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Coastal Hazards

Coastal hazard management is a significant issue in the Bay of Plenty.

Coastal hazards include tsunami, storm erosion and storm flooding. Added to these are the effects of climate change and especially the prospect of a projected rise in sea level of around one metre in the next 100 years (as predicted by Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change). Our climate change web pages have more information about the potential effects of climate change in the Bay ouf Plenty.

Find out more about  Bay of Plenty tsunami risk in the NIWA 2004 report (2.9MB, pdf)

Further information about natural hazards and how they’re managed is also available on the NIWA and Bay of Plenty Civil Defence websites.


Planning provisions

In the 1990s, Bay of Plenty Regional Council identified Areas Sensitive to Coastal Hazards (ASCH) along the open coast. It is estimated that at least 3000 properties are within this area.

The Regional Coastal Environment Plan directs district and city councils to undertake detailed mapping and develop appropriate policies and rules to manage land use (inclusion subdivision and residential development) in the ASCH. 

There are four coastal city and district councils in the Bay of Plenty. All have either completed or have made significant progress toward including district specific coastal hazard polices and rules in their plans:

The Regional Council has developed a new risk-based natural hazards policy framework for the whole region – Change 2 (Natural Hazards) policy. This policy will guide district and city plan rules that influence where people live and work, and how they develop land and infrastructure.

We’ve also developed a Proposed Regional Coastal Environment Plan 2014.



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".

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.

A project to develop indicators to measure the coastal hazard risk was started in 2003. The following reports are available:.