Community input needed on coastal management
No time has been more important to re-think coastal management says the Environment and Conservation Organisations (ECO).
The trends show that increasing pressure on the coastal environment is happening and is unlikely to change, said Shane Orchard of ECO. “This is why ECO is releasing a discussion paper on the implementation of the NZ Coastal Policy Statement under the Resource Management Act.”
“The report titled ‘Implications of the NZCPS 2010 for NZ communities’ is designed to help councils and communities to understand the effects of the new NZCPS, and some of the options available to implement it.” Mr Orchard said the NZCPS 2010 is New Zealand’s second ever NZCPS and contains considerable changes from the previous version.
“More people and infrastructure planned for coastal areas means not only more activity to manage but increased risk to catastrophic events such as natural disasters including sea level rise.”
Even though big events might not happen that often, the environment is ever changing meaning new patterns can’t be ruled out. “Events such as earthquakes, tsunami and the Rena disaster might be rare but we need to know how to handle them and be well prepared.”
Mr Orchard said “effective advance planning can avoid the worst effects from such disasters and make it easy to response to one.”
“These are just some of the topics that will be on the table in the next generation of regional policies and plans which are in development around the country.”
“Now is an important time for all New Zealanders to take an interest in coastal issues and take the opportunity to make some changes”.
“Many people are unaware of new policy already approved by the government in the New Zealand Coastal Policy Statement 2010 (NZCPS).”
“The new NZCPS will influence coastal management throughout the country, particularly in the work of regional councils and territorial authorities” said Mr Orchard.
“There will be opportunities for public involvement and input, and consequently it is important that community groups and the general public are well prepared to respond and participate” he said.
Mr Orchard said it is important that communities and councils consider the issues and look for effective solutions. These need to work at regional and local levels where most of the key decisions and plans are made.
The paper may be downloaded from the ECO website.
ECO has created an NZCPS discussion thread on the ECO Forum and invites comments on any of the NZCPS 2010 policy topics covered in the paper on the ECO forum.