Coastal management

We have several action plans in place for different areas of coastline around the Coromandel.

We're lucky to have some of the most beautiful and pristine beaches in New Zealand, if not the world, on the Coromandel Peninsula, that's why we've adopted an ambitious programme to work with all stakeholders to manage the effects of climate change.

Our beaches are one of the major reasons for people coming to visit and live here. But keeping them in such magnificent condition comes at a cost, given the effects of climate change, storm events and other natural processes.
In 2018, our Council adopted the Coastal Management Strategy, which sets out a range of initiatives we will be taking over the coming years to better manage our coastal assets and understand the risk of coastal inundation and coastal erosion. The 2018-2028 Long Term Plan includes $2.6 million over three years to help us implement this strategy. You can read more about our Coastal Management Strategy below.

Help us with our journey towards sustainable coastal communities

We are reaching out to our communities to glean stories and knowledge about our coastal environment to help with our milestone coastal management project.

Following on from the adoption of our Coastal Management Strategy and Coastal Hazards Policy in 2018, our Council is now developing Shoreline Management Plans (SMPs). This is a three-year project to  define, in general terms, the flooding and erosion risks to people and the social, cultural, economic and natural environment across all parts of our coastline over the next century and beyond.

As we develop these plans, we have a valuable opportunity to understand our coastal environment more holistically, including the connections between people, catchments and waterways, landscapes, estuaries and beaches.

We will be examining the interaction between the way in which the coast behaves and is likely to evolve, and the way in which the coast is used and valued in each community.

And that’s why we need to hear from you.

Our communities are invited to a series of outreach meetings during August where you can hear about the SMP process and engage in discussion about your coastline.

Each SMP will:
• be specific to a stretch of coast
• identify what’s at stake and why
• consider a number of different future scenarios of how coasts and communities may change
• set objectives for the management of the coastal environment
• be action-oriented and clearly link the actions of today with those we might need to take in the future
• work through viable solutions
• plot a course towards those solutions, making sure we use our collective knowledge and observations of the coast to keep track of our progress and enable a change of course if necessary.

In May, our Council appointed a consortium led by international consultancy Royal HaskoningDHV to support the development of our Shoreline Management Plans.

While plans to deal with coastal change have previously been developed in a couple of other locations in New Zealand, the work our Council is doing is distinct in that we are developing SMPs across our whole district through active involvement of all key community stakeholders along our beautiful yet fragile coastline.

Our Council’s operations group  manager Bruce Hinson says SMPs are one of the proactive steps our Council is taking in response to the challenge of climate change for our communities, ensuring we are engaged, prepared, protected and safe in the long-term..

"Over the next three years, with your  valued input, capturing learning from SMP practices locally and internationally and our legislative requirements, we will produce SMPs that cover the entire Thames-Coromandel coast,” Mr Hinson says.

"This is your coast. We believe that by striving together to create resilient coastal environments we will ensure thriving coastal communities long into the future.

“Come and learn and help us contribute to a sustainable coastal future.”

Read more about what’s involved with our Coastal Management Strategy here.

Join us at a meeting near you

  • Thames: Thames Civic Centre - Monday, August 12, 12:30pm-1.30pm
  • Te Puru: Te Puru Community Hall - Monday 12 August, 5:30pm-6.30pm
  • Colville: Colville Community Hall - Tuesday 13 August, 5:30pm-6:30pm
  • Coromandel Town: TCDC Coromandel Service Centre, 355 Kapanga Rd, Coromandel Town - Wednesday 14 August, 12:30pm-1:30pm
  • Kuaotunu: Luke's Kitchen - Saturday 17 August, 9:30am-10:30am
  • Whitianga: Whitianga Town Hall - Saturday, 17 August, 12:30pm-1:30pm
  • Tairua: Tairua Country Club - Saturday 24 August, 10:30am-11.30am
  • Whangamata: TCDC Whangamata Service Centre, 620 Port Rd, Whangamata - Saturday 24 August,  2pm-3pm

To get in touch with us about this project, email: ourcoast@tcdc.govt.nz

Consultant appointed for milestone coastal project

Our Council has taken a major step forward in the delivery of our Coastal Management Strategy with the appointment of international consultancy Royal HaskoningDHV to support the development of our Shoreline Management Plans.

Royal HaskoningDHV (RHDHV), an independent engineering and project management consultancy, has been awarded the $1.9M contract, as part of the $2.6M total budget, for what will be a milestone three-year project for our Council and New Zealand more broadly.

While Shoreline Management Plans (SMPs) have previously been developed in a couple of other locations in New Zealand, the work our Council is doing is distinct in that we are developing SMPs across our whole district through active involvement of all key stakeholders along our beautiful yet fragile coastline.

These plans and subsequent action plans are a key outcome of our Coastal Management Strategy. SMPs will provide a large-scale hazard assessment on our flooding and erosion issues and identify subsequent risk to people and the environment for our coastline over the next century. SMPs also identify the possible interventions for managing those risks in a sustainable manner. Read more about what’s involved with our Coastal Management Strategy here.

What is a Shoreline Management Plan?

A Shoreline Management Plan (SMP) provides a large-scale assessment of the risks associated with coastal evolution and presents a framework to address these risks to people and the developed, historic and natural environment in a sustainable manner.

In doing so, an SMP is a high-level document that forms an important part of our Council's Coastal Management Strategy.

Coastal sediment movements occur within distinct boundaries, or cells, which rarely coincide with administrative boundaries. 

Piecemeal coast protection schemes may not always be compatible with coastline needs elsewhere within the same sediment cell. 

Recognising this fact, our Council decided to produce an integrated coastal 'defence' strategy or SMP wherein all the conflicting needs and constraints on the coastline are identified and considered.

A SMP policy describes how our stretch of shoreline is most likely to be managed to address flood and/or erosion,subject to conditions described below:

  • No active intervention
  • Hold the (existing defence) line 
  • Managed re-alignment (retreat)
  • Advance the line

The objectives of an SMP are:

  • To define, in general terms, the flooding and erosion risks to people and the developed, historic and natural environment within the SMP area over the next century;
  • To identify the preferred framework for managing those risks;
  • To identify the consequences of implementing the preferred framework;
  • To set out procedures for monitoring the effectiveness of the SMP;
  • To inform planners, developers and others of the risks identified within the SMP and preferred SMP framework when considering future development of the shoreline and land use changes;
  • To comply with international and national nature conservation legislation and biodiversity obligations;
  • To highlight areas where knowledge gaps exist; and,
  • To provide an action plan to facilitate implementation of the SMP “policies” and monitor progress.

Currently, we are in the process of procuring internal and external resources to kick-off our journey towards a resilient community.

Data is being collated and analysed and a steering group has been established in partnership with Waikato Regional Council and in liaison with Hauraki District Council.

Over the years many investigative reports and surveys have been completed on which we want to build, i.e. we don't want to reinvent the wheel, making best use of the resources available.

The detailed holistic hazard and risk assessments will commence in earnest within the next two months for our three-year project.

Coastal Management Strategy

In 2018, our Council adopted the Coastal Management Strategy, which sets out a range of initiatives we will be taking over the coming years to better manage our coastal assets and understand the risk of coastal inundation and coastal erosion. The 2018-2028 Long Term Plan includes $2.6 million over three years to help us implement this strategy. 

This approach to coastal management activity ensures a district-wide approach, allowing us to better-manage our coastline from a holistic and long-term perspective. We work together public and private organisations such as the Waikato Regional Council, New Zealand Transport Agency (NZTA), the Department of Conservation, iwi and community groups with an interest in coastal protection.

‘Coastal management’ encompasses a wide range of projects to identify hazards and risks and develop Shoreline Management Plans to combat these, with a view to building ‘resilient’ coastal communities.

The CMS was adopted by Council in June 2018. You can download the strategy on the top right-hand-side of this page.

Council adopts revised climate change assumption for Long Term Plan

In February 2018, our Council adopted the Government's revised climate change guidance based on forecasting assumptions the Ministry for the Environment published in December 2017.This means a potential sea-level rise of up to 1.88m by 2150 will be taken into account for all major infrastructure projects adopted as part of our Council's 2018-2028 Long Term Plan. You can read more about this here.The document 'Coastal Hazards and Climate Change Guidance' for Local Government 2017 is available from the Ministry for the Environment website.

Coastal Hazards Policy

Our Council adopted the Coastal Hazard Policy on August 7, 2018. This policy sets out our approach to sustainably managing the effects of coastal hazards on our district's coastal foreshore.

You can download the policy here.

Coastal project updates

We’ve been underway with several high-priority, reactive coastal projects over the last few months of 2018. Brief updates on these are provided below.

Thornton and Ngarimu Bays
The Thornton and Ngarimu Bay coastlines, damaged by erosion during the January 2018 storm, have been re-instated using sand push-ups from the beach. We are working with NZTA to explore ideas for the longevity of the Thames Coast Road in this area, and there is community interest in Thornton for improving the carpark and surrounding area ahead of this summer.  We will continue to engage with community groups with a view to finding a mutually-acceptable solution.

Thames Town Coastline
Damage occurred along our Shortland Wharf to Moanataiari walkway has been re-instated. Thames is one of the strategic locations in our District that would benefit greatly from Shoreline Management Plan (SMP) along a 'Dynamic Adaptive Pathway Planning (DAPP) action plan.

• Tararu
Recovery from the January storm continues in this community.

Works have been completed at Wilson St and are planned for Robert St to re-instate coastline damage from the storm. We have worked with the Tararu South Flood Protection Group to facilitate the repair between the two streets which has now been completed.  We continue to meet with the community as part of the SMP development. The Group is very active and has been for about 20 years, and is currently fund-raising for proposed rock revetment works on their private frontage. It is a fantastic example of how the local community, in liaison with our Council, is on the 'journey to become a resilient community' from coastal hazards.

• Flaxmill Bay and Cooks Beach
A combination of king tides and an extreme weather event in July caused significant erosion at Flaxmill Bay and Cooks Beach. Appropriate coastal protection management structures, hard and soft engineering options, are being considered. Environmental changes have raised the community’s awareness of the need for careful management of the coastline, and in particular our foreshore, a series of public drop-in meetings and workshops have been held to share information with residents.

November-December 2018: Our coastal engineer discussed options to curb beach erosion at Flaxmill Bay with approximately 40 Mercury Bay south residents. TCDC had already lodged a resource consent application with Waikato Regional Council for a rock wall that will transition to a backstop wall and, ultimately, into a soft option (dune plantings) to curb the erosion. Our Council will also be lodging an application for a trial groyne to be constructed at Flaxmill Bay, with the exact location and material to be determined.  All going to plan, construction of the rock wall/backstop wall and the groyne should start by early 2019.

November 2018 - an aerial survey was undertaken of the Thames Coast to help in management of this shoreline. We engaged a contractor to undertake drone photography in this area, using Council reserves for taking off and landing. The contractor was required to comply with all Civil Aviation Authority rules and has completed the work. Further aerial surveys for other coastlines is likely to be carried out during 2019.

June 2018: Our Council adopted its Coastal Management Strategy. You can find out more about this here