Whitianga Town Project – $6.5m Drowned?

Government’s Sea Level Rise Guidelines Disregarded

The Whole Project Could be Submerged Within its Planning Timeframe

The Thames-Coromandel District Council has ignored Government sea level rise guidance and Regional Council sea flooding maps when considering the proposal for a $6.5 million upgrade of the Whitianga Town Centre. According to that advice and mapping, the whole project area could potentially be flooded from the sea in coming decades.  No expert assessment of the risk of sea flooding to the area has been carried out, and the Council has declined to get this assessment done before funds are committed.  This may lead to the whole project becoming a watery “blue” elephant and $6.5m of ratepayer funds being wasted. 
Continue reading “Whitianga Town Project – $6.5m Drowned?”

1999 Thames/Coast Expert Sea Flooding Advice Ignored

1999 Report Laid Out Comprehensive Plan 

 

In many recent blog posts and articles in the Hauraki Herald I have been pointing out the urgent need:-

  • to identify all coastal hazards including coastal flooding on a site-specific basis.
  • to prioritise the areas which are most at risk from coastal flooding particularly on the western side of the Peninsula,
  • to take account of storm surge and wave effects
  • for a close partnership between the Regional Council and the District Council
  • for community consultation and engagement.
  • to comply with RMA, and the New Zealand Coastal Policy Statement.

 

1999 Report coastal flooding risks

It turns out that these very same arguments and the call for action were made in a very forthright manner nearly 20 years ago.  In 1999 coastal scientist Jim Dahm wrote a report for the Waikato Regional Council in which recommendations were made on all of these issues. But very few if any of his recommendations relating to coastal flooding have been implemented by either the Regional Council or the District Council.  Almost 20 years later this problem is either being ignored or finger-pointing is engaged in suggesting that it must be someone else’s problem.  Nearly 20 years have been wasted.

Continue reading “1999 Thames/Coast Expert Sea Flooding Advice Ignored”

Coromandel Road Closures

Climate Change The Underlying Cause

roadclosure-teggtalk

Thames Coromandel Mayor Sandra Goudie was right to put the heat on Transport Minister Simon Bridges about the spate of recent road closures on State Highway 25. It’s also good to see that there will be a public meeting in Coromandel to discuss the issue.

What is lacking is any recognition of the underlying cause of recent problems with our roading infrastructure – not just State Highway 25 but other local roads also.

We saw a hint of it from the NZTA spokesperson when she said –- “With the number of severe weather events rising.”  Welcome to the new climate reality and just how fragile our infrastructure really is. Climate change is not some vague issue we can put off for decades. Our District is being impacted badly now. All of us as individuals, communities, Councils and Central Government need to confront this reality. Continue reading “Coromandel Road Closures”

Top Solutions To Climate Change Are Surprising (and Big Savers)

When we think about solutions to global warming our most likely responses are – “electric cars, more efficient light bulbs, public transport, solar and wind power and eating less meat”.  While these are all very worthwhile options, – do they stack up as the most effective measures and top priorities?  Actually many don’t.  And who would have guessed that refrigerant management would be No 1?

bookUntil now no one has seriously researched and ranked all of the various possible solutions. Now a new book – “Drawdown: The Most Comprehensive Plan Ever Proposed to Reverse Global Warming” (Penguin Books), has been published by Paul Hawken along with a large team of research fellows, writers and advisors.

The book’s conclusions are astounding and sweep away many of the myths about which are the most effective options for not just reducing, but reversing global warming

Continue reading “Top Solutions To Climate Change Are Surprising (and Big Savers)”

No TCDC Support for Mayoral Climate Declaration

39 NZ Mayors Sign Declaration

44591-LGNZ-Climate-Change-wraparound-4-Proof-Page-1At the Local Government Conference last weekend 39 Mayors signed a commitment to tackle climate change.  Well done to the Hauraki District Council Mayor John Tregida who signed the Mayoral Climate Change Declaration.  But it was very disappointing to see that Mayor Sandra Goudie did not sign the Declaration on behalf of the Thames-Coromandel District Council, especially when the Declaration made a particular point of asking for more effort from central government to tackle climate change.  This is something that Mayor Goudie had been strongly advocating for herself in recent weeks.  Waikato Regional Council also failed to sign the declaration. Continue reading “No TCDC Support for Mayoral Climate Declaration”