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New coastal hazard maps released

23 Apr 2021, 8:28 AM

The latest in a series of maps showing areas at risk of coastal erosion and coastal flooding have been released by the Northland Regional Council (NRC).

For coastal erosion, mapping is available for 11 new sites (bringing the number of local site assessments across the region to 41) while for coastal flooding, mapping has been extended along the entire regional coastline.

Amy Macdonald, chair of the NRC’s Climate Change Working Party, says the new maps are part of council’s ongoing efforts to help to build strong, safe and resilient communities in Te Taitokerau, now and for future generations.

“These maps will help inform decision-making to manage the risks of coastal hazards for our communities, now and into the future.”

She says for coastal flooding there are 7500 newly-included parcels of land bringing the total in mapped areas to about 20,000, although there can be more than one parcel in a property.

Newly-mapped areas include the entire Kaipara and Rangaunu harbours, and along the entire Northland coastline.

“For coastal erosion, we now have about 2500 land parcels mapped Northland-wide, of which roughly 500 are newly-included.”

Councillor Macdonald says the council has written to affected landowners about the revised maps, which will be finalised mid-July following a three-month feedback period.

She says the revised maps are the latest update to coastal hazard information that the regional council has been providing for more than 30 years. For many locations these updates show similar affected areas, with improved accuracy coming from advances in topographical mapping. The three-month period is to allow for public feedback and the opportunity to provide additional information where available.

“We’ve written to everyone whose property (or part of it) is in a mapped area to explain more about the mapping and what it might mean for them.”

The maps’ release is part of a growing, shared momentum from Northland’s councils to help their communities prepare for – and adapt to – climate change.

Based on new aerial survey data and updated 50 and 100-year projections, the maps will be used to inform decision-making to manage the risks of coastal hazards.
“As an example, Northland’s three district councils are required to use them to manage where and how development occurs.”

Councillor Macdonald says councils nationally are grappling with how best to support and prepare their communities as climate change effects increase over time; this includes coastal hazards, flood, drought, and permanent inundation from sea level rise.”

The updated mapping is available online at www.nrc.govt.nz/coastalmaps and general information about coastal hazards is available online at www.nrc.govt.nz/coastalhazards