Community input has now closed (18 December 2020).

As a Council, we are looking to better prepare our communities for the impacts of coastal hazards and how these will be affected by future climate change, including ongoing changes to weather patterns and rising sea levels. This conversation is occurring in coastal communities all around New Zealand.

The impacts of climate change affect us all, and in the Nelson region we continue to experience the effects of significant weather and storm events.

Coastal inundation (where sea water floods the land during tides or storms or indirectly through the stormwater network or elevated groundwater) is likely to increase through future sea level rise and is being considered in conjunction with the preparation of the Draft Whakamahere Whakatu Nelson Plan and our work on climate change adaptation.

We’ve been working on a region-wide approach to enable our community to work towards long-term adaptive planning for sea level rise and coastal hazards.

While the rate and magnitude of future sea level rise is uncertain, we do know that rising sea levels will have increasing implications for development and infrastructure in coastal areas along with environmental, cultural and societal effects.

View the Coastal Inundation Map. Please note the maps do not support Internet Explorer.

Coastal Hazards in the Nelson District

Responding to the impacts of sea level rise is a big challenge, and we are looking for input from our community on this.

Council opened a discussion with the community on coastal hazards in early 2019 through a series of public drop-in sessions, a hui at Whakatū Marae, a feedback survey, an online hub and one-on-one meetings. The information gathered through this process gave Council a greater understanding of what people already know and have experienced on our coasts, and people’s general appreciation of living with coastal risks.

On 18 November 2020, we released coastal inundation maps.

We mapped the extent of low lying coastal land in the Nelson region that may be affected by sea level rise. The maps show a range of sea level rise scenarios, and can also show the effect of higher tides caused by storms. The maps and process for engagement is closely related to the work Tasman District started in 2019 and will help us build on existing shared approaches.

From 18 November to 18 December 2020, we sought feedback about the mapping and the important values that may be impacted by coastal inundation. As part of this, we held community drop-in sessions on:

  • Tuesday 24 November 2020 at the Greenmeadows Centre
  • Thursday 26 November 2020 at the Trafalgar Park Pavilion

We also meet with community members one-on-one including those who were unable to attend the drop-in sessions and responded to information requests by email or telephone.

Additionally, we also asked people to complete a values input form.

We have a series of conversations planned, with further discussions in 2021 about risk, vulnerability, options and responses in relation to inundation .

Next steps

Next we’ll look at the risks and vulnerabilities you have helped us identify, and develop a range of options in response to coastal hazards.

This is likely to include provisions in the Draft Nelson Plan to ensure existing risk from coastal hazards is not increased. Council will also look at other options to explore how we can deal with increased risk in future.

You will have the opportunity to discuss these draft responses and other longer-term options with Council.

At the same time, Council will continue to talk with the community in 2021 on how to respond to coastal hazards in the longer term.