Owen S, Lawrence J, Ryan E, Kench P, Bell R, Rennie H, Blackett P, Schneider P. 2018. Coastal management: anticipating staged managed retreat. Planning Quarterly. 109:8-11.
To date, examples of successful larger-scale relocations of communities tend to be reactive and crisis driven. Efforts to undertake more strategic, pre-emptive relocation actions are less common in Aotearoa New Zealand. Properly implemented managed retreat involves a plan with defined stages. Such plans can evolve over time in a variety of physical, social, and governance conditions. Managed retreat requires a collective process, involving early discussion between stakeholders. This can address the why, where, how, and when of retreat. The preferred outcome would be the development of an adaptable set of strategies, based on agreed triggers. These triggers would start the managed retreat process before a community’s forced relocation. They would replace a single fixed solution or one that occurs after the damage has been sustained. Enough early and considered engagement can identify the values of current and future generations. This means the disconnects between community and local government and short- and longer-term priorities can be avoided. This is particularly important where retreat is anticipatory and not forced through extreme events.