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We know that sea levels are rising in response to climate change. Locally, they’ve risen by more than 10 centimetres over the last 15 years in Whakaraupō Lyttelton Harbour. We expect to see a further 14 to 23 centimetres by 2050, and between 38 centimetres and 1 metre by 2100. Over time, this is going to have a big impact on how we live, use and move around our coastline and low-lying inland areas. We don’t have all the answers about what life is going to look like in the future, but we know there are some important decisions we can all be making now to make sure we’re better prepared.

What is adaptation planning?

Adaptation planning is about preparing now for the impact rising sea levels are going to have on our communities, infrastructure and environment in the future. Council is working closely with a Coastal Panel of community and rūnanga representatives to develop adaptation pathways for public assets at risk of coastal hazards to make sure that local values and knowledge are a key part of these discussions.

Guided by your feedback to date, the Coastal Panel has drafted adaptation pathways that outline different ways we could address the risks to public assets in six Priority Adaptation locations: Rāpaki, Allandale, Teddington, southern Te Wharau Charteris Bay, Purau, and Koukourarata Port Levy.

At the end of this process, the Coastal Panel will present preferred adaptation pathways for each of these locations to the Council, who will make the final decision on whether to accept, amend or reject the pathways.

Before we go any further with this work, we’d like to know what you think about these pathways, to make sure we’re on the right track.

A Coastal Panel has been appointed to lead adaptation planning in the Whakaraupō Lyttelton Harbour to Koukourarata Port Levy area. The Panel is a diverse group of 13 community and rūnanga representatives from the area, along with some city-wide representatives.

The Panel has been tasked with considering a range of views and interests drawn from engagements with the wider community and with mana whenua, rather than advocating for a particular point of view.

The Panel:

  • Considers the cultural, social, environmental, built, physical and economic impacts of coastal hazards on communities across the Whakaraupō Lyttelton Harbour to Koukourarata Port Levy area.
  • Considers the broad range of limitations (including technical), thresholds for change and community tolerance to risk, and agrees on potential adaptation pathways.
  • Facilitates engagement with the wider community on these proposed pathways.
  • Considers community input alongside expertise from technical and specialist advisors, in order to make recommendations to the Council on preferred options and pathways.

The Panel will provide recommended adaptation pathways to the Council for a final decision.

For more information about the Coastal Panel and its role, read the Coastal Panel Terms of Reference [PDF, 811 KB].

The Coastal Panel has the support and assistance of a Specialist and Technical Advisory Group (STAG) – a forum that’s made up of experts in their fields. The STAG members are able to provide information, advice and guidance to support the Coastal Panel's decision-making.

Coastal Adaptation Planning Engagement Report

From October to December 2022, we heard from the wider Whakaraupō Lyttelton Harbour to Koukourarata Port Levy communities about what they value in their coastal environments, what they want the future to look like, and what they didn’t want to see in the future.

This information is being used by the Council and the Coastal Panel to ensure local values inform the development of adaptation plans that allow communities impacted by coastal hazards to respond to changes over time.

To see the feedback we received from the wider community, read the full report [PDF, 1.8 MB] or the summary document [PDF, 471 KB].

Impacts of Coastal Hazards on Travel Report

In December 2021, as part of a scholarship project between the Council and the University of Canterbury, students undertook a survey to better understand communities’ risk tolerances and the impacts that potential loss of main road access could have on residents and essential services in the area. This information is also being used by the Council and the Coastal Panel while making adaptation plans for the area.

To see the results of this survey, read the full report [PDF, 1.7 MB] or the summary document [PDF, 91 KB].

The Coastal Panel has also taken this feedback from the wider community and developed community objectives which describe the outcomes that the Panel hopes to achieve through adaptation planning. The draft adaptation options and pathways have been scored against these community objectives, as well as a range of other criteria, to assess how acceptable they are.

  • While we’re planning for communities as a whole, the Council will focus its public funds towards public infrastructure.
  • While the Council is focusing its planning on public assets, we’re aware that privately owned assets are also at risk, and some property owners will feel anxious and uncertain about their future.
  • It’s also important to note that some adaptation options and pathways will, if progressed, have an impact on private property owners. For example, if privately owned land needs to be purchased to allow for things like building a new road, or if Council-owned assets are moved away from their current location, this may affect nearby properties. You might want to follow the Council’s work over time so that you’ll be aware if it affects you directly.
  • Some adaptation options for the Whakaraupō Lyttelton Harbour to Koukourarata Port Levy area would need significant investment from residents and ratepayers, yet may only benefit relatively small numbers of people. The Council and residents have limited resources and need to balance the considerable investments needed for climate adaptation with other investments needed across the district. It’s also important to remember that any major works will take time to happen. These factors mean we will all need to learn to live with some of the impacts of rising seas and a changing climate.
  • Given these challenges, there’s no guarantee that existing Council assets will be maintained and available into the future. The closure, removal, or retreat of different assets are options that may be considered for any asset in response to changing conditions and needs across the district.
  • We don’t yet have all the information about what these options might look like if put in place, but we think it’s important to get your thoughts on them now, before we invest time and money drawing up plans that might not align with the community’s views for the area.

Tell us what you think

Click on an icon in the map to find out more about how the area will be impacted by coastal hazards. Question mark icons are areas where draft adaptation pathways have been identified and you can provide feedback. Information icons are areas we're not currently planning for, but you can still find out about the area

Here's a list of the areas shown on the map above

  • Rāpaki

    Coastal erosion affects the shorefront of this community, impacting access to the well-used beach, Gallipoli Wharf and other taonga of significance to Ngati Wheke. We need to decide if and how to adapt these things.

    Provide feedback 
  • Allandale

    The road, walkway, reserve and hall are all at risk from coastal hazards. We need to decide if we’re going to protect these in their current locations, move them or do without some of these assets. We also need to manage erosion risk to the old landfill.

    Provide feedback 
  • Teddington

    Roads are at risk of flooding and rising groundwater. In around 25 to 40 years we may need to either raise and flood-proof the existing roads, or move the at-risk roads to higher ground. There are also ways we can help this unique environment adapt.

    Provide feedback 
  • Southern Te Wharau Charteris Bay

    The low-lying road is at risk from coastal hazards, so we need to decide if we protect or move it. This decision will have an impact on waste and water supply pipes, and also access to the local boat ramp.

    Provide feedback 
  • Purau

    The road, reserves, boat ramp and jetty are at risk. Over the next 20 years flooding and erosion are only going to get worse, so we need to decide if and for how long we can keep these things available for locals and visitors to enjoy.

    Provide feedback 
  • Koukourarata

    The road, wharf and other taonga of significance to Koukourarata are at risk from coastal hazards. Access is important to this remote community, and we need to decide if we’re going to adapt these things in their current locations or move them.

    Provide feedback 

Contact Us

Have questions or want to learn more about a project? Contact us below:

Phone 03 941 8999 (0800 800 169)
Email letstalk@ccc.govt.nz
Website ccc.govt.nz/