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Coastal Hazards

Coastal hazard management is a significant issue within the Bay of Plenty. Coastal hazards include, tsunami (2.9MB, pdf), storm erosion and storm flooding (also see NIWA's website).

Added to these are the effects of climate change and especially the prospect of a projected rise in sea level of around half a metre in the next 100 years (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change).

View our summary brochure and report on the biotic effects of climate change in the Bay of Plenty.

Bay of Plenty Regional Council has identified Areas Sensitive to Coastal Hazards (ASCH) along the open coast that scientists believe could be subject to coastal hazards within the next 100 years. In the Bay of Plenty it is estimated that at least 3000 properties are within this area.

The key policy objective in the Bay of Plenty Regional Coastal Environment Plan is that there be:

"no increase in the total physical risk from coastal hazards".

The zone provides a trigger for district councils to consider coastal hazards when dealing with applications for activities near the beach.

For any new development proposed a detailed hazard assessment is required to ensure decision makers are well informed.  Where there is already an urban area within the identified hazard area, then district councils are required to carry out a more detailed hazard assessment and include this in their district plans along with rules to ensure appropriate management of development within the area at risk.


In addition to the above mentioned hazard management, Section 35 of the Resource Management Act requires the regional council to monitor the effectiveness of policies, rules and methods contained in regional plans and keep records of natural hazards to the extent appropriate for the effective discharge of its functions.

To this end, a project to develop indicators to measure the coastal hazard risk was initiated in 2003 to provide information in order to meet Bay of Plenty Regional Council's policy and legislative monitoring requirements.

There are four coastal district councils in the Bay of Plenty: