In the last few months, I have highlighted several cases where the Thames-Coromandel District Council has either turned a blind eye or completely ignored the directions in the New Zealand Coastal Policy Statement 2010. The policies relating to climate change and sea level rise in the NZCPS have been largely ignored by the Council when considering major coastal infrastructure and coastal subdivision projects.
So it was interesting to read in the just-published briefings to the Minister of Conservation that the Department of Conservation completed a report way back in July 2017 entitled “Review of the effect of the NZCPS on RMA decision-making”. The briefing says the report has still to be discussed with Ministers, even though DoC acknowledges that there is a high degree of public interest in the report’s findings.
Is this another case of where the Minister of Conservation under the previous government – Nick Smith – has withheld important information relating to climate change, sea level rise and how the NZCPS policies and directions are being implemented? (or rather in the case of the TCDC – not implemented)
Like the guidance to local authorities, it is hoped this report on NZCPS implementation will also be released soon. Maybe we will discover whether TCDC is not the only Council which is ignoring the direction given to it to take climate change and sea level rise seriously.