Council has undertaken extensive computer modelling to help determine the nature and extent of flood hazard events and coastal inundation and there have been some initial conversations with the community about managing these risks. Council has also undertaken activities across multiple impacts such as water security and management, slope instability and land management.

Council will work with Local Government New Zealand, central government and the community to address the broader issues and examine how impacts can be managed. Discussions with the community through the Whakamahere Whakatū Nelson Plan process, will help drive some of the local conversation on managing the effects of climate change.

Delivering a climate-resilient future requires all cities to take transformational action to reduce transport emissions, improve building energy efficiency, remove fossil fuels from the energy supply, minimise waste to landfill and change consumption patterns. It also requires cities to strengthen their ability to deal with the impacts of climate change through adaptation

The process that Council will follows is known as Dynamic Adaptive Planning Pathways (DAPP). The DAPP process assists Council and the community to identify the different options for adaptation and assess these against various climate change scenarios. This process will help Council and the community with the management of change and adaptation to unavoidable climate change impacts. The Ministry of Environment guidelines Coastal Hazards and Climate Change (2017) sets out the process and can be accessed at

Dynamic Adaptive Pathways Planning (DAPP) approach will be applied for working with the community on coastal inundation (flooding from sea water) and erosion hazards and with other hazards separately. This process allows Council and the community to identify options for adaptation and assess these against various climate change scenarios

Council is currently working on the early stages of the DAPP process which involves the assessment of coastal hazards, determining the matters that the community values that may be impacted and considering the risks to the community and its assets from the hazards.

This section of the Plan refers to a climate action process informed by the community and key stakeholders, which identifies the risks and develops adaptation plans.

The DAPP process

Adaption to Climate Change Community Process
  • Mapping areas of coastal inundation and identification of coastal structures (sea level rise, tidal and storm inundation)
  • Mapping flooding areas (river tidal)
  • Mapping coastal erosion
  • High level identification and assessment of climate change risks from coastal inundation, erosion and flooding on the lower Maitai river across five domains (human environment, natural environment, economy environment, built environment and governance) for short and long-term climate change impacts. These will be monitored and reviewed over a series of LTP processes as a result of the iterative process
  • Identification of vulnerable species and habitats at risk from climate change impacts, including threatened coastal habitats and species at risk from sea level rise
  • Marine, freshwater and terrestrial biosecurity field monitoring to identify any new biosecurity risks resulting from changing climate and water temperatures
  • State of the Environment monitoring programme which gathers long-term environmental data. Key parameters may be useful to inform decision making as the environment changes in response to climate change (groundwater salinity, groundwater level, sea level, tidal, water temperature, rain changes, river flows, draught resistance plants etc.). Budget is a portion of the roughly $900k Monitoring the Environment activity (in FY 21/22).
  • Collection of data and monitor shoreline changes through CoastSnap
  • Identification of vulnerable people and communities and transition to a more resilient environment.
  • Identification and assessment of risks and opportunities from all other relevant climate change effects such as heavy rainfall, flooding events, storms, drought, bush fires and extreme temperatures for short and long-term climate change impacts across the five domains (see above), considering the New Zealand’s most significant climate change risks described in the National Climate Change Risk Assessment (MfE, 2020).
  • Detailed and specific cultural heritage impacts assessment if required
  • Identification of impacts on key infrastructure (roads, state highway, bridges, landfill, water supply, wastewater, and stormwater assets)
  • Liaision with key organisations (Port, Airport, Waka Kotahi) to complement and find synergies with the climate change risk identification and assessment done by each organisation
  • To reduce flooding and coastal inundation the following projects will be undertaken: Stormwater and flood prevention projects: Saxton Creek Upgrade, Orphanage Stream Upgrade, Little Go Stream Upgrade (Rutherford Stages 1 and 2), York Stream Upgrade, Maitai Flood Mitigation Project, Jenkins Creek Upgrade, Poorman Valley Stream Upgrade (Budget: $52M over 10 years)
  • Preparation of land use plan/s to support adaptation (Budget: Whakamahere Whakatu Nelson Plan $2.12 for FY 21/22
  • Natural hazards will be assessed, starting with coastal inundation (flooding from sea water) and erosion hazards. Ongoing
  • Public engagement will be undertaken on coastal hazards as part of the DAPP (Dynamic Adaptive Pathways Planning) process
  • The resilience of our natural environment and biodiversity is being monitored, protected and built through Council’s Nelson Nature, Healthy Streams, Sustainable Land Management, Coastal/Marine, Freshwater monitoring and Biosecurity programmes. This is related to how the natural environment is adapting to climate change, and how resilient habitats and species are responding to changes. Activities include freshwater, coastal and marine monitoring and research into vulnerable habitats and species. Potential adaptations are being explored such as coastal habitat retreats and understanding the drought resistance profile of native plants (Budget: a portion of the roughly $900k Monitoring the Environment activity, plus a portion of the $434,912 Nelson Nature budget in 2021/22)
  • A biosecurity programme is in place to manage existing marine, freshwater and terrestrial biosecurity risks, and identify and respond to new risks (Budget: $333,108 including $40,000 specifically for emerging pests and $56,832 for invasive marine species monitoring in the 2021/22 year)
  • Council is working with landowners to support climate change resilience in the rural sector through the Sustainable Land Management programme (Budget: $67,353 in 2021/22)
  • An inventory of biodiversity and natural features at risk from sea level rise (Biodiversity Strategy - Outcome 5 “Biodiversity is resilient in the face of climate change”) has been completed and areas will be prioritised for protection and ecological restoration
  • Drought response advice and information for rural landowners, includingadvice on water conservation measures Water demand management for households on reticulated water supply (Budget: Staff time only).
  • Community values and objectives will be identified, followed by consideration of risks from hazards, and options available to respond starting with coastal inundation (flooding from sea water) and erosion. Other hazards will be considered separately
  • Feedback will be sought from the community about how they are already responding, or planning to respond, to the risks and impacts from inundation
  • Options/pathways for adaptation for coastal hazards will be developed over the short, medium and long term. Budget is funded through the Long-Term Plan 2021- 2031, draft Whakamahere Whakatū Nelson Plan and Infrastructure programmes
  • Adaptation plans, including options, timeframes, funding sources and responsibilities for other climate change hazards will be developed. Budget is funded through the Long-Term Plan 2021-2031, draft Whakamahere Whakatū Nelson Plan and Infrastructure programmes
  • Nature-based solutions will be assessed when developing adaptation plans
  • Development of City Centre Spatial Plan which will consider climate change adaptation opportunities for Nelson’s city centre (Budget: $8M for the next 10 years through LTP))
  • A resilient transport network will be developed
  • Social infrastructure will be incorporated in the analysis of risks (e.g. schools, medical clinics)
  • The most suitable platform to engage with the community will be identified
  • Engagement with Māori/iwi will take place to assess values and embrace Te Ao Māori view in the development of adaptation actions
  • Council will plan for and respond to biosecurity incursions that occur as the climate alters (Budget: A portion of $40,000 for FY 21/22 for emerging pests which are expected to increase as a result of warming air and sea temperatures and changing climate; and $56,832 in 21/22 for invasive marine species monitoring)
  • Council will prioritise species and habitat protection programmes based on climate change vulnerability as well as biodiversity significance
  • Council will use the latest science to inform project delivery, such as using drought resistant plants in areas vulnerable to dry soils, and understanding the requirements for long-term site-specific ecosystem resilience
  • Council will implement applicable legislation and subordinated documents such as the Climate Adaptation Act (when it is released by Central Government) to support climate adaptation, NZ Coastal policy, etc.
  • Council will respond to the Strategic Plan Act (regional perspective) – which is part of the Resource Management Act reforms
  • - Explore the future, find out how communities are affected and develop objectives - Identify and evaluate what we can do and develop adaptive management strategies - Implement strategy - Monitor strategy using early signals and triggers (decision points) for adjusting between pathways
  • Council’s Water Supply activity will include climate change adaptation projects (Budget: $2,089,200 through LTP from FY 25/26 till 30/31)
  • There are a number of projects in Council’s Wastewater/Water activity (Budget: $3,850,000 for wastewater and $270,450 for water through LTP)
    • Climate Change – Vulnerability Assessment Implementation from FY 25/26 till 30/31
    • Climate Change – Adaptation Strategy from FY 25/26 till 30/31
  • Climate Change - Adaptation Strategy Implementation from FY 26/27 till 30/31