16 Jun 2024

Report reveals climate change risks in Kāpiti

9:40 pm on 16 June 2024
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Photo: supplied

A report which reveals the climate change risks in Kāpiti has recommended the district crafts an adaption plan to address challenges posed by the changing climate.

The Takutai Kāpiti report was commissioned in 2021 after the council tried to put erosion warnings on LIMs (land information memorandums for properties) in 2012.

It was taken to court twice by affected residents, who said the science relied on estimates of sea level rise and coastal erosion that were far too extreme, and the information was misleading. The courts sided with the council.

But a year later, an independent panel found the science was not robust enough, and the information was removed from LIMS.

The report headed by former Prime Minister Jim Bolger has now been released and centres around "dynamic adaptive pathways" for coastal parts of the region.

These pathways map out options communities can take in 20 different areas along the Kāpiti Coast.

The options range from not changing areas to mitigate climate change, soft engineering (using the natural environment to reduce coastal erosion and flood), hard engineering (building structures to mitigate climate change) and retreating from places.

Other recommendations the report included were for the region to put together a Kāpiti Coastal Adaptation Plan, ensure ongoing community consultation post-Takutai Kāpiti and 10 yearly reviews of the pathways identified in the report.

It also recommended that new development in risk areas was avoided and, when the time was right, to plan for retreat where necessary.

It was now recommended that Kāpiti District Council staff follow up on the concerns raised by the study and its panel with relevant authorities.

Council staff have also recommended they share the panel's report with the Insurance Council of New Zealand (who were responsible for insurance settings) to seek its feedback.

The report will be discussed at a council meeting on Thursday next week.

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