Latest Coastal Hazard Guidance Out Soon?

Briefing to Climate Change Minister James Shaw urges immediate action to release report

The failure of the previous government to release the latest Ministry for the Environment Guidelines to Local Authorities on Coastal Hazards and Climate Change before the election has meant that numerous dodgy coastal subdivisions, developments and infrastructure had been able to slip through the cracks.  Because the latest guidance was not officially released, councils such as the Thames-Coromandel District Council have had a convenient excuse for not imposing higher sea level rise and other climate-change-related controls on coastal development.

Judging from the latest Briefing to the incoming Minister of Climate Change James Shaw this loophole is about to be closed down.  It looks like the Guidance will be released soon.  Twice on one page the briefing emphasises the necessity for the Guidance to be published as “an immediate action”  – Here are the relevant quotes :-

“The Ministry provides information to local government on dealing with the impacts of climate change and has updated its guidance on climate change and coastal hazards providing recommendations on how to plan for future sea-level rise. There is a lot of interest in this issue and release of this document will provide local government with up-to-date information and advice.”

“One way the Government can support councils to manage current and future risks is by publishing the updated Coastal Hazards and Climate Change Guidance for Local Government. The Guidance will encourage good decision-making so that New Zealand faces fewer risks from climate change in coastal areas, in a way that is fair to residents and consistent around the country.”

The official release of the latest Guidance cannot come soon enough. No longer will Councils such as Thames Coromandel and others nationwide be able to turn a blind eye or ignore the latest projections of sea-level rise, and the increasing threat of coastal hazards to our communities.