Face to face meetings were out but Zoom meetings were in during Covid-19 levels 4 and 3, allowing the joint working party, community panel and technical working group to carry on almost as normal. Joint working party co-chair and Hauraki District Mayor Toby Adams said that, once everyone got their head around the technology, meetings carried on with close to 100 per cent attendance.
“This shows the commitment of everyone involved. This project is about working in partnership with the community, iwi, councils and other organisations,” he said.
“There are complex issues involved and it will take time to consider these and come up with the best way forward.”
Locals know best
The community panel recently put their local knowledge and experience to good use, providing valuable insight into draft reports on coastal inundation and Hauarahi Stream flooding. Their feedback is included in the final reports, which are now ready for independent review.
Our researchers have also been interviewing Wharekawa Coast locals to build a better picture of the effects of hazards on people living in the area. What they've told them is concerning, with possible outcomes and impacts including anxiety and stress, disruption to businesses and farming, as well as the loss of sites of value and places to go to relax or get fresh air and exercise. These findings highlight the importance of this project and the need to come up with a plan for the future rather than leaving things to chance.
Where to next?
The Government has just eased gathering restrictions in public venues, so we’re looking into the possibility of restarting face to face community workshops once we hear from the community panel that they're comfortable getting together to meet.
In the meantime, the community panel is going on a site visit to see first-hand where natural hazards could be an issue. They’re also interested in hearing from locals about their experiences of flooding events– but they’ll let them know how to get involved in that a bit further down the track.
Chat with us
Contact details for the community panel and the project team are on our project website.
About the project
Sea level rise and changes in storm intensity caused because of climate change are real issues for this area. The future is uncertain, but we can’t wait for that future to arrive. We’re developing a plan that recognises what we know now may change 10, 20 and 100 years down the track. Wharekawa Coast 2120 is a major project that will look at a wide range of issues around the coast and how we can provide for a resilient and prosperous future over the next 100years. While acknowledging that natural hazards are a concern, we also want to look at opportunities for the growth and development of our communities on the coast, which includes Waharau, Whakatiwai, Kaiaua and Pūkorokoro-Miranda.