HB coastal risks pose 'challenge'

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High tide at Haumoana. Photo / Duncan Brown
High tide at Haumoana. Photo / Duncan Brown

Managing our coastal risks will be a challenge, Hawke's Bay Regional Council engineering manager Craig Goodier says.

He is a member of the technical team giving his expertise to the Clifton to Tangoio Coastal Hazards Strategy 2120.

This multi-council and tangata whenua project group recently completed its latest phase of work to map hazards, and identify communities and assets at risk along the Hawke's Bay coast.

Local people may associate coastal engineering with concrete, large-scale arthworks and machinery, but climate change and modern hazard research mean that coastal strategies are now more about long-term planning, collaboratively coming to decisions with property owners and coastal communities.

Mr Goodier's role involves analysing the possible effects of flooding and development, such as at Te Awa and Parkland estates, or managing the flooding aspects of rivers on the Heretaunga and Ruataniwha Plains.

He's also heavily involved with the Civil Defence team giving warnings to coastal communities during large swell events, as well as farmers and river users when forecast rain threatens to become a problem in river systems.

The joint Coastal Hazards strategy began in 2014, and Mr Goodier has been involved mapping the likely effects of coastal inundation. His work shows possible effects on coastal communities, based on the climate now, and scaled to include the effects of climate change in 2065 and 2120.

"The way I think about it, we have technical ability to help the public decide what's feasible, affordable and what the likely effects may be. It is up to the region's ratepayers to collectively decide how ongoing coastal risks will be managed," he said.

- Hawkes Bay Today

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