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Updated findings for natural hazard risks in Tauranga

Natural Hazard studies have been part of Tauranga City Council’s focus since the late 1990s. The latest research updates the data we hold on erosion for coastal areas as well as liquefaction risks for Tauranga as a whole. Today, letters were sent to owners of 564 properties that are located within Tauranga’s coastal zone and have been identified as susceptible to erosion. Outcomes of the latest liquefaction study are now available on council’s website.

Like last year’s studies on inner harbour erosion and inundation, this latest coastal erosion research considers a range of potential sea level rise scenarios projected out to 2130 - as required by the Ministry for the Environment. The new information improves our understanding of the risks that sea level rise could create, and how our coastal zone may respond to those changes over the coming 100 years.  

Tauranga Deputy Mayor Larry Baldock said that the council continues to build their understanding of the potential impacts of natural hazards, including coastal erosion and liquefaction. 

‘We have a well-established history of research into natural hazards. These are the latest in a long list of natural hazard studies for the Tauranga area, including flooding, tsunami, earthquakes, liquefaction, volcanic ash fall and the monitoring of groundwater levels’, Cr. Baldock said.

‘This research helps us consider what the impact of these hazards could look like for Tauranga and plan for the future. It is our duty to enable our residents to do the same.'

The purpose of coastal erosion mapping work is to improve information on hazards, increase resilience and support city planning. The updated information has been included in property files and is made available on council’s website at www.tauranga.govt.nz/coastalerosion with a map viewer allowing people to see modelled erosion impacts for different locations, timeframes and sea level rise projections. This gives landowners, prospective buyers and developers the ability to see how erosion may affect any property within Tauranga’s coastal zone.

The latest liquefaction study builds on previous research from 2003 and this time incorporates the potential impacts of sea level rise over time. Sea level rise is expected to make low lying areas of the city more vulnerable to the effects associated with this hazard. Liquefaction impacts most areas in Tauranga but depending on ground conditions, certain areas will be less impacted than others. The outcomes of this latest study and resulting maps are available via www.Tauranga.govt.nz/liquefaction

Council staff recently presented outcomes of the liquefaction study to members of the local engineering and design community, where presentation and discussion focussed on the implementation of findings and implications for the design and building process, as well as future land use and built form of the city. 

Cr. Baldock emphasised this research will ultimately help keep people and property safe. “Our primary goal is to ensure everyone understands the potential risks and can easily access the information we hold for coastal erosion and liquefaction - as well as the other hazards we have data for.”

Further research on natural hazards such as groundwater levels and volcanic ash fall is also in progress. Work on a cohesive resilience framework to quantify the impact of natural hazards on the city’s infrastructure continues, evaluating the vulnerability of the city’s assets to these hazards and determining how to mitigate these risks through urban form and infrastructure planning.

More information & questions

Tauranga City Council is organising open days that provide opportunity for people who have received letters about coastal erosion to book an appointment with a council expert and ask questions this information may have raised. The schedule of open days is:

Date Location
31 March and 8 April 2020 Mount Surf Club - Boardroom
1 and 7 April 2020 Papamoa Community Centre (Library) - Mako Room
2 and 9 April 2020 Willow St Council Offices - Kaimai Room

Further information on coastal erosion, liquefaction as well as other natural hazards work

Posted: Mar 17, 2020,
Categories: General,

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