About 60 intellectually disabled Hawke's Bay residents are having to flee Clive due to the threat of sea level rise.

Hohepa Hawke's Bay, a home for people with intellectual disabilities, is having to leave its site between the mouths of the Ngaruroro River and the Clive River.

The move impacts 60 residents of Hohepa, as well as 30 carer staff.

They will be relocated to a site in Poraiti as well as community based houses in Napier and Hastings.

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The entrance to Hohepa, which sits between the Clive and Ngaruroro Rivers. Photo / File
The entrance to Hohepa, which sits between the Clive and Ngaruroro Rivers. Photo / File

The move is expected to cost $10.5 million, with 11 households needing to be moved, and the home is hoping to raise money through donors.

Hohepa's herd of cows, which make award-winning cheeses, will remain at the Clive site.

The Hohepa's shop will also remain, until alternative ways of selling Hohepa food, craft ware and furniture are found.

Business manager Neil Kirton said Hohepa has been at the site for nearly 60 years.

"While it's been a wonderful site for us, and a wonderful place for a number of people we support, very vulnerable people, to live, we are unfortunately caught between two major river systems and the deep blue sea.

"We are faced with a real conundrum that sea rise, climate change and sea rise, we are now coming to the conclusion that we can't stay here anymore."

Neil Kirton, the business manager at Hohepa. Photo / File
Neil Kirton, the business manager at Hohepa. Photo / File

He said there are some areas of the site which are below sea level.

"The decision was made to exit the site and keep the people we support safe."

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He said over the last couple of years Hohepa has had to be evacuated three times due to flooding.

"The people we support, as I say are some of the most vulnerable people in New Zealand, people with complex intellectual disabilities and they simply won't move."

"It's very difficult to change their routine or ask them at short notice to pick up their things and move out."

The decision was made following a report done by Opus.

Chair of Hawke's Bay Regional Council, Rex Graham, said it was the first major implication of climate change in Hawke's Bay.

The Hohepa site is surrounded by water on three sides. Photo / Google Maps
The Hohepa site is surrounded by water on three sides. Photo / Google Maps

"It's bloody serious."

He said the coastal communities having to flee climate change deeply concerned him.

"People who are living in those communities are mostly aware of it, but if they are not they need to be aware of it.

"We've already lost some homes at Haumoana of course, and there are some homes in Napier that it is difficult to get insurance."

He said he wants to set up a committee with representatives from every council in Hawke's Bay, specifically to address climate change issues and sea level rise.

It would be similar to the Coastal Hazards Joint Committee.

"I've discussed that with regional mayors and they are very supportive of that."

Ultimately he said the Hawke's Bay community needs to look at what it can do to tackle climate change, as well as people looking at their own personal impact.

Hawke's Bay Regional Council is also expected to declare a climate emergency at its meeting on Wednesday.