Plan being developed to guide management of coastal hazards at Little Shoal Bay

Publish Date : 25 Jan 2022
Little Shoal Bay Shoreline Adaptation Plan

Public input is being sought to help develop a plan to guide future management of the site-specific coastal hazards and issues at Wai Manawa / Little Shoal Bay Reserve in Birkenhead over the next 100 years.

Auckland Council is developing its first mini Shoreline Adaption Plan (SAP) for the reserve and want to hear from the community and stakeholders what they value most about it.

Popular with visitors and locals, the area looks out over the Waitematā Harbour and is used for a range of recreation activities. It has several features including:

  • public open space
  • playground and exercise areas
  • boat ramp
  • a boat maintenance area.

However, like many parts of our coastline, Little Shoal Bay is highly exposed to a variety of coastal hazards including erosion and flooding – issues that will continue to increase in size and frequency due to climate change and sea level rise.

 “The area is significant to mana whenua and is also highly valued by the local community. However, the reserve also has a long history of land use which has resulted in some areas of contamination requiring careful consideration,” says Paul Klinac, General Manager of Resilient Land and Coasts at Auckland Council.

“There is a lot of good work already going on to look at ways to reduce future risk, such as the efforts of the Kaipātiki Local Board and Little Shoal Bay steering group around the issues of flooding and contamination. There have also been multiple community engagements in the past, and the project aims to build on those efforts.”

Chair of Auckland Council’s Environment and Climate Change Committee, Councillor Richard Hills is delighted to see an adaptation plan being developed for the area.

“This is crucial work that is ramping across Tāmaki Makaurau – starting with the two large pilot areas and now this discrete or mini plan for Wai Manawa / Little Shoal Bay – all of which will build a great foundation to build on as we begin the complex yet important task of adapting our coast as we begin to see the impacts of climate change.

“This work will also support mana whenua and local residents to help shape the future, armed with accurate data, while protecting our environment and prevent us making kneejerk decisions that can lead to poor outcomes for our coastal environments and waterways,” says the North Shore ward councillor.

This work is funded regionally as part of the climate initiatives in the 2021-2031 10-year Budget adopted last year.

In addition to community input, the council will develop the adaptive plan using coastal hazard data, climate change forecasts, values from mana whenua and input from infrastructure providers.

This project is about taking a holistic view and joining the dots across all the different things that need to be considered.

Through this process, we aim to identify and document the best options for managing Wai Manawa/ Little Shoal Bay over the next century.

In its 2020 local board plan, Kaipātiki Local Board identified that getting a better understanding of the potential impacts of coastal hazards and climate change on the reserve was among its priorities.

How to get involved

We are accepting people’s views and comments between 24 January and 16 March 2022.

  • Go to to find out more, to take the online survey, or to participate in one of the online webinars or workshops*.
  • The two webinars on 1 and 2 February will work on the community objectives for the reserve.
  • Workshop one in February will look at potential options for the reserve while workshop two in March will focus on further discussion of those options. There will be four sessions to chose from for each workshop. Register online at

*Under the red setting of the COVID-19 protection framework there is a limit on the number of people that can attend public events, so we have had to move planned events online.

About Shoreline Adaption Plans (SAP)

 SAPs explore how Auckland Council-owned coastal land and assets can be adapted to manage the impacts of natural hazards, including erosion, coastal inundation, flooding, and climate change, while considering the needs and values of mana whenua and the local community.

Recognising the environmental and landscape value of the shoreline, SAPs also work to promote the preservation and restoration of the coastal environment for future generations.

Once completed, SAPs will provide site-specific adaptation strategies that will outline the preferred management response for each coastal area over the next 100 years.

In addition to community input, SAPs will use coastal hazard information like coastal erosion, coastal inundation and flood mapping, and climate change research to develop a regional risk assessment. The technical assessment will identify areas of the coast that may be most at risk from future changes.

Making our shoreline areas more resilient is an important step towards preparing Auckland for the future impacts of climate change.

Wai Manawa / Little Shoal Bay is the first mini SAP, focusing on a single reserve, for the council. Full Shoreline Adaptation Plans are being developed for Whangaparāoa Peninsula and for Beachlands and East, which covers the south-eastern coastline of Auckland.

Find out more about SAPs on our website.



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