Council is looking for community input from 18 November – 18 December 2020, to help inform how we respond to rising sea levels.

As a Council, we are looking to better prepare our communities for the impacts of coastal hazards and how these will be aggravated 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) is likely to be significantly aggravated by 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 project 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

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.

Responding to the impacts of sea level rise is a big challenge, and we are looking for input from our community on this. We are releasing coastal inundation maps and looking for feedback about these and the important values that may be impacted by coastal inundation. We have a series of conversations planned, with further discussions in 2021 about coastal erosion and risk, vulnerability, options and responses in relation to these coastal hazards.

We’ve 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.

We need your input

We need to hear about the things that are important to you that may be impacted by rising sea levels. These may be areas, objects or experiences that you value - whether your assets, beach access, community facilities, heritage items or coastal habitats for shorebirds and other native species. We’ll also be asking you to share your observations of coastal hazards in our district – building on the information we received in 2019.

There are many ways to get involved.

  • View the maps and complete a survey form sharing your observations of coastal hazards and provide any comments on the coastal inundation map viewer
    • Values feedback form
    • or pick up from Civic House, 110 Trafalgar Street or at the Elma Turner Library.
  • Attend a drop-in session - see details in sidebar

We welcome your input until 18 December 2020. We’ll be asking for more input on this issue in 2021.

Community drop-in sessions in late November 2020

We’re holding community drop-in sessions so you can have a look at the coastal inundation maps and find out how to provide input. A leading NZ coastal scientist, Mr Jim Dahm, will be attending these sessions to answer your questions, alongside Council staff with local knowledge and expertise. These are informal sessions so feel free to drop in any time between the times below:



Tuesday 24 November 2020


Greenmeadows Centre, corner of Main Road, Stoke and Songer Street, Stoke

Thursday 26 November 2020


Trafalgar Park Pavilion, 30 Trafalgar Street, The Wood

This is an opportunity to build on the conversation commenced last year, to talk about the effect of sea-level rise and coastal hazards including inundation across the Nelson district coastline, however, it won’t be the last. How our communities adapt and respond to climate change issues will be the subject of ongoing conversations.

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.