Coastal hazards and resilience

Working towards resilience - coastal hazards in Porirua

The coastal environment is constantly changing as the shoreline moves and sea level varies. These natural changes that occur at the coast become a hazard when they threaten human life and property.

Coastal erosion and coastal flooding are the main coastal hazards in our City. Most of this threat is to buildings and infrastructure located within the zone of natural shoreline change.  

Coastal hazard risks will be further exacerbated in the future by rising sea levels and increased frequency of damaging or disruptive weather patterns as a result of climate change.

We want to manage the risk from coastal hazards in Porirua and improve the resilience of our communities, now and into the future. 

What are we doing to manage the risk of coastal hazards in Porirua?

Porirua City Council is undertaking a full review of the District Plan. The District Plan tells us what we can and can’t do with our land. It makes rules about where we can subdivide, what activities we can do and where we can do them. For more information visit our District Plan page.

As part of this review, the government requires us to address a lot of things to keep our communities safe and to protect the local environment.  This includes a requirement to identify coastal areas that could be impacted by coastal erosion and flooding over the next 100 years, and to appropriately manage these areas. 

Through robust research and consultation with the community, we want to ensure that the District Plan helps us to build resilience in Porirua to coastal hazards. 

The first thing we need to do is identify the likelihood and impact of a risk occurring. We have engaged the Focus Resource Management Group to help us to understand the coastal hazard risk in Porirua.  Principal members Jim Dahm and Bronwen Gibberd have a great deal of experience with the assessment and management of coastal hazards in New Zealand, and a long history of consultation with communities. 

Utilising their experience, and local knowledge from those living next to the coast, we are now seeking to consult with those affected by coastal hazards in Porirua. This is the first step towards building resilience together. 

How will we consult with the communities in Porirua?

We will be running a coastal hazard seminars series to provide information about the coastal hazards and provide opportunity for you to discuss the work in more detail with coastal hazards experts Jim Dahm and Bronwen Gibberd, as well as Council staff. We are keen to talk to directly with affected residents, and with other members of the community who have an interest.

Coastal hazards community workshops:

Plimmerton School Saturday 11 August 10.00am – 12.00pm
St Marks Church Pukerua Bay Saturday 11 August 2.00pm – 4.00pm
Titahi Bay School Sunday 12 August 10.00am – 12.00pm
Paremata Boating Club Sunday 12 August 1.00pm – 3.00pm
Pāuatahanui School Sunday 12 August 4.00pm – 6.00pm
We need your help!

Your local knowledge and views are essential to building a thorough understanding of coastal hazards in Porirua. We are interested in changes anywhere on the Porirua Coast and Harbour. Any information you can provide will be helpful and appreciated including:

  • any observed shoreline changes over the last 50-100 years.
  • how your property or the local coast been affected by erosion or flooding.
  • any old photos, early descriptions, old maps, etc.
  • any information on past coastal storms and their impacts (e.g. photos or observations of erosion damage and sea flooding).
  • people or groups who may have useful information (e.g. long-term residents, local historians).

Next steps

We will follow up our first round of information gathering with another series of community workshops to discuss the results and look at how we might move forward. These workshops will also discuss the management of the identified hazard risk areas, including strategies that can adapt to various possible future outcomes given the uncertainties around climate change. The more input we can get from the community and affected landowners, the better the outcomes will be.

Please send any questions or comments to