Auckland Council needs input from the Whangaparāoa community about its coastal areas, but the two presentations it has held so far have been poorly attended.
Council chose Whangaparāoa for its first Coastal Management Plan – eventually it will prepare plans covering the whole of Auckland’s coastline.
Coastal management is a major issue in the face of erosion and flooding that is getting increasingly worse with sea level rise and the other effects of climate change.
The plan is focused on Council-owned land and assets. There are 160 assets in Whangaparāoa (such as toilet blocks, steps, boat ramps and seawalls), as well as reserves and coastal roads. The consultation is to find out what the community’s priorities are – what they value about the coastal areas and how they use those places and infrastructure.
The plans will also guide future funding for things such as protection or removal work.
The meetings to date, on March 30 and April 15, have been told that there are three approaches: doing nothing and letting nature take its course; protection such as seawalls or dunes; and managed retreat (moving out of the way).
Around 15 members of the public attended each meeting, along with Councillors Wayne Walker and John Watson, local board chair Gary Brown and member Janet Fitzgerald.
Questions from the public focused on the scale and pace of development and its impact on carbon emissions and the environment.
Water quality was also raised, and Council’s coastal and geotechnical services manager, Paul Klinac, confirmed that stormwater will be part of future discussions.
“We heard loud and clear leading up to these meetings that this is a high priority area,” he said.
The degradation of the berm on Manly Beach due to vehicles parking there was discussed, with Klinac saying this is exactly the kind of issue they want to hear the public’s views on.
Dee Pignéguy of Tindalls Bay raised the responsibility of individuals, and developers, in mitigating climate change.
“Climate change is an unprecedented challenge driven by people, especially our industrial development and consumption,” she said. “Council should take more care with the consents it gives developers. And Council also facilitates the removal of mangroves. Why would you do that when mangroves are 40 to 50 times more efficient than trees for carbon capture? We need to start managing people and let nature do the rest,” she said.
The difficulty Council faces in getting more people to take part in the Coastal Management Plan process was also raised, with hopes for a better turnout at the last two meetings (see below).
Backstories February 17, 2021
Have your say
The next meeting is on May 6 at Hibiscus Coast Community RSA in Vipond Road, 6.30pm-8pm. There is also an open day on May 8 at Whangaparāoa Library, 10am-2pm. Email firstname.lastname@example.org Info: https://akhaveyoursay.aucklandcouncil.govt.nz/whangaparaoa-coastal-management-plan