$1.6M Proposed for Coastal Hazards in TCDC Budget
There is cause for cautious optimism that Thames-Coromandel District Council will soon begin to tackle coastal flooding and other hazard issues around the entire coast.
This paper sets out a detailed proposed budget for coastal management and coastal hazards, and will be deliberated at Council’s meeting on 15 May.
Lines 1, 2 and 6 relate specifically to:-
- coastal hazard risk identification, including coastal flooding and climate change
- a work programme which identifies and prioritises risk and develops shoreline management plans
- the development of community plans,
with the total projected budget over the next three years proposed for this work being $1.620 million
On the face of it, it looks like the Council is willing to commit to the 10-point plan set out in the latest Ministry for the Environment Guidance for Local Authorities on coastal hazards – much like has already taken place in the Hawke’s Bay.
It is still not clear how much the Waikato Regional Council has budgeted for this type of work but if both councils can agree on a joint project, like in Hawke’s Bay, then this is a major step forward.
A TCDC budget of $196,000 in the first year should allow the Council to engage expert coastal hazard consultants to begin the task of identifying the areas most at risk from all hazards. I have been asking the Council to do this since April 2017, so it is great to finally see some real action proposed.
The jury is still out as to whether $1.620 million over three years will be sufficient. This is roughly the sum that the three Hawke’s Bay councils spent over three years, but they have just 40 km of coastline, whereas there is over 400 km of coastline in the Thames-Coromandel.
But Council deserves kudos for making this start. It’s an improvement on the Draft Long Term Plan which had a reduced budget compared to the previous LTP, and had just $75,000 set aside in the first year for hazard work – and even this was limited to consideration of erosion only.