Holding Back the Rising Tide

September 7, 2017

 

A leaked government draft report on Coastal Hazards and Climate Change concluded that $19 billion worth of buildings, 43,000 homes, and 2000 kilo metres could be inundated by rising sea levels.

 

The greater Wellington region faces a double-whammy of rising seas and sinking land, meaning it will have the highest relative rise in New Zealand, but planners say they are "ahead of the game" compared with other areas.

 

Greater Wellington Regional Council natural hazards analyst Dr Iain Dawe says not enough is being done nationally to prepare for the coastal impacts of climate change, but Wellington is the first to have a natural hazards plan in place.

 

Local councils have had a tough time imposing new conditions on coastal developments due to the resistance they faced because of the possible impact to property prices.

 

Another challenge was funding. Hard engineering solutions such as sea walls to prevent erosion are very expensive and places like the Kapiti Coast are already having to delay projects because they don’t have the money.

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