Thursday, April 25, 2024

Regional Council set to consult on coastal strategy leadership

Hawke’s Bay Regional Council is set to consult with the community on a plan to take the lead role in the Clifton to Tangoio Coastal Hazard Strategy 2120.

This step towards consultation brings the coastal hazard strategy closer to implementation, says Regional Council chair, Rick Barker.

“Hawke’s Bay Regional Council is taking a leadership position on climate change with this step to consult on including the strategy in our Long Term Plan,” says Mr Barker.

“We’ve worked collaboratively with Napier City and Hastings District councils and mana whenua over the last decade to build this strategy. It looks at different ways of managing coastal hazards like erosion and inundation on the coast between Clifton and Tangoio over the next 100 years. We will continue to work openly and collaboratively if the community supports our proposal to push this project forward.”

This move to consult follows a recent report which found that the Regional Council is the best placed local government entity in Hawke’s Bay to collect rates and lead the work of the strategy.

“Currently we have all three councils responsible for different aspects of the coast between Clifton to Tangoio, creating a complex decision-making process. Past experience has demonstrated that this isn’t the best process, and we’ve heard from rate payers expressing their frustration with this,” Mr Barker said.

“The proposal we will be consulting on is to ensure a single decision-making process for each area and each set of affected ratepayers. This may seem obvious to ratepayers, but because Hawkes Bay is leading the development of policy and processes for managing coastal hazards, these inevitably challenging issues have to be dealt with.”

Regional Councillor and Joint Committee Chair, Jerf van Beek says the consultation would give the Regional Council insight into the community’s views.

“It’s great to have the support of Napier City and Hastings District councils to take the lead on this strategy and work on managing coastal risks for our community,” he said.

“We’re now looking forward to input from the community, and we want to hear different views from around the region about whether we should lead this work. This is a serious topic that impacts on people’s homes and livelihoods, and
we want to make sure we have the support of the community in taking on this role.”

Consultation will begin mid-year.

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