Moving Dargaville's main town centre to avoid the consequences of rising sea levels is mooted in a new council plan.
The proposal is one of several in a new Kaipara District Council planning document titled Let's Talk About Options, and suggests moving the town centre to higher ground.
A council spokesman said the proposal was among those for townships across the district and aimed to prompt discussion in communities over growth in the context of future change.
"This includes climate change and sea level rise, ensuring we make climate-smart decisions to prepare for the future.
"For Dargaville, the proposal to move the town centre is one of the options currently open for feedback on the initial Spatial Plan."
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The feedback would form part of the council's district plan. Submissions are currently sought by the council.
The proposal follows the release by Northland Regional Council of coastal hazard maps showing large swathes of Dargaville - particularly the central business district - engulfed by the Northern Wairoa River.
The maps are estimates based on sea levels rising and a 1 in 50 or 100 year storm occurring.
The council proposal offers several suggestions for future town development. Moving the central business area higher to Hokianga Rd is just one of those proposals. The plan also outlines future options for Kaiwaka and Maungaturoto.
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The document stated a move of the town centre would see a new industrial area shifted away from the floodplain, reducing the risk of run-off from any future development.
The move to Hokianga Rd was also intended to secure the town centre's future.
Arguments against the move in the document included the loss of focus and investment on the riverside.
Other options included a focus on investment in the town centre and zoning changes to allow new land for residential and business development. All three options aimed to increase the land available for residential development.
There is huge demand for housing in the region with homelessness increasing amid concerns rents were outstripping incomes.
Kaipara Mayor Dr Jason Smith said the Kaipara District has experienced unprecedented growth over the past five years, with 20 per cent population increase, the largest in Northland.
"Planning now for the future of our towns is therefore a key consideration for how we can help keep the district progressing for current as well as future Kaipara residents.
"We need to provide suitable areas for people who wish to come and live in our towns. Businesses also need to decide where to invest."
Smith said the community faced important decisions and needed to offer its view on the district's planning for the next 30 years.
Whangarei District Council strategy manager Tony Horton said there are no plans to move any of its urban centres.
The Northland councils were collaborating to develop a climate change adaptation strategy and programme of work, he said.
"We are right at the beginning of the journey and at this stage, we have yet to undertake the risk assessments and work together with our communities to plan for their resilience. We are still working to understand the impact of climate change on our urban centres and rural and coastal settlements."
A Far North District Council spokesperson said climate change has been identified as "the number one risk affecting the district".
"Its impacts are being considered and incorporated into our planning and policy documents council-wide. This will enable the council to work with our communities and better plan for the challenges of climate change and to mitigate its impacts."
Kaipara's online survey is here: https://www.kaipara.govt.nz/haveyoursay