A working group of elected members may be set up to help guide work on coastal hazards.
The establishment of a working group is being recommended by Christchurch City Council staff in a report that will be considered by the Council at its meeting on Thursday 14 May.
Council staff are in the process of establishing two important programmes of work relating to coastal hazards.
The first programme of work relates to coastal hazards adaptation planning. It is about understanding and developing responses to sea level rise and other coastal hazards.
The second programme of work relates to changing the Christchurch District Plan so it aligns to the New Zealand Coastal Policy Statement.
Council staff want the working group set up so that elected members can give direction and feedback on both programmes as they are developed.
“There is a lot of work that needs to be done to establish these programmes and they will both involve extensive community engagement once they are under way,’’ says David Griffiths, Head of Planning and Strategic Transport.
“Setting up a Councillor working group is just part of the initial planning we’re doing to make sure we’re taking a really thorough and sensible approach that recognises the importance of these matters for coastal and low lying inland communities, and for the city as a whole.
“We have more residents exposed to coastal flooding than any other major city in New Zealand. As sea levels rise, our low lying coastal and inland communities are increasingly going to experience more frequent flooding, as well as other coastal hazards.
“We need to start planning now, which is why we’re getting these programmes under way,” Mr Griffiths says.