Climate change  |  1 Oct 2021

How should the Christchurch City Council work with communities to adapt to coastal hazards?

A possible approach for Christchurch and Banks Peninsula is detailed in a draft Coastal Adaptation Framework which is going out for public feedback from 8 October to 15 November - subject to approval from the Urban Development and Transport Committee.

The framework sets out the respective roles and responsibilities of Council and private asset owners, along with guiding principles for adaptation planning, and a proposed engagement and decision-making process. It’s part of the Council’s Coastal Hazards Adaptation Planning Programme, aimed at reducing current and future risk for existing communities and infrastructure.

Infrastructure, Planning and Regulatory Services General Manager Jane Davis says the purpose of the adaptation framework is to show how coastal and low-lying communities, rūnanga and Council can plan for the future.

“As a city, Christchurch is more exposed to coastal hazards than either Wellington or Auckland. As sea levels rise, Canterbury will become the most exposed region in New Zealand. We need to plan now for the effects of coastal hazards on our communities, infrastructure and environment, so that we are ready for what we will be facing in the future.”

“We recognise that adaptation plans for different areas will likely vary, but by establishing a framework with clear principles and an agreed process, we hope to achieve an equitable approach that effectively prepares our communities for the impacts of climate change, regardless of when or where adaptation planning takes place.”

Council intends to start adaptation planning in the Whakaraupō Lyttelton Harbour area next year, with planning to occur with tranches of communities across the District over the next few years.

A separate Coastal Hazards Plan Change Issues and Options discussion document that looks at how we might manage coastal hazard risks for future development, redevelopment and changes in land uses will also be open for feedback from 8 October – 15 November – subject to Urban Development and Transport Committee approval.

Find out more about Coastal Hazards.