Author:Natasha Elizabeth Carpenter, Sarah Sinclair, Paul Klinac, Jarrod Walker
Auckland is characterised by 3,200 km of coast of high environmental, social, cultural and economic value. However, the complexity of coastal processes, combined with the future pressures associated with climate change and future growth, pose significant future management challenges. Considering Auckland Council’s key roles with regard to coastal management (including regulatory, asset and emergency management) an enduring responsibility to address these issues is acknowledged. Therefore, the adoption of a definitive coastal management decision-making framework is essential to ensure sustainable economic and environmental development of our coasts in the long term.
The aim of this document is to develop a best practice, holistic, operational coastal management framework for the region, which aligns with our regional planning tools. To achieve this, a series of objectives and overarching principles have been articulated. Recognising the need for a consistent and coherent approach going forward, a tiered approach to decision making from a regional to site-specific scale has also been developed. This includes a multi-criteria analysis tool, within which a key element is embedding mana whenua and cultural values.
To enable the effective implementation of the framework, a range of tools has been identified and described. Coastal Compartment Management Plans (CCMPs) will facilitate the development of sub-regional, high-level management approaches (e.g. from ‘protect’ through to ‘managed realignment’) for sections of coastline. Selection of these approaches will be driven by an integrated assessment of the coastal system and will be considered over at least a 100-year timeframe (as required by the New Zealand Coastal Policy Statement and the Auckland Unitary Plan) to encapsulate the key principles of the coastal management framework. CCMPs will drive asset management prioritisation and budgeting, within the context of regional and local governance. The CCMPs will be founded on a series of standard requirements identified in the framework. This includes but is not limited to; acquisition of comprehensive asset data, development of Auckland Council operational policy, robust technical guidance and associated design standards, and continued regional research in relation to coastal hazards and climate change.
The framework also includes project-scale assessment and implementation tools, to deliver projects defined and derived through the framework process. In addition to the above, the framework recognises that effective engagement and consultation with a broad range of internal and external stakeholders is integral to the successful implementation of the framework.
Implementing a framework approach will take time to develop and deliver. Therefore, a short-term approach to hot-spots and urgent works has also been developed.