In a familiar yet disturbing trend, yet another major Coromandel coastal subdivision consent application has been lodged with Thames Coromandel District Council which pays lip service to the impacts of climate change and sea level rise. This time, it’s an application for an additional 74 sections in the Whitianga Waterways project. The application does not include an up to date coastal hazard assessment which considers the latest Government guidance, or proper planning and legal analysis of coastal hazards for the site.
Government Minister Shane Jones recently announced government funding for a feasibility study into improved wharf and harbour facilities at Coromandel town as part of the Provincial Growth Fund initiative. But sea level rise flooding of land beside the wharf/harbour has not been properly considered, and a series of previous studies showing high concentrations of mercury and arsenic toxins in the mud suggest the project should not proceed.
Some consistency please on enforcement of illegal coastal structures
An earlier article described how Waikato Regional Council had a double standard by requiring the removal of an illegal stop bank at Kaiaua but allowing an illegal beach groyne at Flaxmill Bay to remain. Now, Regional Council has doubled down on its double standard by fining a Whitianga farmer $30,000 for illegal work on a coastal wetland but still taking no action in respect of the illegal beach groyne.Read More »
The Coastal Environment (CEL) is the inland area from mean high water springs subject to coastal processes and influences with significant coastal qualities. Where the line is drawn by Thames Coromandel District Council (TCDC) has a huge bearing on where coastal development can take place around the District’s 400 km of coastline, and to what scale.
TCDC’s initial CEL took a very “developer-friendly” position and drew the line very close to the high-water mark and omitted all major coastal settlements in the District, such as Thames, Whitianga Whangamata and Coromandel. (green line on the maps). TCDC got this horribly wrong. After appeals, TCDC has backed down, at huge cost to ratepayers. Now, the line will include coastal settlements and be much further inland.Read More »
Parliament’s Governance and Administration Select Committee has given a huge rebuff to TCDC’s proposals for a local Mangrove Management Bill. The amendments proposed by the Select Committee effectively make the Bill a “toothless tiger”. TCDC’s aim to get wider powers to rip out mangroves willy-nilly has been thwarted. Read More »