Shoreline adaptation plans adopted

Publish Date : 07 Jun 2023
Mayor Wayne Brown visits a slip on the Āwhitu Peninsula in the wake of the cyclone.

Storms, record rains, winds - welcome to climate change and the need for Auckland Council’s Shoreline Adaptation Plans, which look to understand what might need to happen over the next century.

Franklin Local Board has endorsed two plans, Manukau South and Āwhitu, subject to conditions.

The first was more work at Waiau / Waititi / Waiau Beach/ Paa, to determine what effect interventions already in place have, and the second that Waiau / Torkar Bay hold the line in the short-term, especially around the yacht club building site.

Recommendations also included holding at Karaka Point / Torker Road Reserve, while the implications for sewage and potable water are investigated, and that line be held at Halls Beach to protect the car park, toilet and wastewater infrastructure.

Franklin Local Board chair Angela Fulljames says it’s important significant sums aren’t spent where retreat might occur, and to note some reserves have private neighbours, so the implications of retreats should be considered.

“These plans have been developed to provide a long-term strategy for council-owned land and assets. Āwhitu and Manukau South are just two of 20 plans.”

The Āwhitu coastline between Karioitahi and Rauau Point was divided into 23 stretches, and Manukau South into 37 between Rauau Point and Elletts. 

By considering coastal hazard risk assessments, iwi feedback, infrastructure and community objectives, strategies were developed - Hold the Line, Limited Intervention, No Active Intervention and Managed Retreat.

No Active Intervention allows natural processes to continue with no investment in coastal defences.

Limited Intervention accepts the shoreline will not be fixed in the future but that intervention is required, including nature-based measures such as dune planting, work to extend the life of existing assets, and includes landward relocation as assets are renewed.

Hold the Line maintains the coastal edge and/or land use, using nature-based options such as beach nourishment or hard sea walls.

Managed Retreat moves assets away from areas exposed to risk over time, allowing for greater space for natural buffers and reducing the risk of assets being exposed to hazards.

Fulljames says most of the Āwhitu and Manukau South can be managed over the next century without active intervention, but with limited intervention where maintaining existing infrastructure will be needed, with relocations as renewals take place.

The plans are here.

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