harris; Dave Wells; Paul Hursthouse, Keith Newman.

Also thanks to faithful attendees and observers including councillors Ann Redstone and Rod Heaps and to chairman Peter Beavan who kept us all in line over the past year.

Also thanks to Aramanu Ropiha who has deep connections to the area and gave a karakia before and after all sessions

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