Government must plan for rising sea levels

The rebuild of Christchurch offers a unique opportunity to plan for more extreme weather events, and for rising sea levels caused by climate change,” Green Party Christchurch spokesperson Eugenie Sage said today.  Nearly 6000 properties in Christchurch and Banks Peninsula could be under threat from coastal erosion over the next century, a new report suggests.

The rebuild of Christchurch offers a unique opportunity to plan for more extreme weather events, and for rising sea levels caused by climate change,” Green Party Christchurch spokesperson Eugenie Sage said today.

 

Nearly 6000 properties in Christchurch and Banks Peninsula could be under threat from coastal erosion over the next century, a new report suggests.  The report, prepared for the Christchurch City Council by engineering firm Tonkin and Taylor, looks at the areas of the city and peninsula that could be susceptible to coastal hazards - erosion and inundation - as sea levels rise.

“At present, there is a missed opportunity with the Government failing to actively plan and support local authorities in adapting to climate change,” said Ms Sage.

“The Government and the Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Authority are letting down Cantabrians by failing to take into account more extreme weather events in their plans to rebuild Christchurch.

“New Zealand is a coastal country. The National Government is failing in its obligations to future generations by not providing more consistent national policy guidance to help councils and their communities plan to mitigate and adapt to sea level rise and more extreme weather.

“A national environmental standard and policy on sea-level rise would assist councils in controlling development in areas vulnerable to increased coastal hazards. Good planning now will reduce future costs.

“At present, councils throughout New Zealand are being left to deal with these issues themselves, rather than being supported by central government

“This latest report is another wake up-call for the Government about the dangers of coastal erosion.”
 

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