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A Practice Brief: Adaptation transition at the coast

Lawrence J, Bell R, Blackett P, Ryan E, Robichaux L. 2019. A practice brief: adaptation transition at the coast Planning Quarterly. 214.


In 2014 local government in Hawke’s Bay committed to preparing the Clifton to Tangoio Coastal Hazards Strategy. This offered a significant coastal management learning opportunity, particularly with the 2017 revision of the Ministry for the Environment national guidance on coastal hazards and climate change for local government. Lessons for others embarking on coastal hazards and climate change adaptation strategies include the: a) critical importance of governance arrangements prior to starting strategy development; b) value of a regional/local government partnership for coastal strategy development; c) value of engaging collaboratively with communities by providing a ‘safe space’ for deliberation; d) need for wider community engagement; e) importance of early partnership with mana whenua to weave in Te Ao Māori perspectives; f) importance of considering a longer (at least 100 years) timeframe for the vulnerability and risk assessments; g) understanding how assessments and processes can be scaled, depending on the level of uncertainty and the planning situation; h) value of an adaptive pathways approach for shifting thinking from short-term protective strategies to a longer term focus on the ongoing changing risks; and i) importance of not underestimating the time needed for developing the implementation plan that includes regulatory, governance, funding, design and costings, triggers for monitoring and review.

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