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Proposed Kāpiti Coast District Plan

Coastal Environment

Kāpiti Coast District Plan Review Section 32 Analysis – Summary Report Coastal Environment


Proposed Kāpiti Coast District Plan

Coastal Environment

1 INTRODUCTION TO THE COASTAL ENVIRONMENT The coastline is a dominant feature of the District and coastal processes have shaped the landforms and vegetation. Coastal processes refer to those physical processes that act upon and shape the coastline. These processes, which influence the configuration, orientation, and movement of the coast, include the following:  tides and fluctuating water levels  waves  currents (usually generated by tides or waves)  winds Coastal processes interact with the local coastal geology and sediment supply to form and modify the physical features such as beaches, dunes, bluffs, and upland areas. Water levels, waves, currents, and winds will vary with time at a given location (sometimes according to short-term, seasonal, or longer-term patterns) and vary geographically at any point in time. The coastal environment is a valuable resource for living, working and playing. In particular, the coastal environment is subject to development pressures as a desirable place to live. However living close to the coast has its risks. Long-term climate change is expected to drive an increase in the rate of sea level rise and may also result in increased rainfall, changes in storm frequency and characteristics, and sediment delivery. It is widely accepted that some of these changes are likely to increase erosion rates and further extend the area at risk from coastal erosion. In areas where accretion is currently occurring, sea level rise may cancel out or even reverse this trend. Considerable uncertainty around the effects of climate change further complicates coastal hazard planning. Results of recent coastal erosion studies have however confirmed that there is a real threat to private property in many areas even under existing sea level and climate conditions. Given the exposure of the District to coastal influences, the risk from coastal events to live and property must be minimised.

1.1 Description of the Coastal Environment Policy 1 of the NZ Coastal Policy Statement 2010 recognises that the extent of the coastal environment varies from region to region. The coastal environment includes the coastal marine area and islands within the coastal marine area, as well as areas where coastal processes, influences or qualities are significant. This includes areas which are at risk from coastal hazards, inter-related coastal marine and terrestrial systems, including the intertidal zone, physical resources and built facilities, including infrastructure, that have modified the coastal environment and places containing;   

coastal vegetation and the habitat of indigenous coastal species including migratory birds; elements and features that contribute to the natural character, landscape, visual qualities or amenity values; items of cultural and historic heritage in the coastal marine area or on the coast.

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Proposed Kāpiti Coast District Plan

Coastal Environment

In order to define the extent of the coastal environment the Council commissioned The Isthmus Group to undertake a landscape and ecological study which identified land subject to coastal processes and coastal landscapes consistent with the criteria in the proposed Wellington Regional Policy Statement. The extent is shown on the District Plan Natural Features maps. The Kāpiti Coast extends approximately 40 km in length fromŌtaki in the north to Paekākāriki in the south, with most (approximately 25 km) of the coastline having urban development adjacent to the coastal edge. The northern section of the Kāpiti Coast (north of Waikanae) generally consists of wide sandy beaches backed by dunes. Development exists in the form of several isolated settlements (including Pekapeka, Te Horo and Ōtaki), separated by long stretches of undeveloped coast. The Paraparaumu area further south consists of a cuspate foreland with sandy beaches backed by dunes. This portion of the coast is extensively developed. South of Paraparaumu, beaches are narrower, extensively developed and in most places backed by various forms of shoreline erosion control structures, with the exception of the Queen Elizabeth II Regional Park and south of Paekākāriki. There are also engineering structures around many inlet entrances, to limit erosion to adjacent coastline areas.

1.2 Summary of Coastal Environment Issues The Council faces a number of challenges in relation to the management of the Coastal Environment. These are outlined in Chapter 4 of the proposed District Plan, but are summarised as follows: Through consideration of the current knowledge of coastal hazards, and as identified in the KCDC discussion documents and associated public consultation, the following is a summary of the key issues to be addressed through the District Plan review:          

Protecting coastal features Preservation of natural coastal character Ensuring development can occur where it has a functional need to locate in the coastal environment Enabling public access to the coast to and along the coast Avoiding development in locations with high natural character, heritage or amenity values There is a need to address the potential impacts of climate change on coastal processes that will likely affect the coastal edge. Sea level rise is likely to exacerbate the existing erosion hazard and change will be on-going Reliance on structural defences will not be a sustainable option for protecting some areas of the coast into the future. Resilience of communities will need to be increased over time, with a focus on risk avoidance and risk reduction The Council seeks to provide certainty for owners, and enable flexibility to address the uncertainty associated with timing and extent of coastal change in the future.

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  

  

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Dune buffers need to be protected and restored. The effects of sporadic subdivision, use and development in the coastal environment, particularly where there is still substantial natural character in terms of the landform and associated landscape values; The cumulative adverse effects of subdivision, use and development in the coastal environment, including: - The effect of activities, including farming practices and lifestyle development and associated earthworks on the indigenous vegetation and plant communities and habitats of indigenous species, - The effect of land use activities, particularly earthworks for dwellings and recontouring of land for farming purposes on the landscapes and landforms of the coastal environment; Protection of characteristics of special spiritual, historical or cultural significance to Māori; Effects of development on the integrity, functioning and resilience of the coastal environment in terms of the dynamic coastal processes of sediment, water and air movement; A demand for new reserve areas for conservation purposes to enable the restoration and rehabilitation of the natural character of the coastal environment

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Coastal Environment

STATUTORY FRAMEWORK

The Resource Management Act 1991 (“RMA” or “the Act”) requires that there be a District Plan in place at all times for the Kāpiti District 1 . The purpose of preparing, implementing and administering a District Plan is to assist the Council to carry out its functions 2 in order to achieve the purpose of the Act 3 . The RMA sets out the manner in which the District Plan is to be amended and the particular considerations the Council must follow when undertaking such an exercise4 . This report has been prepared in accordance with section 32(5) of the Act. It represents a summary of the evaluation of alternatives, costs and benefits undertaken by the Council in respect to the proposed District Plan provisions relating to open space as required under s 32(1) of the Act. In particular section 32 states: (1)

(2)

In achieving the purpose of this Act, before a proposed plan, … is publicly notified … an evaluation must be carried out by— … (c) the local authority, for a policy statement or a plan... A further evaluation must also be made by— (a) a local authority before making a decision under clause 10 or clause 29(4) of the Schedule 1; and

… (3)

An evaluation must examine— (a) the extent to which each objective is the most appropriate way to achieve the purpose of this Act; and… (b) whether, having regard to their efficiency and effectiveness, the policies, rules, or other methods are the most appropriate for achieving the objectives. 3A) This subsection applies to a rule that imposes a greater prohibition or restriction on an activity to which a national environmental standard applies than any prohibition or restriction in the standard. The evaluation of such a rule must examine whether the prohibition or restriction it imposes is justified in the circumstances of the region or district. (4) For the purposes of the examinations referred to in (3) and (3A), an evaluation must take into account— (a) the benefits and costs of policies, rules, or other methods; and (b)

the risk of acting or not acting if there is uncertain or insufficient information about the subject matter of the policies, rules, or other methods.

                                                              1

 section 73(1) RMA   

2

 Section 31 RMA 

3

 Section 72 RMA 

4

 ss 32, 72, 74, 75 & 76, Schedule 1 

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(5) (6)

Coastal Environment

The person required to carry out an evaluation under subsection (1) must prepare a report summarising the evaluation and giving reasons for that evaluation. The report must be available for public inspection at the same time as the document to which the report relates is publicly notified ….

This report has been prepared in accordance with section 32(5) of the Act. It represents a summary of the evaluation of alternatives, costs and benefits undertaken by the Council in respect to the proposed District Plan provisions relating to open space as required under s 32(1) of the Act. The report addresses the necessary considerations as follows:

Report Section

Category

3

General Statutory Requirements

4

Evaluation of Proposed Objective

5

6

Evaluation of Proposed Policies

Evaluation of Proposed Rules and other Methods

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Specific Consideration (sub-section) 1.

Accordance with council functions under the Act;

2.

Accordance with National Policy Statements and New Zealand Coastal Policy Statement; Accordance with Wellington Regional Policy Statement; Accordance with Regional Plans; Accordance with other relevant Plans; Non-consideration of effects of trade competition

3. 4. 5. 6.

1. 2. 3.

The proposed objective Does the proposed objective achieve the Act’s purpose? the extent to which the proposed objective is the most appropriate way to achieve the Act’s purpose.

1. 2.

Do proposed policies achieve the relevant objectives? Do proposed rules and other methods implement the relevant policies? Are policies and rules and other methods most appropriate (given their efficiency & effectiveness) for achieving the relevant objectives, including:

3.

3.1 costs & benefits of proposed policies, rules and methods; & 3.2 risk of acting (or not acting) if information gaps exist about the subjects of the policies, rules or other methods? 4.

What are the actual and potential effects on the environment of activities, including, in particular, any adverse effect of proposed rules or other methods?

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3

GENERAL STATUTORY REQUIREMENTS

3.1

Council Functions

Section 31 of the RMA outlines the Council’s functions. Subsection 1(a) sets out the requirement for objectives, policies and methods to be established, implemented and reviewed to achieve the integrated management of effects of the use, development or protection of land and associated natural and physical resources of the District. The Council’s existing District Plan satisfied the ‘establishment’ requirement of this function, whilst the ‘implementation’ role is delivered through Council’s regulatory planning and enforcement channels. The third requirement is to ‘review’ the provisions of the District Plan, a task that is further reinforced by s79(1)(c) of the Act. The 2012 District Plan Review, a wider Council project of which this report forms part, has accordingly been designed to assist the Council in meeting both the s31(1)(a) and 79(1)(c) obligations. The review of the coastal environment provisions in the District Plan has also been designed to accord with subsection 31(1)(b), which requires the Council to control any actual or potential effects of the use, development, or protection of land, including for specific purposes. The review has had particular regard to the need to improve the Community’s resilience to the effects of natural hazards through the management of activities occurring in the District. Key provisions of the RMA in relation to managing the coastal environment include: S6

Matters of National Importance: “…shall recognise and provide for the following matters of national importance...”

S7

(a) the preservation of the natural character of the coastal environment… and protection of them from inappropriate subdivision, use and development (b) the protection of outstanding natural features and landscapes from inappropriate subdivision, use and development (d) the maintenance and enhancement of public access to and along the coastal marine area Other Matters: “…shall have particular regard to…”

S10

(c) the maintenance and enhancement of amenity values (f) maintenance and enhancement of the quality of the environment (i) the effects of climate change Existing uses are provided for

S31

(3) This section does not apply if reconstruction or alteration of, or extension to, any building to which this section applies increases the degree to which the building fails to comply with any rule in a District Plan or proposed District Plan Functions of territorial authorities: “...shall have the following functions…”

S 330, 330A, 330B, 331

(1)(b) the control of any actual or potential effects of the use, development, or protection of land, including for the purpose of – (i) the avoidance or mitigation of natural hazards Emergency Works provisions

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Section 31 provides the directive for Councils to manage natural hazards, while sections 6, 7 and 10 underpin the District Plan provisions. Sections 330–331 are important to be considered in terms of management responses in the event of an emergency.

3.2 National Policy Statements and Coastal Policy Statement The RMA requires5 that the District Plan give effect to any National Policy Statement (“NPS”). A NPS is a document prepared under the RMA to help local government decide how competing national benefits and local costs should be balanced 6 . Three National Policy Statements have been gazetted to date, being: NPS on Electricity Transmission (2008) NPS for Renewable Electricity Generation (2011) NPS for Freshwater Management (2011)

  

All three NPS documents have been actively considered by the District Plan Review. While the NPS’s on Electricity Transmission, Renewable Electricity Generation and Freshwater Management may be relevant to some activites within the coastal environment, the New Zealand Coastal Policy Statement (“NZCPS”) is most relevant to the Coastal Environment chapter of the District Plan. Section 75(3)(b) of the RMA states that any District Plan must “give effect to” the NZCPS. The other three NPS’s are not considered further in the context of the Coastal Environment chapter. Objectives and policies in the NZCPS of particular relevance to the management of the coastal environment include: Objective 1 To safeguard the integrity, form, functioning and resilience of the coastal environment and sustain its ecosystems, including marine and intertidal areas, estuaries, dunes and land, by: 

maintaining or enhancing natural biological and physical processes in the coastal environment and recognising their dynamic, complex and interdependent nature;

protecting representative or significant natural ecosystems and sites of biological importance and maintaining the diversity of New Zealand’s indigenous coastal flora and fauna; and

maintaining coastal water quality, and enhancing it where it has deteriorated from what would otherwise be its natural condition, with significant adverse effects on ecology and habitat, because of discharges associated with human activity.

This objective is given effect to by proposed Policies 4.6 and 4.7. Proposed Policy 4.6 accommodates natural shoreline movement through management of natural features as well as engineering measures and managed retreat. Proposed Policy 4.7 recognises the importance of natural dunes as a buffer for coastal hazards. This is implemented by rules and standards such as requiring earthworks in dunes to first                                                               5 6

s75(3)(a) Reference: www.mfe.govt.nz/rma/central/nps (December 2011)

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obtain a resource consent within the no build urban Coastal Hazard Management Area (Table 4.2). Objective 2 To preserve the natural character of the coastal environment and protect natural features and landscape values through: 

recognising the characteristics and qualities that contribute to natural character, natural features and landscape values and their location and distribution;

identifying those areas where various forms of subdivision, use, and development would be inappropriate and protecting them from such activities; and

encouraging restoration of the coastal environment.

This objective is achieved by proposed Policies 4.2, 4.3 and 4.4 which firstly identify areas of high natural character using criteria outlines in proposed Policy 4.1. The proposed policies then protect areas of high natural character but also encourage subdivision and development to support restoration of natural character values. This is further implemented by Table 4.2 which identifies all buildings and earthworks on land identified as areas of high character to obtain a resource consent. Objective 4 To maintain and enhance the public open space qualities and recreation opportunities of the coastal environment by: 

recognising that the coastal marine area is an extensive area of public space for the public to use and enjoy;

maintaining and enhancing public walking access to and along the coastal marine area without charge, and where there are exceptional reasons that mean this is not practicable providing alternative linking access close to the coastal marine area; and

recognising the potential for coastal processes, including those likely to be affected by climate change, to restrict access to the coastal environment and the need to ensure that public access is maintained even when the coastal marine area advances inland.

This objective is reflected in proposed Policy 4.5 which requires subdivision and development in the coastal environment to maintain and enhance opportunities for recreation and enjoyment of the coast. This is achieved by Rule 4A.3.3 which requires subdivision layout to provide public access from a legal road to the beach or esplanade. A matter over which Council has discretion is public access to and along the coast. Objective 5 To ensure that coastal hazard risks taking account of climate change, are managed by: 

locating new development away from areas prone to such risks;

considering responses, including managed retreat, for existing development in this situation; and

protecting or restoring natural defences to coastal hazards.

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This objective is most appropriately given effect to by proposed Policy 4.8. This policy minimises the risk of coastal hazards effects by managing the location of buildings and infrastructure in the coastal hazard management areas. Proposed Policy 4.10 identifies three Coastal Hazard Management Areas which are mapped on the District Plan maps. In Table 4.2 there are corresponding activity status which pertain to subdivision and buildings in the Coastal Hazard Management Areas. Subdivision in the Coastal Hazard Management Areas is a prohibited activity, as are new buildings. Minor additions to existing buildings may require a resource consent depending on whether they are consistent with the adaption strategy. Objective 6 To enable people and communities to provide for their social, economic, and cultural wellbeing and their health and safety, through subdivision, use, and development, recognising that: 

the protection of the values of the coastal environment does not preclude use and development in appropriate places and forms, and within appropriate limits;

some uses and developments which depend upon the use of natural and physical resources in the coastal environment are important to the social, economic and cultural wellbeing of people and communities;

functionally some uses and developments can only be located on the coast or in the coastal marine area;

the coastal environment contains renewable energy resources of significant value;

the protection of habitats of living marine resources contributes to the social, economic and cultural wellbeing of people and communities;

the potential to protect, use, and develop natural and physical resources in the coastal marine area should not be compromised by activities on land;

the proportion of the coastal marine area under any formal protection is small and therefore management under the Act is an important means by which the natural resources of the coastal marine area can be protected; and

historic heritage in the coastal environment is extensive but not fully known, and vulnerable to loss or damage from inappropriate subdivision, use, and development.

This objective is achieved by other proposed district plan chapters. Policies: Policy 1: Extent and characteristics of the coastal environment 1. Recognise that the extent and characteristics of the coastal environment vary from region to region and locality to locality; and the issues that arise may have different effects in different localities. 2. Recognise that the coastal environment includes: a. the coastal marine area; b. islands within the coastal marine area; c. areas where coastal processes, influences or qualities are significant, including coastal lakes, lagoons, tidal estuaries, saltmarshes, coastal wetlands, and the margins of these; s32 Report – Coastal Environment  

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Proposed KÄ piti Coast District Plan

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d. areas at risk from coastal hazards; e. coastal vegetation and the habitat of indigenous coastal species including migratory birds; f. elements and features that contribute to the natural character, landscape, visual qualities or amenity values; g. items of cultural and historic heritage in the coastal marine area or on the coast; h. inter-related coastal marine and terrestrial systems, including the intertidal zone; and i. physical resources and built facilities, including infrastructure, that have modified the coastal environment. This is achieved by proposed Policy 4.1 which identifies the extent of the coastal environment based on four criteria. The extent of the coastal environment is mapped on the District Plan maps. This proposed policy is implemented by rules in table 4.2 which pertain to activities within the identified coastal environment. Policy 3: Precautionary approach 1. Adopt a precautionary approach towards proposed activities whose effects on the coastal environment are uncertain, unknown, or little understood, but potentially significantly adverse. 2. In particular, adopt a precautionary approach to use and management of coastal resources potentially vulnerable to effects from climate change, so that: a. avoidable social and economic loss and harm to communities does not occur; b. natural adjustments for coastal processes, natural defences, ecosystems, habitat and species are allowed to occur; and c. the natural character, public access, amenity and other values of the coastal environment meet the needs of future generations. The proposed Coastal Environments chapter takes a comprehensive approach and not only seeks to preserve natural coastal character but also identifies coastal hazard management areas where development will be managed. This is achieved through policies, activity classification, standards and assessment criteria. The precautionary approach is further implemented by provisions in the Natural Hazards chapter. Policy 4: Integration Provide for the integrated management of natural and physical resources in the coastal environment, and activities that affect the coastal environment. This requires: c) particular consideration of situations where: i. subdivision, use, or development and its effects above or below the line of mean high water springs will require, or is likely to result in, associated use or development that crosses the line of mean high water springs; or ii. public use and enjoyment of public space in the coastal environment is affected, or is likely to be affected; or iii. development or land management practices may be affected by physical changes to the coastal environment or potential inundation from coastal hazards, including as a result of climate change; or iv. land use activities affect, or are likely to affect, water quality in the coastal environment and marine ecosystems through increasing sedimentation; or v. significant adverse cumulative effects are occurring, or can be anticipated. s32 Report – Coastal Environment  

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Policy 6: Activities in the coastal environment 1. In relation to the coastal environment: a. recognise that the provision of infrastructure, the supply and transport of energy including the generation and transmission of electricity, and the extraction of minerals are activities important to the social, economic and cultural well-being of people and communities; b. consider the rate at which built development and the associated public infrastructure should be enabled to provide for the reasonably foreseeable needs of population growth without compromising the other values of the coastal environment; c. encourage the consolidation of existing coastal settlements and urban areas where this will contribute to the avoidance or mitigation of sprawling or sporadic patterns of settlement and urban growth; d. recognise tāngata whenua needs for papakāinga3, marae and associated developments and make appropriate provision for them; e. consider where and how built development on land should be controlled so that it does not compromise activities of national or regional importance that have a functional need to locate and operate in the coastal marine area; f. consider where development that maintains the character of the existing built environment should be encouraged, and where development resulting in a change in character would be acceptable; g. take into account the potential of renewable resources in the coastal environment, such as energy from wind, waves, currents and tides, to meet the reasonably foreseeable needs of future generations; h. consider how adverse visual impacts of development can be avoided in areas sensitive to such effects, such as headlands and prominent ridgelines, and as far as practicable and reasonable apply controls or conditions to avoid those effects; i. set back development from the coastal marine area and other water bodies, where practicable and reasonable, to protect the natural character, open space, public access and amenity values of the coastal environment; and j. where appropriate, buffer areas and sites of significant indigenous biological diversity, or historic heritage value. 2. Additionally, in relation to the coastal marine area: a. recognise potential contributions to the social, economic and cultural wellbeing of people and communities from use and development of the coastal marine area, including the potential for renewable marine energy to contribute to meeting the energy needs of future generations; b. recognise the need to maintain and enhance the public open space and recreation qualities and values of the coastal marine area; c. recognise that there are activities that have a functional need to be located in the coastal marine area, and provide for those activities in appropriate places; d. recognise that activities that do not have a functional need for location in the coastal marine area generally should not be located there; and e. promote the efficient use of occupied space, including by: i. requiring that structures be made available for public or multiple use wherever reasonable and practicable; ii. requiring the removal of any abandoned or redundant structure that has no heritage, amenity or reuse value; and s32 Report – Coastal Environment  

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Proposed KÄ piti Coast District Plan

iii.

Coastal Environment

considering whether consent conditions should be applied to ensure that space occupied for an activity is used for that purpose effectively and without unreasonable delay.

Policy 7: Strategic planning 1. In preparing regional policy statements, and plans: a. consider where, how and when to provide for future residential, rural residential, settlement, urban development and other activities in the coastal environment at a regional and district level; and b. identify areas of the coastal environment where particular activities and forms of subdivision, use, and development: i. are inappropriate; and ii. may be inappropriate without the consideration of effects through a resource consent application, notice of requirement for designation or Schedule 1 of the Resource Management Act process; and provide protection from inappropriate subdivision, use, and development in these areas through objectives, policies and rules. 2. Identify in regional policy statements, and plans, coastal processes, resources or values that are under threat or at significant risk from adverse cumulative effects. Include provisions in plans to manage these effects. Where practicable, in plans, set thresholds (including zones, standards or targets), or specify acceptable limits to change, to assist in determining when activities causing adverse cumulative effects are to be avoided. With regards to the above NZCPS policies, the proposed Coastal Environments chapter takes a comprehensive approach. The district plan chapter not only seeks to preserve natural coastal character but also identifies coastal hazard management areas where development will be managed. This is achieved through policies, activity classification, standards and assessment criteria.

Policy 11: Indigenous biological diversity (biodiversity) To protect indigenous biological diversity in the coastal environment: a. avoid adverse effects of activities on: i. indigenous taxa that are listed as threatened or at risk in the New Zealand Threat Classification System lists; ii. taxa that are listed by the International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources as threatened; iii. indigenous ecosystems and vegetation types that are threatened in the coastal environment, or are naturally rare; iv. habitats of indigenous species where the species are at the limit of their natural range, or are naturally rare; v. areas containing nationally significant examples of indigenous community types; and vi. areas set aside for full or partial protection of indigenous biological diversity under other legislation; and b. avoid significant adverse effects and avoid, remedy or mitigate other adverse effects of activities on: i. areas of predominantly indigenous vegetation in the coastal environment; ii. habitats in the coastal environment that are important during the vulnerable life stages of indigenous species; iii. indigenous ecosystems and habitats that are only found in the coastal environment and are particularly vulnerable to modification, including s32 Report – Coastal Environment  

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iv. v. vi.

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estuaries, lagoons, coastal wetlands, dunelands, intertidal zones, rocky reef systems, eelgrass and saltmarsh; habitats of indigenous species in the coastal environment that are important for recreational, commercial, traditional or cultural purposes; habitats, including areas and routes, important to migratory species; and ecological corridors, and areas important for linking or maintaining biological values identified under this policy.

This NZCPS policy is achieved by another chapter of the proposed District Plan (Natural Environment). Policy 13: Preservation of natural character 1. To preserve the natural character of the coastal environment and to protect it from inappropriate subdivision, use, and development: a. avoid adverse effects of activities on natural character in areas of the coastal environment with outstanding natural character; and b. avoid significant adverse effects and avoid, remedy or mitigate other adverse effects of activities on natural character in all other areas of the coastal environment; including by: c. assessing the natural character of the coastal environment of the region or district, by mapping or otherwise identifying at least areas of high natural character; and d. ensuring that regional policy statements, and plans, identify areas where preserving natural character requires objectives, policies and rules, and include those provisions. 2. Recognise that natural character is not the same as natural features and landscapes or amenity values and may include matters such as: a. natural elements, processes and patterns; b. biophysical, ecological, geological and geomorphological aspects; c. natural landforms such as headlands, peninsulas, cliffs, dunes, wetlands, reefs, freshwater springs and surf breaks; d. the natural movement of water and sediment; e. the natural darkness of the night sky; f. places or areas that are wild or scenic; g. a range of natural character from pristine to modified; and h. experiential attributes, including the sounds and smell of the sea; and their context or setting. This NZCPS policy is best achieved by proposed Policy 4.2 which identifies natural character and proposed Policy 4.3 which protects it. Proposed Policy 4.3 protects natural character by: a) reinstating dunes which function as natural buffers for as much of the coast as practicable; b) providing managed public access ways to the beach and avoiding damage to dunes from unmanaged access; c) avoiding encroachment of permanent structures and private uses onto the beach or public land; d) removing existing unnecessary structures and associated waste materials from the beach; e) preventing new activities which have adverse effects on natural character values; f) retaining a natural beach and foreshore including a dry sand beach where possible.

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This is reflected in the activity status table 4.2 which requires subdivision and land use within identified areas of high natural character to obtain resource consent approval. This enables the effect of the proposed subdivision and/or development on natural character to be assessed. Policy 14: Restoration of natural character Promote restoration or rehabilitation of the natural character of the coastal environment, including by: a. identifying areas and opportunities for restoration or rehabilitation; b. providing policies, rules and other methods directed at restoration or rehabilitation in regional policy statements, and plans; c. where practicable, imposing or reviewing restoration or rehabilitation conditions on resource consents and designations, including for the continuation of activities; and recognising that where degraded areas of the coastal environment require restoration or rehabilitation, possible approaches include: i. restoring indigenous habitats and ecosystems, using local genetic stock where practicable; or ii. encouraging natural regeneration of indigenous species, recognising the need for effective weed and animal pest management; or iii. creating or enhancing habitat for indigenous species; or iv. rehabilitating dunes and other natural coastal features or processes, including saline wetlands and intertidal saltmarsh; or v. restoring and protecting riparian and intertidal margins; or vi. reducing or eliminating discharges of contaminants; or vii. removing redundant structures and materials that have been assessed to have minimal heritage or amenity values and when the removal is authorised by required permits, including an archaeological authority under the Historic Places Act 1993; or viii. restoring cultural landscape features; or ix. redesign of structures that interfere with ecosystem processes; or x. decommissioning or restoring historic landfill and other contaminated sites which are, or have the potential to, leach material into the coastal marine area. NZCPS Policy 14 is achieved by proposed Policy 4.4 which requires subdivision and development in the coastal environment to support restoration of natural character. The proposed Policy achieves this through enhancing indigenous habitats and ecosystems, encouraging natural regeneration of indigenous species, rehabilitating dunes and other natural coastal features and restoring and protecting riparian and intertidal margins. This is achieved through Table 4A which contains both standards and assessment criteria pertaining to aspects of natural character e.g. the replanting of displaced indigenous plant species following earthworks. Policy 15: Natural features and natural landscapes To protect the natural features and natural landscapes (including seascapes) of the coastal environment from inappropriate subdivision, use, and development: a. avoid adverse effects of activities on outstanding natural features and outstanding natural landscapes in the coastal environment; and b. avoid significant adverse effects and avoid, remedy, or mitigate other adverse effects of activities on other natural features and natural landscapes in the coastal environment; including by: c. identifying and assessing the natural features and natural landscapes of the coastal environment of the region or district, at minimum by land typing, soil characterisation and landscape characterisation and having regard to: s32 Report – Coastal Environment  

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Coastal Environment

i.

natural science factors, including geological, topographical, ecological and dynamic components; ii. the presence of water including in seas, lakes, rivers and streams; iii. legibility or expressiveness – how obviously the feature or landscape demonstrates its formative processes; iv. aesthetic values including memorability and naturalness; v. vegetation (native and exotic); vi. transient values, including presence of wildlife or other values at certain times of the day or year; vii. whether the values are shared and recognised; viii. cultural and spiritual values for tāngata whenua, identified by working, as far as practicable, in accordance with tikanga Māori; including their expression as cultural landscapes and features; ix. historical and heritage associations; and x. wild or scenic values; d. ensuring that regional policy statements, and plans, map or otherwise identify areas where the protection of natural features and natural landscapes requires objectives, policies and rules; and e. including the objectives, policies and rules required by (d) in plans. Policy 22: Sedimentation 1. Assess and monitor sedimentation levels and impacts on the coastal environment. 2. Require that subdivision, use, or development will not result in a significant increase in sedimentation in the coastal marine area, or other coastal water. 3. Control the impacts of vegetation removal on sedimentation including the impacts of harvesting plantation forestry. 4. Reduce sediment loadings in runoff and in stormwater systems through controls on land use activities. Both NZCPS Policies 15 and 22 are addressed in another District Plan chapter (natural environment). Policy 24: Identification of coastal hazards 1. Identify areas in the coastal environment that are potentially affected by coastal hazards (including tsunami), giving priority to the identification of areas at high risk of being affected. Hazard risks, over at least 100 years, are to be assessed having regard to: a. physical drivers and processes that cause coastal change including sea level rise; b. short-term and long-term natural dynamic fluctuations of erosion and accretion; c. geomorphological character; d. the potential for inundation of the coastal environment, taking into account potential sources, inundation pathways and overland extent; e. cumulative effects of sea level rise, storm surge and wave height under storm conditions; f. influences that humans have had or are having on the coast; g. the extent and permanence of built development; and h. the effects of climate change on: i. matters (a) to (g) above; ii. storm frequency, intensity and surges; and iii. coastal sediment dynamics; taking into account national guidance and the best available information on the likely effects of climate change on the region or district. s32 Report – Coastal Environment  

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Proposed Kāpiti Coast District Plan

Coastal Environment

The proposed Coastal Environment chapter gives effect to NZCPS Policy 24 by proposed Policy 4.10. This proposed policy requires the extent of three Coastal Hazard Management Areas that are identified on the District Plan Maps. The purpose of this is to enable development in these areas to be managed to avoid exacerbating coastal erosion hazard risks. Based on the coastal hazard erosion risk assessment received in August 2012, three Coastal Hazard Management Areas (CHMA) have been identified in the District Plan maps to address the management of development in relation to coastal erosion hazard risks. These CHMA sit over the top of zones and provide more specific development controls in addition to the more general zone requirements. These CHMA are:  a no-build urban CHMA;  a relocateable urban CHMA: and  a no-build rural CHMA. The CHMA provisions apply to the whole parcel in the case of subdivision. In all other cases the CHMA provisions apply only to land within that CHMA.

Policy 25: Subdivision, use, and development in areas of coastal hazard risk In areas potentially affected by coastal hazards over at least the next 100 years: a. avoid increasing the risk of social, environmental and economic harm from coastal hazards; b. avoid redevelopment, or change in land use, that would increase the risk of adverse effects from coastal hazards; c. encourage redevelopment, or change in land use, where that would reduce the risk of adverse effects from coastal hazards, including managed retreat by relocation or removal of existing structures or their abandonment in extreme circumstances, and designing for relocatability or recoverability from hazard events; d. encourage the location of infrastructure away from areas of hazard risk where practicable; e. discourage hard protection structures and promote the use of alternatives to them, including natural defences; and f. consider the potential effects of tsunami and how to avoid or mitigate them. Policy 25 of the NZCPS requires that subdivision, use and development avoid increasing harm from coastal hazards. The primary mechanism for giving effect to NZCPS Policy 25 is the three Coastal Hazard Management Areas identified in the District Plan maps to address the management of development in relation to coastal erosion hazard risks. Policy 4.12 manages subdivision and land uses in the Coastal Hazard Management Areas will be to: a) avoid exacerbating existing level of risk exposure in all CHMA by ensuring any new built development is located landward of the no-build CHMA and any existing development within the no build CHMA does not increase in scale or intensity; b) proactively promote a reduction of risk within the no-build urban CHMA; c) recognise long-term risk in the relocatable build urban and no-build rural CHMA; d) progressively reduce risk by requiring adaptation strategies over time; e) encouraging reliance on natural dune protection and progressively reducing reliance on hard protection works. Table 4.2 implements proposed Policy 4.12 by prohibiting subdivision within the entire CHMA. This ensures that no additional lots are created in the most significant areas of risk from coastal hazards. In addition, new buildings within the No Build rural s32 Report – Coastal Environment  

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Proposed Kāpiti Coast District Plan

Coastal Environment

and urban CHMA are prohibited. This ensures no additional people nor structures are exposed to the areas with the highest risk from coastal hazards. Relocatable buildings are enabled as a controlled activity in the relocatable urban CHMA. Infrastructure is discouraged in the No Build urban CHMA as a discretionary activity. This minimises the risk of damage to vital infrastructure as a result of coastal hazards. Removal of structures and buildings in the No Build urban CHMA is encouraged as a permitted activity. Policy 26: Natural defences against coastal hazards 1. Provide where appropriate for the protection, restoration or enhancement of natural defences that protect coastal land uses, or sites of significant biodiversity, cultural or historic heritage or geological value, from coastal hazards. 2. Recognise that such natural defences include beaches, estuaries, wetlands, intertidal areas, coastal vegetation, dunes and barrier islands. Policy 26 of the NZCPS promotes the restoration of natural defences, such as dunes and coastal vegetation, against hazards. In many places, these natural dune systems currently exist on narrow strips of publicly owned coastal reserve, much of which is at risk over the next 50-100 years. Maintenance of a naturally functioning dune buffer is an important component for the protection of the coast. Effect has been given to Policy 26 primarily by proposed Policies 4.7 and 4.8. Further, a dune buffer in coastal hazard development setbacks is provided for and coastal protection structures a non-complying activity. Policy 27: Strategies for protecting significant existing development from coastal hazard risk 1. In areas of significant existing development likely to be affected by coastal hazards, the range of options for reducing coastal hazard risk that should be assessed includes: a. promoting and identifying long-term sustainable risk reduction approaches including the relocation or removal of existing development or structures at risk; b. identifying the consequences of potential strategic options relative to the option of “do-nothing”; c. recognising that hard protection structures may be the only practical means to protect existing infrastructure of national or regional importance, to sustain the potential of built physical resources to meet the reasonably foreseeable needs of future generations; d. recognising and considering the environmental and social costs of permitting hard protection structures to protect private property; and e. identifying and planning for transition mechanisms and timeframes for moving to more sustainable approaches. 2. In evaluating options under (1): a. focus on approaches to risk management that reduce the need for hard protection structures and similar engineering interventions; b. take into account the nature of the coastal hazard risk and how it might change over at least a 100-year timeframe, including the expected effects of climate change; and c. evaluate the likely costs and benefits of any proposed coastal hazard risk reduction options. 3. Where hard protection structures are considered to be necessary, ensure that the form and location of any structures are designed to minimise adverse effects on the coastal environment.

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Proposed Kāpiti Coast District Plan

Coastal Environment

4. Hard protection structures, where considered necessary to protect private assets, should not be located on public land if there is no significant public or environmental benefit in doing so. While proposed Policy 4.6 recognises there is a variety of coastal management options available including engineering measures, proposed Policy 4.9 actively discourages the use of hard protection structures. Although hard protection structures currently exist in the southern parts of the District, these structures will be maintained at current height and locations to protect public land and assets as long as this is cost effective. This is reflected in Table 4.2 which provides for maintenance of coastal protection structures in the No Build urban CHMA as a discretionary activity and new coastal protection structures as a non complying activity. The NZCPS provides a strong direction on managing the coastal edge in a way that recognises the potential effects of climate change and the need for communities to adapt over time to ensure that public values such as natural character, access, amenity and significant landforms such as dunes are not lost for future generations. There is a clear directive to manage “inappropriate” development and in the context of coastal hazards this includes controlling development and encouraging managed retreat in certain areas. There is also a strong directive about hard protection works. As outlined in the above analysis, the proposed Coastal Environment chapter gives effect to the relevant provisions of the NZCPS.

3.3

Wellington Regional Policy Statement

As at the date of notification of the District Plan Review documentation, the Proposed Wellington Regional Policy Statement, 2009 (the “PRPS”) is still the subject of appeals to the Environment Court. Accordingly, the provisions of the Operative Regional Policy Statement, 1999 (the “RPS”) must be given effect to by the proposed provisions of the Kāpiti District Plan, and the provisions of the PRPS must be given sufficient regard Section 75(3)(c) of the RMA states that any District Plan must “give effect to” the RPS. Operative Wellington RPS Relevant objectives and policies to the coastal environment of the operative RPS are as follows: Objective 1 The natural character of the coastal environment is preserved through: (1) The protection of nationally and regionally significant areas and values; (2) The protection of the integrity, functioning and resilience of physical and ecological processes in the coastal environment; (3) The restoration and rehabilitation of degraded areas; and (4) The management of subdivision, use and development, and the allocation of resources in the coastal environment so that adverse effects are avoided, remedied or mitigated.

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Proposed KÄ piti Coast District Plan

Coastal Environment

This RPS objective is best achieved by proposed Policy 4.2 which identifies natural character and proposed Policy 4.3 which protects it. Proposed Policy 4.3 protects natural character by: a) reinstating dunes which function as natural buffers for as much of the coast as practicable; b) providing managed public access ways to the beach and avoiding damage to dunes from unmanaged access; c) avoiding encroachment of permanent structures and private uses onto the beach or public land; d) removing existing unnecessary structures and associated waste materials from the beach; e) preventing new activities which have adverse effects on natural character values; f) retaining a natural beach and foreshore including a dry sand beach where possible. This is reflected in the activity status table 4.2 which requires subdivision and land use within identified areas of high natural character to obtain resource consent approval. This enables the effect of the proposed subdivision and/or development on natural character to be assessed. Objective 2 Existing provisions for public access to and along the coastal marine area remain and appropriate opportunities are taken to enhance public access. This objective is reflected in proposed Policy 4.5 which requires subdivision and development in the coastal environment to maintain and enhance opportunities for recreation and enjoyment of the coast. This is achieved by Rule 4A.3.3 which requires subdivision layout to provide public access from a legal road to the beach or esplanade. A matter over which Council has discretion is public access to and along the coast. Policy 1 To give effect to the following matters when planning for and making decisions on subdivision, use and development in the coastal environment: (1) Protection, from all actual or potential adverse effects, of areas of nationally or regionally significant indigenous vegetation and significant habitats for indigenous fauna, including those listed in table 8; (2) Protection of the values associated with nationally or regionally outstanding landscapes, seascapes, geological features, landforms, sand dunes and beach systems and sites of historical or cultural significance, including those listed in tables 9 and 10; (3) Protection of sensitive, rare or unusual natural and physical resources, habitats, amenity values and ecosystems which are unique to the coastal environment (including estuaries, coastal wetlands, mangroves and dunes, and their margins) by avoiding, remedying or mitigating adverse effects so as to preserve the natural character of the coastal environment. (4) Protection of the integrity, functioning and resilience of the coastal environment in terms of the: (a) Dynamic processes and features arising from the natural movement of sediments, water and air; (b) Natural movement of biota; (c) Natural substrate composition; (d) Natural water quality and quantity, and air quality; (e) Natural biodiversity, productivity and biotic patterns; and s32 Report – Coastal Environment  

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Proposed Kāpiti Coast District Plan

Coastal Environment

(f) Intrinsic values of ecosystems. While this RPS policy is mostly achieved by another chapter of the proposed District Plan (natural environment), the Coastal Environment chapter recognises the importance of natural coastal processes. Proposed Policy 4.6 accommodates natural shoreline movement through management of natural features as well as engineering measures and managed retreat. Proposed Policy 4.7 recognises the importance of natural dunes as a buffer for coastal hazards. This is implemented by rules and standards such as requiring earthworks in dunes to first obtain a resource consent within the no build urban Coastal Hazard Management Area (Table 4.2). Policy 2 To consider, where relevant and to the appropriate extent, the following matters when planning for and making decisions about subdivision, use or development in the coastal environment: (1) The degree to which the proposed activity will impose effects additional to those resulting from existing subdivision, use and development, and the extent to which such cumulative adverse effects on natural character may be avoided, remedied or mitigated; (2) The extent to which natural character has already been compromised in an area and the need to avoid sprawling or sporadic subdivision, use or development; (3) The efficient use of finite resources in the coastal environment and the viability of alternative sites outside the coastal marine area and outside of the coastal environment for the proposed activity; (4) The potential impact of projected sea level rise; (5) The actual or potential adverse effects of subdivision, use or development on areas of cultural or spiritual significance, heritage resources and on scenic, scientific, recreation, open space or amenity values; and (6) The adequacy of provision of infrastructure services (particularly for the disposal of waste). All of these issues are represented by various policies, standards and assessment criteria within the Coastal Environment chapter. For example building and earthworks which are not in the Coastal Hazard Management Area and not won a sensitive natural feature are assessed in terms of:  Scale and location of activities  Visibility of activities from the beach  Effects on natural character  Effects on natural coastal processes  Natural hazard risks Policy 3 To restore and rehabilitate the natural character of the coastal environment where appropriate. RPS Policy 3 is achieved by proposed Policy 4.4 which requires subdivision and development in the coastal environment to support restoration of natural character. The proposed Policy achieves this through enhancing indigenous habitats and ecosystems, encouraging natural regeneration of indigenous species, rehabilitating dunes and other natural coastal features and restoring and protecting riparian and intertidal margins. This is achieved through Table 4A which contains both standards and assessment criteria pertaining to aspects of natural character e.g. the replanting of displaced indigenous plant species following earthworks. s32 Report – Coastal Environment  

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Proposed Kāpiti Coast District Plan

Coastal Environment

Policy 4 To ensure, in planning for or making decisions about new subdivision, use or development, that there is no reduction in the quality of existing legal access to and along the coastal marine area; and that opportunities are taken, other than in exceptional circumstances, to enhance the amount and variety of public access to and along the coastal marine area. This policy is reflected in proposed Policy 4.5 which requires subdivision and development in the coastal environment to maintain and enhance opportunities for recreation and enjoyment of the coast. This is achieved by Rule 4A.3.3 which requires subdivision layout to provide public access from a legal road to the beach or esplanade. A matter over which Council has discretion is public access to and along the coast. Policy 6 To adopt a precautionary approach to the evaluation of risk in making decisions that affect the coastal environment, recognising that there will be situations where there is a low probability of an event occurring, but that such an event has the potential to create major adverse effects. Such events include: (1) Earthquakes and tsunami; The Coastal Environment chapter is very aware of the potential for coastal hazards to pose a risk to people and property. Proposed Policy 4.8 minimises the risk of coastal hazards effects by managing the location of buildings and infrastructure in the coastal hazard management areas. Proposed Policy 4.10 identifies three Coastal Hazard Management Areas which are mapped on the District Plan maps. In Table 4.2 there are corresponding activity status which pertains to subdivision and buildings in the Coastal Hazard Management Areas. Subdivision in the Coastal Hazard Management Areas is a prohibited activity, as are new buildings. Minor additions to existing buildings may require a resource consent depending on whether they are consistent with the adaption strategy. Based on the above analysis, the proposed Coastal Environment chapter gives effect to the coastal provisions of the operative Wellington RPS. Wellington Proposed RPS Key objectives and policies of the Greater Wellington Proposed RPS include: Objective 3: Habitats and features in the coastal environment that have significant indigenous biodiversity values are protected; and habitats and features in the coastal environment that have recreational, cultural, historical or landscape values that are significant are protected from inappropriate subdivision, use and development. Policy 4: Identifying the landward extent of the coastal environment District plans shall include policies and/or rules to identify the landward extent of the coastal environment using the following criteria: (a) any area or landform dominated by coastal vegetation or habitat; (b) any landform affected by active coastal processes, excluding tsunami; (c) any landscapes or features, including coastal escarpments, that contribute to the natural character, visual quality or amenity value of the coast; and (d) any site, structure, place or area of historic heritage value adjacent to, or connected with, the coastal marine area, which derives its heritage value from a coastal location. s32 Report – Coastal Environment  

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Proposed Kāpiti Coast District Plan

Coastal Environment

Policy 37: Identifying the landward extent of the coastal environment When considering an application for a resource consent, notice of requirement, or a change, variation or review replacement to of a District Plan, particular regard shall be given to whether the proposal is within the coastal environment using the following criteria: (a) any area or landform dominated by coastal vegetation or habitat; (b) any landform affected by active coastal processes, excluding tsunami; (c) any landscapes or features, including coastal escarpments, that contribute to the natural character, visual quality or amenity value of the coast; and (d) any site, structure, place or area of historic heritage value adjacent to, or connected with, the coastal marine area, which derives its heritage value from a coastal location. This is achieved by proposed Policy 4.1 which identifies the extent of the coastal environment based on four criteria. The extent of the coastal environment is mapped on the District Plan maps. This proposed policy is implemented by rules in table 4.2 which pertain to activities within the identified coastal environment. The criteria used are: (a) (b) (c) (d)

areas or landforms dominated by coastal vegetation or habitat; landform affected by active coastal processes, excluding tsunami; landscapes or features, including coastal escarpments, that contribute to the natural character, visual quality or amenity value of the coast; and sites, structures, places or areas of historic heritage value adjacent to, or connected with, the coast, which derive their heritage value from a coastal location.

Objective 4 The natural character of the coastal environment is protected from the adverse effects of inappropriate subdivision, use and development. Policy 3: Protecting high natural character in the coastal environment – district and regional plans District and regional plans shall include policies, rules and/or methods that to discourage: protect high natural character in the coastal environment in from inappropriate (a) new subdivision, and/or development; and/or use. (b) inappropriate use; on land in the coastal environment with high natural character. Natural character should be assessed considering the following matters, with a site determined as having high natural character when the landscape is slightly modified or unmodified, the land-cover is dominated by indigenous vegetation and/or the vegetation cover is natural and there are no apparent buildings, structures or infrastructure: (a) The extent to which natural elements, patterns and processes occur, including: (i) natural elements: the products of natural processes – such as landforms, water forms, vegetation and land cover; (ii) natural processes: the ecological, climatic and geophysical processes that underlie the expression and character of the place, site or area; (iii) natural patterns: the visual expression or spatial distribution of natural elements which are, or which appear to be, a product of natural processes; and/or

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Proposed Kāpiti Coast District Plan

(b)

(c)

Coastal Environment

(iv) surroundings: the setting or context, such that the place, site or area contributes to an understanding of the natural history of the wider area. The nature and extent of modifications to the place, site or area, including, but not limited to: (i) physical alterations by people to the landscape, its landforms, waterforms, vegetation, land cover and to the natural patterns associated with these elements; (ii) the presence, location, scale and density of buildings and structures, including infrastructure, whether appearing to be interconnected or isolated, and the degree of intrusiveness of these structures on the natural character of the place; (iii) the temporal character of the modification – such as, whether it is fleeting or temporary, transitory, transitional or a permanent alteration to the character of the place, site or area; and/or (iv) any existing influences or pressures on the dynamic ecological and geophysical processes contributing to the presence and patterns of natural elements, such that these may change and the natural elements and/or patterns may become threatened over time. Social values: the place, site or area has meaning for a particular community or communities, including: (i) sentimental: the natural character of a place, site or area has a strong or special association with a particular community; and/or (ii) recognition: the place, site or area is held in high public esteem for its natural character value, or its contribution to the sense of identity of a particular community.

Policy 34: Preserving the natural character of the coastal environment When considering an application for a resource consent, notice of requirement, or a change, variation or review replacement to of a district or regional plan, particular regard shall be given to preserving the natural character of the coastal environment by: (a) minimising any adverse effects from point source and non-point source discharges, so that aquatic ecosystem health is safeguarded; (b) protecting the special values of associated with estuaries and bays, beaches and dune systems, including the unique physical processes that occur within and between them, so that healthy ecosystems are maintained; (c) maintaining or enhancing amenity – such as, open space and scenic values and opportunities for recreation and the enjoyment of the coast by the public; (d) minimising any significant adverse effects from use and enjoyment of the coast by the public; (e) safeguarding the life supporting capacity of coastal and marine ecosystems; (f) maintaining or enhancing biodiversity and the functioning of ecosystems; and (g) protecting scientific and geological features. Policy 35: Managing effects on natural character in the coastal environment – consideration When considering an application for a resource consent, notice of requirement or a change, variation or review of a District Plan, a determination shall be made as to whether an activity may affect natural character in the coastal environment, and in determining whether an activity is inappropriate particular regard shall be given to: (a) the nature and intensity of the proposed activity including: (i) the functional need or operational requirement to locate within the coastal environment (ii) the opportunity to mitigate anticipated adverse effects of the activity s32 Report – Coastal Environment  

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Proposed Kāpiti Coast District Plan

(b)

(c) (d)

Coastal Environment

the degree to which the natural character will be modified, damaged or destroyed including: (i) the duration and frequency of any effect, and/or (ii) the magnitude or scale of any effect; (iii) the irreversibility of adverse effects on natural character values; (iv) whether the activity will lead to cumulative adverse effects on the natural character of the site/area. the resilience of the site or area to change; the opportunities to remedy or mitigate previous damage to the natural character

Objective 5 Areas of the coastal environment where natural character has been degraded are restored and rehabilitated. This objective and policies are achieved by proposed Policies 4.2, 4.3 and 4.4 which firstly identify areas of high natural character using criteria outlines in proposed Policy 4.1. The proposed policies then protect areas of high natural character but also encourage subdivision and development to support restoration of natural character values. This is further implemented by Table 4.2 which identifies all buildings and earthworks on land identified as areas of high character to obtain a resource consent. Matters of which Council has restricted its discretion include effects on natural character.

Objective 7 The integrity, functioning and resilience of physical and ecological processes in the coastal environment are protected from the adverse effects of subdivision, use and development. Policy 36: Safeguarding lifesupporting capacity of coastal ecosystems When considering an application for a resource consent, notice of requirement, or a change, variation or review replacement to of a district or regional plan, particular regard shall be given to safeguarding the lifesupporting capacity of coastal and marine ecosystems by maintaining or enhancing: (a) any area within the intertidal or subtidal zone that contains unique, rare, distinctive or representative marine life or habitats; (b) areas used by marine mammals as breeding, feeding or haul out sites; (c) habitats in the coastal environment that are important during the vulnerable life stages of indigenous species; (d) habitats, corridors and routes important for preserving the range, abundance, and diversity of indigenous and migratory species; (e) any area that contain indigenous coastal ecosystems and habitats that are particularly vulnerable to modification – such as, estuaries, lagoons, coastal wetlands, dunelands, rocky reef systems and salt marshes; and (f) the integrity, functioning and resilience of physical and ecological processes. This objective is given effect to by proposed Policies 4.6 and 4.7. Proposed Policy 4.6 accommodates natural shoreline movement through management of natural features as well as engineering measures and managed retreat. Proposed Policy 4.7 recognises the importance of natural dunes as a buffer for coastal hazards. This is implemented by rules and standards such as requiring earthworks in dunes to first

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Proposed KÄ piti Coast District Plan

Coastal Environment

obtain a resource consent within the no build urban Coastal Hazard Management Area (Table 4.2). Objective 8: Public access to and along the coastal marine area, lakes and rivers is enhanced (objective 8 is shared for the coastal environment and fresh water). Policy 52: Public access to and along the coastal marine area, lakes and rivers When considering an application for a subdivision consent, or a coastal or land use consent on public land, or a change, variation or review of a district plan to address subdivision or rezoning, particular regard shall be given to enhancing public access to, and along,: (a) areas of the coastal marine area, and lakes and rivers with: (i) places, sites and areas with significant historic heritage values identified in accordance with policy 20; (ii) areas of indigenous ecosystems and habitats, and areas with significant indigenous biodiversity values identified in accordance with policy 22; (iii) outstanding natural features and landscapes identified in accordance with policy 24; (iv) significant amenity landscapes identified in accordance with policy 26; (v) places, sites and areas with high natural character identified in accordance with policy 35 This objective and policy is reflected in proposed Policy 4.5 which requires subdivision and development in the coastal environment to maintain and enhance opportunities for recreation and enjoyment of the coast. This is achieved by Rule 4A.3.3 which requires subdivision layout to provide public access from a legal road to the beach or esplanade. A matter over which Council has discretion is public access to and along the coast.

Objective 18 The risks and consequences to people, communities, their businesses, property and infrastructure from natural hazards and climate change effects are reduced. Policy 28: Avoiding subdivision and inappropriate development in areas at high risk from natural hazards Regional and District Plans shall: (a) identify areas at high risk from natural hazards; and (b) include policies and rules to avoid subdivision; and (c) include polices and rules to avoid inappropriate development in those areas Policy 50: Minimising the risks and consequences of natural hazards When considering an application for a resource consent, notice of requirement, or a change, variation or replacement review to a district or regional plan, the risk and consequences of natural hazards on people, communities, their property and infrastructure shall be minimised, and/or in determining whether an activity is inappropriate having particular regard shall be given to: (a) the frequency and magnitude of the range of natural hazards that may adversely affect the proposal or development, including residual risk; (b) the potential for climate change and sea level rise to increase the frequency or magnitude of a hazard event; (c) whether the location of the development will foreseeably require hazard mitigation works in the future; s32 Report – Coastal Environment  

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Proposed Kāpiti Coast District Plan

(d) (e) (f) (g) (h) (i)

Coastal Environment

the potential for injury or loss of life, social disruption and emergency management and civil defence implications - such as access routes to and from the site; any risks and consequences beyond the development site; the impact of the proposed development on any natural features that act as a buffer, and where development should not interfere with their ability to reduce the risks of natural hazards; avoiding inappropriate development in areas at high risk from natural hazards; the potential need for hazard adaptation and mitigation measures in moderate risk areas; and the need to locate habitable floor areas and access routes above the 1:100 year flood level, in identified flood hazard areas.

Objective 19: Hazard mitigation measures, structural works and other activities do not increase the risk and consequences of natural hazard events. Policy 51: Minimising adverse effects of hazard mitigation measures When considering an application for a resource consent, notice of requirement, or a change, variation or replacement review of to a district or regional plan, for hazard mitigation measures, particular regard shall be given to: (a) the need for structural protection works or hard engineering methods; (b) whether non-structural or soft engineering methods are a more appropriate option; (c) avoiding structural protection works or hard engineering methods unless it is necessary to protect existing development or property from unacceptable risk and the works form part of a long-term hazard management strategy that represents the best practicable option for the future; (d) the cumulative effects of isolated structural protection works; and (e) residual risk remaining after mitigation works are in place, so that they reduce and do not increase the risks of natural hazards. Objective 20: Communities are more resilient to natural hazards, including the impacts of climate change, and people are better prepared for the consequences of natural hazards events. These objectives and policies build on the RMA and the NZCPS and place emphasis on assessing risks and managing them in a way that reduces the risks. In assessing risk there is a need to address the potential impacts of climate change, along with aiming to build communities that are more resilient to the potential impacts of natural hazards and recognising that climate change will exacerbate these hazards. Policy 28 requires District Plans to identify high risk areas and to avoid subdivision and inappropriate development in these areas. Policy 50 focuses on minimising the risk and consequences on people, communities, property and infrastructure. Policies 50 and 51 outline a range of matters that must be considered when assessing if activities are “appropriate”. The proposed Coastal Environments chapter takes a comprehensive approach and not only seeks to preserve natural coastal character but also identifies coastal hazard management areas where development will be managed. This is achieved through policies, activity classification, standards and assessment criteria. This PRPS objectives regarding coastal hazard risk are most appropriately given effect to by proposed Policy 4.8. This policy minimises the risk of coastal hazards effects by managing the location of buildings and infrastructure in the coastal hazard s32 Report – Coastal Environment  

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Proposed Kāpiti Coast District Plan

Coastal Environment

management areas. Proposed Policy 4.10 identifies three Coastal Hazard Management Areas which are mapped on the District Plan maps. In Table 4.2 there are corresponding activity status which pertain to subdivision and buildings in the Coastal Hazard Management Areas. Subdivision in the Coastal Hazard Management Areas is a prohibited activity, as are new buildings. Minor additions to existing buildings may require a resource consent depending on whether they are consistent with the adaption strategy. Proposed Policy 4.9 actively discourages the use of hard protection structures in accordance with PRPS Policy 51.

3.4

Wellington Regional Plans

The Wellington Regional Council administers 5 Regional Plans, being:     

Regional Air Quality Management Plan; Regional Coastal Plan; Regional Freshwater Plan; Regional Soil Plan; and Regional Plan for discharges to land

Section 75(4)(b) of the RMA states that any District Plan must “not be inconsistent with” a regional plan for any matter stated in s30(1) (functions of regional councils, including the avoidance or mitigation of natural hazards). The Regional Coastal Plan is the most relevant to the Coastal Environment District Plan chapter and relevant objectives are policies are outlined below. General Objectives 4.1.1 The intrinsic values of the coastal marine area and its components are preserved and protected from inappropriate use and development. 4.1.2 People and communities are able to undertake appropriate uses and developments in the coastal marine area which satisfy the environmental protection policies in the plan, including activities which:  rely on natural and physical resources of the coastal marine area; or  require a coastal marine area location; or  provide essential public services; or  avoid adverse effects on the environment; or  have minor adverse effects on the environment, either singly or in  combination with other users; or  remedy or mitigate adverse effects on the environment and provide a net benefit to the environment. 4.1.3 The adverse effects that new activities may have on existing legitimate activities in the coastal marine area are avoided, remedied or mitigated as far as is practicable. 4.1.4 Land, water and air in the coastal marine area retains its life supporting capacity. 4.1.5 The natural character of the coastal marine area is preserved and protected from inappropriate use and development. 4.1.6 Important ecosystems and other natural and physical resources in and adjacent to the coastal marine area are protected from inappropriate use and development. 4.1.7 Public health is not endangered through the effects of previous, present or future activities in the coastal marine area.

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Proposed Kāpiti Coast District Plan

Coastal Environment

4.1.8 Public access along and within the coastal marine area is maintained and enhanced. 4.1.9 Amenity values in the coastal marine area are maintained and enhanced. 4.1.10 Important views to and from the coastal marine area are retained. 4.1.11 Any adverse effects from natural hazards are reduced to an acceptable level. General Policy 4.2.21 Use and development of the coastal marine area must take appropriate account of natural hazards… Explanation: Natural hazards in the coastal marine area include erosion, sedimentation, inundation, tsunami, and earthquake…..What is “appropriate” will vary depending on the circumstances, and be related to the degree of risk associated with the activity. 4.2.1 To recognise that the intrinsic values of the coastal marine area and its components are the heritage of future generations and are worthy of protection in their own right, while allowing for appropriate use and development. 4.2.2 To recognise and distinguish between those parts of the coastal marine area which retain natural character, and those areas where natural character has already been compromised, and to encourage appropriate new developments only in the latter areas. 4.2.3 When considering the significance of adverse effects of activities on the coastal marine area, to recognise and distinguish between: those activities which require occupancy on a "permanent" basis, and those which can effectively relinquish coastal space at a future date; • those activities which have irreversible adverse effects and those for which adverse effects are reversible; and • those activities which have short term adverse effects and those which have on-going or long term adverse effects. Objectives for structures includes: 6.1.1 Appropriate structures which enable people and communities to provide for their economic and social well-being are allowed. 6.1.2 There is no inappropriate use or development of structures in the coastal marine area. Policy for Structures: 6.2.2 To not allow the use or development of structures in the coastal marine area where there will be: …significant adverse effects on: • the risk from natural hazards; 6.2.3 To discourage the development of ad hoc shore protection structures; and to not allow the development of seawalls, groynes, or other "hard" shore protection structures unless all feasible alternatives have been evaluated and found to be impracticable or to have greater adverse effects on the environment. 6.2.5 To ensure that adequate allowance is made for the following factors when designing any structure: • rising sea levels as a result of climate change, using the best current estimate scenario of the International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC); • waves and currents; • storm surge; and • major earthquake events.

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Proposed Kāpiti Coast District Plan

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Objectives for deposition 8.1.2 Beach nourishment is used as a means of mitigating the adverse effects of coastal erosion. Policy for Deposition: 8.2.1 To allow the deposition of sand, shingle, shell or other natural material on areas of foreshore or seabed if the purpose of that deposition is to combat beach or shoreline erosion, or to improve the amenity value of the foreshore, provided that all of the following criteria can be met: • the composition of the material is suitable for the site, will remain on the foreshore or seabed for a reasonable period of time, and will not result in increased water turbidity or wind borne sediment transport; • the deposition will not adversely affect the amenity value of the foreshore or seabed through significant changes in beach slope or texture; and • the deposition will not cause any significant adverse effects on marine fauna or flora, or human values or uses of the area. The RCP, while managing the area from MHWS seawards, addresses natural hazard risks. The Plan recognises that some structures may be located in the coastal marine area, for the management of hazard risk, but that in utilising structures they must be “appropriate” and other feasible alternatives must have been considered. Beach nourishment is supported as a method for managing the effects of hazards. It is noted that there is a range of other policies (in addition to the above) that also impact on the management of natural hazard effects. These include for example, natural character, amenity, landscape, public access. These are matters that are also addressed in the proposed District Plan for the landward side of MHWS. The proposed Coastal Environment chapter is not inconsistent with the Wellington Regional Coastal Plan.

3.5

Iwi Management Plans

Section 74(2A) of the RMA states that the territorial authority must “take into account” any planning document recognised by an iwi authority. Proposed Ngāti Raukawa Ōtaki River and Catchment Iwi Management Plan 2000 The Iwi Management Plan sets out a vision for the Ōtaki River and catchments as follows: The mauri of the Ōtaki River and its people restored and revitalised To seek the protection and on-going enhancement of the mauri of the Ōtaki River and Catchment, the fulfilment of Ngāti Raukawa kaitiakitanga responsibilities and the transferral of those responsibilities to future generations empowered and prepared to accept them. The Management Plan sets out objectives and policies in the following environmental areas: 

Environmental principles

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     

Coastal Environment

Ecological restoration Waste management Genetic engineering and organic farming Protected natural areas Environmental monitoring Development to benefit Ōtaki communities

There are no objectives and policies pertaining to historic heritage. Secondary Vision Statement The mauri of the Ōtaki River and Catchment protected, sustained, nurtured and enhanced so that Ngāti Raukawa in turn may be protected, sustained, nurtured and enhanced by it. Policy directions set out in section 4.1 include: 

Management guided by environmental principles (as at 2000 “to be prepared”); having a common base-line of protection and enhancement of mauri;

Pending the preparation of those principles, a precautionary approach is to be taken.

Environmental Monitoring Objective: To ensure effective and accurate monitoring of the health of the Ōtaki River environment. Policy: Ngā Hapū o Ōtaki will consider five primary indicators when monitoring the health of the environment of the Ōtaki River: … (iii) the abundance and spread of toheroa(coastal) (iv) the abundance and spread of tamure (marine)… This proposed Iwi Management Plan was produced in 2000. While the focus is strongly on the management of the Ōtaki River and catchment, there is also a strong reminder that this area is linked to the coastal areas and what happens upstream impacts on the coast. There is emphasis placed on integrated management that will restore the mauri and the quality of the environment. There are no objectives and policies of particular relevance to the Coastal Environment chapter. Kakapanui: Te Rūnanga o Āti Awa ki Whakarongotai Inc.: Ngā Kōrero mo Te Taio:  Policy Statements Manual  The policy statements outline the vision, intent and objectives for compliance with tikanga standards for the protection and management of the environment. The policy statements comprise:   

Earth / Whenua (landscape, quarry management and mining, and costal management) Water / Wai (effluent treatment and disposal, stormwater and runoff, and water extraction) Air / Hau (discharge to air)

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Fire / Ahi kaa (heritage management and protection, representation, subdivision and sustainable development, research and intellectual property rights, marine mammals)

There are a number of these sections still to come however and the current  manual includes effluent treatment and disposal, stormwater and runoff, heritage  management and protection; and representation.  While the coastal environment module has not as yet been developed, guiding principles can be drawn from the existing modules. The intent of this Iwi Management Plan is to develop community based solutions for environmental awareness, protection and management through a Treaty partnership process, and to protect the interests of future generations. Key principles that have been presented through other modules include: 

Adopting a precautionary approach

Ensuring that environmental health is maintained

Progressively improving and restoring the natural and healthy state of waterways and land (including sea, estuary, coastline)

Acknowledging the value of the natural resources including coastlines

Restoring natural environments and ecosystems.

Of particular note are the following policies on stormwater: Policy 1: To oppose any level of untreated stormwater discharge to areas required for food. Policy 4: To progressively remove untreated discharges from all waterways and commence with a process of remedial action to heal these places. Policy 5: To maintain that rahui until monitoring shows an improvement in water quality that meets shellfish taking and tikanga safety standards. Policy 13: To promote a community “ethic of care” based on good stewardship as part of our responsibilities to future generations. While these policies will have an effect on the coastal water quality, they are not particularly relevant to the Coastal Environment chapter.

3.6

Operative District Plan Provisions

The District Plan 1999 contains the following key provisions: A7 Vision: a District with communities informed of the risk of natural hazards and the response necessary to minimise risks. C1.1.Policy1 highlights the importance of amenity values, including reference to the natural environment, natural processes and access. This is supported by Policy 2 which also addresses the natural environment. C4.1 Policy 2 Landforms - recognises the importance of sand dunes to the coastal landscape, in Paraparaumu town centre. C.6.1 Policy 7 protects the characteristics of the coastal environment that are of special value to tāngata whenua. s32 Report – Coastal Environment  

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Proposed Kāpiti Coast District Plan

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C7 focuses on subdivision and development, in relation to various zones and geographical areas. C.7.1 Residential subdivision: Objective 2: Policy recognises the importance of natural features in the coastal environment. C.7.2 Rural subdivision and development: Objective 1: Policies 2 and 3 particularly identify the importance of coastal dunes. Policy 8 seeks to avoid adverse effects of subdivision on the coastal environment. Policy 12 focuses on natural character of the coastal environment, Policy 13 on the natural form of sand dunes. Policy 17 aims to avoid natural hazards when land is subdivided. C.7.3 Earthworks: Objective 1: Policies 1 and 2 recognise the importance of protecting dunes, native vegetation and outstanding landscapes, including access and recreational opportunities. C.9 Coastal Environment: Of particular relevance in this chapter are: Objective 1: Policy 1 ensures protection of landforms, dunes, vegetation and habitats. Policy 2 discourages development prone to coastal erosion or the effects of sea level rise. Policy 3 controls residential buildings within areas subject to coastal erosion. Policy 4 discourages coastal protection works and encourages managed retreat and coastal renourishment. Objective 2: Policy 1 requires esplanade reserves along the coast. Policy 2 addresses public access. Policy 3 protects foredunes. C.10 Landscape Objective 1: Policies 3 and 4 support dune protection. C.11 Ecology Objective 1: Various policies support the importance of natural environments including native plantings and identify the importance of buffer zones. C.12 Open Spaces & Reserves Objective 1 and 2: various policies identify the importance of open space, amenity and recreational values and set out the Council’s approach to esplanade reserves. C.15 Natural Hazards This chapter of the District Plan includes earthquake and geological hazards, coastal hazards and flood hazards. Present Coastal Hazards are identified as including: long-term erosion of the shoreline, short term fluctuations in the shore line, erosion from river mouth migration and wind erosion of dunes. The Objectives and Policies of this section are set out in Appendix C. Other relevant provisions include: D1.2 Residential Zone Standards: Yards: sets out: “Coastal building line restrictions” are as follows:   

Waikanae, Te Horo Beach – 7.5 m from seaward title boundary Peka Peka – 70 m from the seaward edge of the existing esplanade reserve Paraparaumu, Raumati, Paekākāriki – 20 m (as shown on maps)

In addition, “relocatable buildings” are required between 20 m and 50 m from the sea in some areas (defined in the glossary and shown on maps of the District Plan planning maps). D2.2 Rural Zone Standards

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Proposed Kāpiti Coast District Plan

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Siting of buildings:  The erection of buildings shall not be sited within 100 m of the seaward title boundary of the esplanade reserve or the toe of the foredune or vegetation line where this is within the esplanade title reserve. 

Yard setback: at least 100 m for all buildings.

D2.1.5 Prohibited Activity  New buildings within 100 m (as described above) (D2.1.5(ii)). These restrictions have the effect of avoiding new development seaward of the line stated for each area. The District Plan has already taken a strong lead on the management of coastal hazard areas. The emphasis is on avoiding creating new or exacerbating existing hazards. The District Plan also envisaged that the coastal hazards zones would continue to be refined as further studies were undertaken (pC15-4).

3.7

Other Plans & Strategies

Section 74(2) of the RMA states that a territorial authority “shall have regard to” any management plans and strategies prepared under other Acts. This section of the report discusses other documents considered in the development of this report. The following key documents have informed the preparation of this section 32 analysis. Kāpiti Coast District Plan Review: Discussion Document Natural Hazards and  Managed Retreat, 2010.  This discussion paper was one of a set of papers which formed the basis for discussing issues of importance to the District Plan Review. It provides a comprehensive overview of coastal hazards and the challenges being faced. It also outlines the legislative background to managing hazards. Managed retreat is discussed as a key method for risk reduction, along with recognition that a multi-year community discussion is required. This recognises that “the sea cannot be held back indefinitely” (p12). The document identifies (p8) that there is a need to address natural hazard risks in a way that:  Provides for certainty  Plans for continuous change  Plans for an uncertain threat  Works with communities to find sustainable, long-term solutions. The document also recognises that the District Plan is only one mechanism (albeit a key one), for managing coastal hazards and the associated risks to people and property. The District Plan Review has considered the feedback received on this Discussion Document in the development of the Coastal Environment chapter.

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Proposed Kāpiti Coast District Plan

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Choosing Futures: Coastal Strategy, 2006  This KCDC Strategy builds on the Kāpiti Coast: Choosing Futures: Community Outcomes and Community Plan. It was developed to guide management of the coastal environment over the next 20 years and to implement the community vision of “restore and enhance the wild natural feel of the coast”. The community also wanted to see a comprehensive and integrated approach to coastal management (not just protection) which treats the coast as an ecosystem to be managed as a whole”(p16). The District Plan is one of the regulatory tools for implementing this strategy. Overarching Objective: That environmental and lifestyle values that have always attracted people to the area are retained and enhanced and the historical, geological and cultural values are maintained”. The management principles  Protect coastal processes  Protect unique heritage  Protect character  Interventions should enhance the potential of natural features to be self sustaining  Balancing public and private access  Emergency management strategies are planned in advance of possible events  Coastal reserve and dune margins are treated an understood as an integrated natural system  The built environment is a string of distinct built settlements, each with unique character The Strategy recognises that there are seven challenges with respect to the coast: stewardship involving all sectors of the community in decision making, the health of the natural coastal ecosystems, harvesting of resources on the coast, access to the coast, recreation and use of the coast, erosion and other coastal hazards, and the scale, location and built character of the coast. In relation to coastal hazards the following were particularly noted: District-wide coastal outcomes: 

Public dune margins are no longer gardened with exotic species by adjacent owners.

Restoration planting has been a priority on the foredune and has formed a natural erosion buffer.

All access to the beach across the foredune is via a public accessway as these are suitable for all users and protect the environment.

Any structures within the coastal reserve (protection and access structure) are part of the built character and must be well designed and multipurpose where possible.

Improved understanding that the Coast is a single, contiguous natural resource, and that the coastal margins in front of public and private assets should be managed in a holistic way.

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Proposed Kāpiti Coast District Plan

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Management Principles: 

Long-term solutions which protect coastal processes and systems are sought for the benefit of current and future generations.

Unique areas and interest along the coast are recognised and solutions are sought which protect character and the environment. This means management practices reflect that different parts of the coast have different needs.

Private and public access is balanced within the constraints of coastal systems.

Emergency management strategies and related processes are planned in advance of possible events.

The coastal reserve and dune margins are treated and understood as an integrated natural system and managed as a community asset.

The strategy (p51–59) provides an overview of coastal hazards along with outlining the erosion/accretion and hazards trends experienced along the Kāpiti Coast. It notes in particular the range of engineered structures that have been put in over time to address erosion effects. It identifies that a revised assessment of coastal hazard risk was undertaken and that a review of the building setback lines would also be undertaken. It states: The overall strategic response for hazards is to continue to protect existing structures on the coast while maintaining the dune areas, making them as natural as possible with native plantings and to consider soft engineering as an initial response to problems. (p55). A range of responses (many of which falls outside the scope of the District Plan) are identified to meet this challenge. In particular it is noted that Council’s intention is to continue to protect only public assets. The strategy (pp 60–62) also reflects on the built environment. It states: The overall strategic response is to protect character areas in the District Plan, ensure any building setbacks from the coast include consideration of amenity and ensure protection works are as minimal as possible and do not change the character of settlements. A range of responses are identified to meet this challenge, including in particular ensuring new buildings are set back from the coast (for visual and amenity purposes) but also recognising the hazard role of setbacks. The Council stated it intended to retain the 70 m (Pekapeka) and 100 m (rural) setbacks. The Coastal Environment chapter gives effect to all many of the seven challenges with respect to the coast: access to the coast, recreation and use of the coast – this is reflected in proposed Policy 4.5 which requires subdivision and development in the coastal environment to maintain and enhance opportunities for recreation and enjoyment of the coast. This is achieved by Rule 4A.3.3 which requires subdivision layout to provide public access from a legal road to the beach or esplanade. A matter over which Council has discretion is public access to and along the coast. erosion and other coastal hazards – The proposed Coastal Environments chapter takes a comprehensive approach and identifies coastal hazard management areas where development will be managed. This is achieved through policies, activity classification, standards and assessment criteria. Proposed Policy 4.8 minimises the s32 Report – Coastal Environment  

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Proposed Kāpiti Coast District Plan

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risk of coastal hazards effects by managing the location of buildings and infrastructure in the coastal hazard management areas. Proposed Policy 4.10 identifies three Coastal Hazard Management Areas which are mapped on the District Plan maps. In Table 4.2 there are corresponding activity status which pertain to subdivision and buildings in the Coastal Hazard Management Areas. Subdivision in the Coastal Hazard Management Areas is a prohibited activity, as are new buildings. Minor additions to existing buildings may require a resource consent depending on whether they are consistent with the adaption strategy.

3.8

Trade Competition

Section 74(3) of the RMA requires that, in preparing or changing the District Plan, the Council must not have regard to trade competition or the effects of trade competition. In regard to the proposed coastal environment provisions, the Objective, Policies and other Methods are trade competition neutral.

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4

EVALUATION OF PROPOSED OBJECTIVE

4.1

Proposed Objectives

The District Plan’s objectives are the primary means to achieve the sustainable management purpose set out in Section 5 of the RMA. For the purposes of this analysis, the appropriateness of the proposed objective is considered, and additional options are assessed as alternative means of achieving the sustainable management purpose in section 5. There are a number of proposed objectives identified for managing the District’s Coastal Environment, however objective 2.4 outlined below is the primary objective assessed in this report.

  Objective 2.4 Coastal environment To have a healthy coastal environment where: a) b) c) d)

natural character, natural systems, natural landforms and natural rocesses, are protected, and restored where degraded; appropriate public access to and along the coast is improved; development does not result in further loss of coastal dunes; and communities are not exposed to increased risks from coastal hazards

In addition objective 2.3 –Development Management, in the extract provided below seeks to avoid natural hazard effects on people and communities. 2.3 Development management To maintain a consolidated urban form within Existing Urban Areas and a limited number of Identified Growth Areas which can be efficiently serviced and integrated with existing townships, delivering:… c) resilient communities where development does not result in an increase in risk to life or severity of damage to property from natural hazard events;

  In relation to natural character objective 2.3 Natural Environment addresses protection of natural features.

4.2

Does the Objective Achieve the Act’s Purpose?

The following table summarises the extent to which the proposed objective achieves the purpose of the RMA. Purpose of RMA Sustain the potential of natural and physical resources to meet needs of future generations (s5(2)(a))

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Achievement The coastal environment is a natural resource and includes not only landforms such as dunes but processes as well. There are many places in which there are significant ecological values and important coastal habitats, as well as landscapes of valued natural character. The landforms visible from and associated with the coast form part of [37]


Proposed Kāpiti Coast District Plan

Purpose of RMA

Coastal Environment

Achievement the natural character of the coastal environment. A consequence of the unique characteristics and natural qualities of the coastal environment is that it is under considerable development pressure which tends to conflict with the natural character, systems, landforms and processes of the coastal environment. The beach and coastal plain have been highly modified by development and use since permanent settlement. Objective 2.4 recognises the importance of natural character, natural systems, natural landforms and natural processes and seeks to protect them. Where these are already degraded, the proposed Objective seeks to restore them. By protecting these natural resources, Objective 2.4 achieves this part of Section 5 of the Act. Objective 2.4 also recognises that the coastal dunes are sensitive to pressure from development and seeks to avoid further loss of coastal dunes. This will result in the retention and protection of coastal dunes for future generations. Both proposed Objectives 2.3 and 2.4 recognise that coastal hazards can impact on the environment and on people’s property and lives. These proposed objectives are relevant to sustaining the potential of natural and physical resources, by recognising that the environment is also at risk from human response to coastal hazard events. This proposed objective therefore recognises that an environment affected by hazard events must be managed in a way that allows for natural processes to occur and to enable future generations to experience a reduced level of risk from such events as much as practicable.

Safeguard the life-supporting capacity of air, water, soil and ecosystems (s5(2)(b))

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Natural systems such as dunes can also provide buffers against the effects of a coastal hazard event on people and property. To be sustainable for the future, activities and development on the land must be managed carefully. There are many places within the coastal environment with significant ecological values and important coastal habitats. The natural ecology and processes of the coastal environment can be adversely affected by activities if not properly managed. As part of development of the coastal plain for agriculture [38]


Proposed KÄ piti Coast District Plan

Purpose of RMA

Coastal Environment

Achievement and urban areas, bush has been cleared, dunes flattened, exotic species planted and introduced, wetlands drained or filled, aggregate removed from rivers, river channels narrowed and protective structures built. Subdivision and development can be inappropriate in the coastal environment, given the fragility of ecologically sensitive areas such as dunes. Proposed Objective 2.4 recognises the importance of protecting natural systems and processes and in doing so safeguards the lifesupporting capacity of ecosystems in particular. Proposed Objective 2.4 also recognises the importance of avoiding further loss of coastal dunes. As part of development of the coastal plain for agriculture and urban areas, dunes have been cleared and flattened. Dunes are an essential component of the coastal ecosystem and avoiding their further loss achieves this part of Section 5 of the Act. Coastal erosion is a natural phenomenon. The proposed objective recognises that the coast and its ecosystems are vulnerable to changes and needs to be able to adapt to these changes. To enable the coastal environment to adjust and safeguard the associated life supporting capacity of the coast, it is important that the natural processes can occur as naturally as possible, (i.e. without being constrained by development or other physical structures). Existing protection works have significantly impacted on natural coastal processes. This proposed objective recognises the need to reduce the risk to the environment from inappropriate responses to natural hazard events.

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Proposed Kāpiti Coast District Plan

Purpose of RMA Avoid, remedy or mitigate adverse effects of activities on the environment (s5(2)(c))

Coastal Environment

Achievement The definition of “environment” as contained in the RMA includes ecosystems and their constituent parts, including people and communities. As Objective 2.3(c) seeks to reduce the risk to life from natural hazard events, it is considered to achieve this part of Section 5 of the Act. Proposed Objective 2.4 has as avoiding, remedying and mitigating effects on the environment as a central theme. Objective 2.4(a) seeks to protect natural character, natural systems, natural landforms and natural processes and restore those that are degraded. In achieving this part of the Objective, adverse effects on natural character, natural systems, natural landforms and natural processes will be avoided, or remedied where they are already degraded. Objective 2.4(c) seeks to avoid further loss of coastal dunes and therefore achieves this part of Section 5 of the Act. Proposed Objective 2.4(d) seeks to ensure that activities are managed in a way that reduces the potential impacts of natural hazard events on property and life while preserving the coastal environment. The definition of “environment” as contained in the RMA includes ecosystems and their constituent parts, including people and communities. As Objective 2.5 seeks to ensure the safety and resilience of people and communities by avoiding increased levels of risk from natural hazards, it is considered to achieve this part of Section 5 of the Act.

Enable people and communities to provide for their social, economic and cultural well-being (s5(2))

Applying a risk management and reduction approach to activities in the coastal environment will be critical to managing the potential scale of adverse effects that could arise. It also recognises the importance of enabling the environment to “cope” with a hazard event in as natural a manner as possible. Objective 2.3(c) seeks to limit the risk or severity to property from natural hazard events. Objective 2.5 seeks to ensure that communities are located and designed in a way to reduce the potential impacts on them from hazard events. There are potentially high economic and social costs associated with natural hazards in the

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Proposed Kāpiti Coast District Plan

Purpose of RMA

Coastal Environment

Achievement District with significant consequences for public health and safety, agriculture, housing and infrastructure. Natural hazard events not only disrupt the social fabric of the community but can have devastating effects on assets such as structures and infrastructure. Both proposed objectives seek to reduce the social and economic costs by avoiding exposure to increased levels of risk. Both Objectives 2.3(c) and 2.5 will enable people and communities to provide for their social, economic and cultural well-being by reducing the risk from natural hazards. It is critical that the threats from coastal hazards are taken into account when considering the social, economic and cultural well-being of individuals and communities. This proposed objective seeks to reduce the social and economic costs of responding to, and recovering from, coastal hazard events. Aiming to reduce these costs would provide for more resilient communities.

Enable people and communities to provide for their health and safety (s5(2))

Matters of National Importance (s6)

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Proposed Objective 2.4 also recognises the importance of natural character, amenity values and public access for people’s enjoyment, food gathering and recreation activities. By seeking to avoid and reduce risk from hazard events, both proposed objectives 2.3 and 2.4 make a strong contribution to the health and safety of individuals and communities. The proposed objectives also recognise that while there are uncertainties involved in the scale and timing of the impacts from climate change, it is clear that the projected sea level rise has the potential to exacerbate existing erosion trends. Therefore it is important to increase the resilience of communities to the potential effects of climate change. Proposed Objective 2.4(b) appropriate public access to and along the coast to be improved. Enabling people to access the beach for recreation purposes will provide for their health.    Objective 2.4 seeks recognises the importance of natural processes and systems. Although this wording does not match that in Section 6, preserving natural processes and systems will ensure the preservation of the natural character of the coastal environment and the protection of [41]


Proposed Kāpiti Coast District Plan

Purpose of RMA

Other Matters (s7)

Coastal Environment

Achievement areas of significant indigenous vegetation and significant habitats of indigenous fauna. Of most relevant are the following parts of Section 7: (f) maintenance and enhancement of the quality of the environment: (i) the effects of climate change: The definition of “environment” as contained in the RMA includes ecosystems and their constituent parts, including people and communities. As Objectives 2.3(c) and 2.4 seek to ensure the safety and resilience of people and communities by avoiding increased levels of risk from natural hazards, it is considered to achieve Section 7(f). The effects of climate change must be considered in tandem with natural hazards. The Council recognises that climate change has the potential to increase both the frequency and magnitude of natural hazard events. Long-term planning needs to take account of expected long-term shifts and changes in climate extremes and patterns to ensure future generations are adequately prepared for predicted climate conditions, and that a precautionary approach is taken to hazard mitigation and avoidance. Reducing the exposure of people and property to risk from natural hazard events and potential climate change impacts would not only result in less impact on people and communities but would also enable the natural environment to respond and adjust in a natural way. In this regard, both Objectives 2.3(c) and 2.4 are considered to give appropriate regard to the effects of climate change.

In summary, it is concluded that the proposed Objectives achieve the purpose of the Act and promotes the sustainable management of natural and physical resources in a way that people and communities can provide for their social, economic and cultural wellbeing, and for their health and safety, both now and in the future.

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4.3 Is the proposed objective the most appropriate to achieve the Act’s purpose? In determining the most appropriate objective to achieve the purpose of the Act, the test is the extent to which each objective is the most appropriate way to achieve the purpose of the Act. All of the proposed objectives under the District Plan Review have been written to interrelate and achieve an overlapping framework of sustainable resource management. In this context, the most appropriate objective does not necessarily equate to the superior objective – rather it is a matter of suitability, given the other objectives proposed. To this end, the District Plan Review project entails a reduction in the overall number of objectives from 43 (in the Operative Plan) to a new total of 20. As illustrated in section 4.2 of this report, the proposed coastal environment objectives achieve the purpose of the Act. Within the framework created by the 20 proposed objectives, it is also considered to be the most appropriate means of achieving the Act’s purpose with respect to coastal environment matters. There were three main objectives regarding coastal environment in the Operative Kāpiti Coast District Plan, contained in Section C9 as follows: Objective 1.0 – Protection of natural coastal values To protect and enhance the natural character, natural values and associated amenity values of the coastal environment. Objective 2.0 – Public Access To facilitate public access to and along the coast. Objective 3.0 – Tāngata Wenua To recognise and provide for the relationship of tāngata whenua with the coastal environment Although not contained in the Coastal Section of the District Plan, there is one objective in C5: Natural Hazards relevant to the coastal environment Objective 1.0 To manage activities and development within natural hazard prone areas so as to avoid or mitigate the adverse effects of natural hazards Proposed Objective 2.4 covers all of the issues raised in the operative objectives plus more. Although the relationship of tāngata whenua with the coastal environment is not represented in proposed Objective 2.4, this is addressed by proposed Objective 2.1. Proposed Objective 2.4(a) seeks to protect natural character in accordance with operative Objective 1.0 but it goes further and addresses natural systems, natural landforms and natural processes. Proposed Objective 2.4(a) also seeks to restore natural character, natural systems, natural landforms and natural processes where these are degraded. Proposed Objective 2.4(c) specifically identifies coastal dunes as requiring protection from further loss. The specific mention of dunes is a new concept for the District’s coastal objectives. Whilst operative Objective 2.0 seeks to facilitate public access to and along the coast, proposed Objective 2.4(b) goes further and seeks to improve public access. s32 Report – Coastal Environment  

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The operative objective in C5 relating to natural hazards has two main parts to it:  

Manage activities and development within natural hazard prone areas And in doing so, avoid or mitigate the adverse effects of natural hazards

The proposed objectives introduce quite a different approach to natural hazard management. There is a greater awareness of what the outcomes sought are e.g. no increase in risk to life or severity to property, and the safety and resilience of people and communities. Proposed Objective 2.3(c) acknowledges the need to manage development and the increased risk to life and property when development is inappropriately located. Proposed Objective 2.4(d) only seeks to avoid exposure to increased levels of risk from coastal hazards. It is assumed that proposed Objective 2.4(d) is referring to not only the built form but activities also. Proposed Objective 2.4 introduces a new recognition of the importance of natural processes and systems. Natural hazards are after all just natural processes and it is only where the human environment intersects that natural hazards create issues. The objective was amended to provide greater clarity about the outcome sought reduction in level of exposure of people to coastal hazard risks (not just damage to buildings and structures) while protecting natural systems to recognise that natural systems are the most resilient defence to natural hazards. The increasing risks associated with climate change effects also require recognition of the dynamic nature of many natural hazards and the need to address residual risks where structures currently protect people. Reducing the exposure of people and property to risk from coastal hazard events and potential climate change impacts would not only result in less impact on people and communities, but would also enable the coastline to respond and adjust in a more natural way. It will be necessary to manage the built environment in areas at risk from coastal hazards to avoid any increase in vulnerability for future generations. The importance of dune systems to act as a natural buffer to the effects of natural hazards is also recognised. Future climate change is predicted to lead to increased storminess, higher rainfall intensities and an increase in sea level. As a consequence, current coastal hazards are expected to be exacerbated with the potential to increase the risk of damage to people and property. This proposed objectives are consistent with section 31(1)(b)(i) of the RMA, which sets out that the avoidance or mitigation of natural hazards is a function of territorial councils. This proposed objective also gives effect to a number of policies in the NZCPS. On the basis of the above analysis, it is considered that the proposed objectives are the most appropriate for achieving the purpose of the RMA. The proposed objectives are deemed to be more appropriate for achieving the purpose of the Act than the status quo.

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Proposed Kāpiti Coast District Plan

5

Coastal Environment

EVALUATION OF PROPOSED POLICIES

Essential to the potential future achievement of the proposed coastal environment objectives, the report now considers the matter of implementation. This is achieved firstly through evaluation of proposed policies, which are in turn implemented through the rules and other methods. This implementation evaluation must also consider the appropriateness of the policies and rules, including an assessment of their costs and benefits. The final implementation consideration is the extent to which any risk may be present in proceeding with the proposed policies and rules and other methods if there are any identified information gaps.

5.1

Do the proposed policies implement the objective?

The following provides evaluations of whether the policies that apply to the objectives are the most appropriate for achieving the objectives, having regard to efficiency and effectiveness and taking into account the benefits and the costs of the policies. Because two objectives apply to the coastal environment, policies will be assessed against the most relevant objective(s). The following policies are proposed to implement the objectives: Policies Policy 4.1 – Identify Coastal Environment extent: The extent of the coastal environment is identified and mapped in the District Plan, using the following criteria: (a) areas or landforms dominated by coastal vegetation or habitat; (b) landform affected by active coastal processes, excluding tsunami; (c) landscapes or features, including coastal escarpments, that contribute to the natural character, visual quality or amenity value of the coast; and (d) sites, structures, places or areas of historic heritage value adjacent to, or connected with, the coast, which derive their heritage value from a coastal location. Policy 4.1

Benefits  Clearly outlines the assessment criteria for identifying the extent of the coastal environment  Achieves Policy 1 of the NZCPS  Achieves Policy 4 of the Wellington PRPS that requires district plans to identify the landward extent of the coastal environment  Enables the coastal environment to be comprehensively managed  Provides certainty for the community and landowners by mapping the coastal environment extent on the

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Costs


Proposed Kāpiti Coast District Plan

Coastal Environment

District Plan maps  Ensures those features contributing to the coastal environment are included

Policy 4.2 – Identify natural character Areas of high natural character and natural coastal features in the coastal environment are identified in the district plan using the following criteria: a) natural elements, systems, processes and patterns, which are relatively unmodified; b) the presence of water (lakes, rivers, sea), geological and geomorphological features; c) natural landforms and landscapes which are legible and uncluttered by structures or ‘obvious’ human influence including the natural darkness of the night sky; d) places dominated by natural patterns such as the natural movement of water and sediment; e) places or areas that are wild or scenic including the presence of vegetation (especially native vegetation) and other ecological patterns. Policy 4.2

Benefits  Clearly outlines the assessment criteria for identifying areas of high natural character and natural coastal features  Achieves Policy 13 of the NZCPS  Enables areas of high natural character and natural coastal features to be comprehensively managed  Provides certainty for the community and landowners by mapping the areas of high natural character and natural coastal features on the District Plan maps  Ensures those features contributing to the coastal character are identified

Costs

Policy 4.3 – Protection of natural character Areas of high natural character in the coastal environment, significant natural coastal features and habitat will be protected by: a) reinstating dunes which function as natural buffers for as much of the coast as practicable; b) providing managed public access ways to the beach and avoiding damage to dunes from unmanaged access; c) avoiding encroachment of permanent structures and private uses onto the beach or public land; d) removing existing unnecessary structures and associated waste materials from the beach; s32 Report – Coastal Environment  

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Proposed Kāpiti Coast District Plan

e) f) Policy 4.3

Coastal Environment

preventing new activities which have adverse effects on natural character values; retaining a natural beach and foreshore including a dry sand beach where possible. Benefits Costs  May restrict development in the  Clearly outlines how areas of coastal environment high natural character in the coastal environment, significant natural coastal features and habitat will be protected  Enables areas of high natural character and natural coastal features to be comprehensively managed  Ensures those features contributing to the coastal character are protected  Reinstates dunes which function as natural buffers  Avoids damage to dunes from unmanaged access to the beach  Avoids encroachment of permanent structures and private uses onto the beach or public land. This will assist in retaining coastal character  Maintains natural character values through preventing new activities which have adverse effects  Retains a natural beach and foreshore

Policy 4.4 – Restore natural character Subdivision and development in the coastal environment will support restoration of natural character values through: a) creating or enhancing indigenous habitats and ecosystems, using local genetic stock; b) encouraging natural regeneration of indigenous species, while effectively managing weed and animal pests; c) rehabilitating dunes and other natural coastal features or processes, including saline wetlands and intertidal saltmarshes; d) restoring and protecting riparian and intertidal margins; or e) removing coastal structures and materials that do not have heritage or amenity values; or f) redesign of structures that interfere with ecosystem processes. Policy 4.4

Benefits  Supports restoration of natural character values in the coastal environment which is in

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Costs  May restrict development in the coastal environment  May require redesigning


Proposed Kāpiti Coast District Plan

      

Coastal Environment

accordance with Policy 14 of the NZCPS. Will improve coastal biodiversity Encourages regeneration of indigenous species Supports and maintains coastal ecosystems Encourages rehabilitation of dunes which have a natural buffer role Supports rehabilitation of coastal features and processes Increases resilience of the coastal environment Encourages removing coastal structures and materials in order to maintain heritage or amenity values

structures that interfere with ecosystem process. This may have a financial consequence.

Policy 4.5 – Amenity and public access Subdivision and development in the coastal environment will maintain and enhance amenity values, such as open space and scenic values, opportunities for recreation and the enjoyment of the coast, including enjoyment of a high tide dry beach by the public and public access to and along the coast, while minimising any significant adverse effects on the public’s use and enjoyment of the coast. Policy 4.5

Benefits  Requires subdivision and development to be cognisant of amenity values  Minimises any significant adverse effects on the public’s use and enjoyment of the coast  Maintain and enhances open space and scenic values, opportunities for recreation and enjoyment of the coast  Maintains and enhances public access to and along the beach in accordance with Policy 19 of the NZCPS.

Costs  May limit the development of sites  May require modification to the design of subdivision and development to achieve this policy

Policy 4.6 – Natural coastal processes Natural shoreline movement will be accommodated and the resilience of coastal communities will be increased by using the best practice coastal management options, including some or a combination of the following: a) dune management; b) inlet management; c) engineering measures; d) managed retreat; e) building and development controls; and f) Coastal Hazard Management Areas s32 Report – Coastal Environment  

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Proposed Kāpiti Coast District Plan

Policy 4.6

Coastal Environment

Benefits  Ensures natural shoreline movement is accommodated  Increases the resilience of coastal communities  Encourages natural shoreline functions  Enables the shoreline to respond naturally to coastal processes  Enables a range of approaches for coastal management to be employed depending on the situation

Costs  May restrict development in some areas

Policy 4.7 - Natural dunes Natural dune systems will be protected and enhanced, as a buffer for coastal hazard effects and enabled to migrate inland in response to shoreline retreat. Policy 4.7

Benefits  Ensures natural shoreline movement is accommodated  Increases the resilience of coastal communities  Encourages natural dune functions  Enables the shoreline to respond naturally to coastal processes  Enables dunes to buffer the shorter terms effects of periodic storm events  Supports natural dune ecosystems  Buffers development located behind the dunes  Is in accordance with Section 26 of the NZCPS  Supports the protection and restoration of natural protective dune buffers, which in turn contribute to coastal character.

Costs  Restricts development on the dunes

Policy 4.8 – Coastal hazard risk management The location of buildings and infrastructure in the coastal hazard management areas will be managed to minimise the risk of coastal hazard effects. This will include retreat of buildings and activities from areas where hard coastal protection structures fail or are no longer able to be sustainably managed.

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Proposed Kāpiti Coast District Plan

Policy 4.8

Coastal Environment

Benefits Costs  May restrict development in the  Clearly identifies on the district coastal hazard management plan maps the geographical areas extent of the coastal hazard management area  Enable comprehensive management of development within those areas most at risk from coastal hazards  Reduces the risk to property and people from coastal hazards over time

Policy 4.9 – Hard protection structures The use of hard protection structures will be actively discouraged by: a) avoiding any new coastal protection structures on public land; b) requiring the development of strategies for public and private land to reduce and ultimately over time eliminate the reliance on hard protection structures; c) avoiding new development where no specific planning strategy has been developed for areas where there are existing public coastal protection structures; and d) ensuring the costs and benefits of maintaining any public coastal protection structures are affordable in light of long-term shoreline trends and climate change impacts on sea level rise and increased storms. Policy 4.9

Benefits  Discourages the use of hard protection structures  Minimises the adverse effects that may accompany use of engineering solutions such as loss of dry beach, restricted access, and adverse effects on coastal character.  Reduces reliance on hard engineering solutions over time  Ensures the costs and benefits of maintaining any public hard coastal protection structures are affordable  Increased reliance on natural features for protection

Costs  Potential loss of many beachfront properties if soft options do not prove to be practical or costeffective.

Policy 4.10 – Coastal Hazard Management Areas The extent of the three Coastal Hazard Management Areas are identified on the District Plan Maps to enable development in these areas to be managed to avoid exacerbating coastal erosion hazard risks. The Coastal Hazard Management areas are: a) No-build urban Coastal Hazard Management Area (no build urban CHMA); b) Relocatable build urban Coastal Hazards Management Area (relocatable build urban CHMA); and s32 Report – Coastal Environment  

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Proposed Kāpiti Coast District Plan

c) Policy 4.10

Coastal Environment

No-build rural Coastal Hazard Management Area (No-build rural CHMA). Benefits Costs  Restricts development within the  Clearly identifies on the district Coastal Hazard Management plan maps the geographical Areas extent of the coastal hazard management area  Potential loss of private property value due to recognition of risk  Enable comprehensive and strict controls on management of development development within those areas most at risk from coastal hazards  Significant financial costs are likely to be required in identifying  Reduces the risk to property and and agreeing appropriate longpeople from coastal hazards term adaptation strategies for high over time risk, heavily developed areas.  Provides certainty for present and prospective land owners for  Potential litigation and other costs associated with the transition to the management of erosion on managed retreat, where this beachfront properties becomes necessary.  Enables consideration of sea level rise  Minimises risk through limiting the number of people and structures potentially affected by coastal hazards

Policy 4.11 – Land use and subdivision in all CHMA Subdivision and land uses in the Coastal Hazard Management Areas will be managed to: a) avoid exacerbating existing level of risk exposure in all CHMA by ensuring any new built development is located landward of the no-build CHMA and any existing development within the no build CHMA does not increase in scale or intensity; b) proactively promote a reduction of risk within the no-build urban CHMA; c) recognise long-term risk in the relocatable build urban and no-build rural CHMA; d) progressively reduce risk by requiring adaptation strategies over time; e) encouraging reliance on natural dune protection and progressively reducing reliance on hard protection structures. Policy 4.11

Benefits Costs  Restricts development within the  Clearly identifies on the district Coastal Hazard Management plan maps the geographical Areas extent of the coastal hazard management area  Potential loss of private property value due to recognition of risk  Enable comprehensive and strict controls on management of development development within those areas most at risk from coastal hazards  Significant financial costs are likely to be required in identifying  Minimises risk through limiting and agreeing appropriate longthe number of people and term adaptation strategies for high structures potentially affected by risk, heavily developed areas. coastal hazards  Reduces the risk to property and  Potential litigation and other costs associated with the transition to people from coastal hazards

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Proposed Kāpiti Coast District Plan

Coastal Environment

over time  Enables consideration of sea level rise  Increases public awareness of coastal hazards

managed retreat, where this becomes necessary.

Policy 4.12 – No build urban CHMA Subdivision and development, including changes in the scale and intensity of use, in the no build urban CHMA will be managed to: a) avoid any increase in the exposure to hazard risk, including by avoiding any new buildings and any increase in the existing scale and intensity of development within this area; b) progressively reduce risk exposure over time; and c) encourage reliance on natural dune protection and progressively reduce reliance on existing hard protection structures. Policy 4.12

Benefits Costs  Restricts development within the  Clearly identifies on the district Coastal Hazard Management plan maps the geographical Areas extent of the no build urban coastal hazard management  Potential loss of private property area value due to recognition of risk and strict controls on  Enable comprehensive development management of development within those areas most at risk  Significant financial costs are from coastal hazards likely to be required in identifying and agreeing appropriate long Minimises risk through avoiding term adaptation strategies for high additional number of people and risk, heavily developed areas. structures potentially affected by coastal hazards  Potential litigation and other costs associated with the transition to  Reduces the risk to property and managed retreat, where this people from coastal hazards becomes necessary. over time  Enables consideration of sea level rise  Increases public awareness of coastal hazards  Increases reliance on natural features and processes

Policy 4.13 – Relocatable build urban CHMA The relocatable build urban CHMA will be managed to ensure that the current level of hazard risk is not exacerbated by inappropriate subdivision and development, and to recognise that over time buildings and infrastructure may need to be relocated landward of the area. Policy 4.13

Benefits  Clearly identifies on the district plan maps the geographical extent of the relocatable build urban coastal hazard management area  Enable comprehensive management of development

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Costs  Restricts the type of development within the Coastal Hazard Management Areas  Potential loss of private property value due to recognition of risk and strict controls on development


Proposed Kāpiti Coast District Plan

   

Coastal Environment

within those areas most at risk from coastal hazards Minimises risk through minimising additional number of people and structures potentially affected by coastal hazards Reduces the risk to property and people from coastal hazards over time Enables consideration of sea level rise Increases public awareness of coastal hazards Enables people to live in close proximity to the coast but gives flexibility by ensuring structures can be moved if / when required

 Significant financial costs are likely to be required in identifying and agreeing appropriate longterm adaptation strategies for high risk, heavily developed areas.  Potential litigation and other costs associated with the transition to managed retreat, where this becomes necessary.

Policy 4.14 – No build rural CHMA Future risk from coastal hazards will be avoided by ensuring any new built development, and new rural lots created as a result of subdivision, are located landward of and outside the no build rural CHMA, and any existing development within the area does not increase in scale or intensity. Policy 4.14

Benefits Costs  Restricts development within the  Clearly identifies on the district Coastal Hazard Management plan maps the geographical Areas extent of the no build urban coastal hazard management  Potential loss of private property area value due to recognition of risk and strict controls on  Enable comprehensive development management of development within those areas most at risk  Significant financial costs are from coastal hazards likely to be required in identifying and agreeing appropriate long Minimises risk through avoiding term adaptation strategies for high additional number of people and risk, heavily developed areas. structures potentially affected by coastal hazards  Potential litigation and other costs associated with the transition to  Reduces the risk to property and managed retreat, where this people from coastal hazards becomes necessary. over time  Enables consideration of sea level rise  Increases public awareness of coastal hazards  Increases reliance on natural features and processes

Policy 4.15 – Adaption An adaptation strategy will be developed by Council in the no build urban CHMA, where coastal protection structures currently protect properties, to progressively reduce the current exposure to coastal erosion hazard risks, and to recognise that over time buildings and infrastructure may need to be relocated landward of the area.

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Proposed Kāpiti Coast District Plan

Policy 4.15

Coastal Environment

Benefits Costs  Restricts development within the  Enable comprehensive Coastal Hazard Management management of development Areas within those areas most at risk from coastal hazards  Potential loss of private property value due to recognition of risk  Minimises risk through reducing and strict controls on the number of people and development structures potentially affected by coastal hazards  Significant financial costs are likely to be required in identifying  Reduces the risk to property and and agreeing appropriate longpeople from coastal hazards term adaptation strategies for high over time risk, heavily developed areas.  Enables consideration of sea  Potential litigation and other costs level rise associated with the transition to  Increases public awareness of managed retreat, where this coastal hazards becomes necessary.  Increases reliance on natural features and processes  Enables an adaption strategy to be developed and implemented over time  Enables flexibility of approach depending on how the coastline evolves and how it is affected by natural coastal processes

Benefits  

The primary benefit of the policies is that they provide certainty for present and prospective land owners for the management of erosion on beachfront properties. They also allow flexibility for a range of options to be used over time to address the coastal hazard risk (rather than relying on just one approach).

The policies improve long-term community resilience by recognising and planning for long-term shoreline trends and climate change effects.

They avoid exacerbating existing risk by requiring new buildings to be located away from coastal areas at most risk, and preventing subdivision in hazard areas that could lead to expectations of future buildings.

The proposed policies recognise that current management approaches are unlikely to be sustainable in the long term and management mechanisms such as relocatability and managed retreat will be required, to enable change and adaptation to occur over time.

By moving away from an increasing reliance on hard protection structures along the coast, the proposed policies would preserve natural character and maintain or enhance amenity values and public access.

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Proposed Kāpiti Coast District Plan

Coastal Environment

    Costs  

Potential loss of private property value due to recognition of risk and strict controls on development

Potential loss of many beachfront properties if soft options do not prove to be practical or cost-effective.

Significant financial costs are likely to be required in identifying and agreeing appropriate long-term adaptation strategies for high risk, heavily developed areas.

Potential litigation and other costs associated with the transition to managed retreat, where this becomes necessary.

Lack of policy directives in the proposed RPS on existing use rights, any District Plan provisions will be limited in effecting change to existing development in the serious hazard risk areas. This could undermine the effectiveness of risk reduction of existing properties, particularly in urban areas.

There is a risk that strong controls on development in serious hazard areas could lead to different coastal development patterns in different parts of the coast depending on how the coastline evolves

There is potential for serious landowner resistance.

Efficiency These policies provide an efficient way to achieve Objective 2.4 in that they efficiently enable the extent of the coastal environment to be identified. This enables the coastal environment to be comprehensively managed and ensures those features contributing to the coastal environment are identified. The policies also provide an efficient means of identifying the features that contribute to natural character and ensure their protection and restoration (where appropriate). These policies provide an efficient way to achieve Objective 2.3(c) and 2.4 as the benefits of managing the risk of coastal hazards outweigh the costs. The primary benefits from the policies are the reduction in risk to life and property which will ultimately benefit the well-being of both current and future generations. The policies are efficient in that they provide mechanisms to achieve the objectives. For example the policies avoid subdivision, land use and development in high risk coastal areas. It is more efficient that development is avoided in areas with a high risk to coastal hazards than to retrofit or mitigate damage at a later date. Where development is already existing in areas of high coastal hazard risk, the policies enable management mechanisms such as relocatability and managed retreat to enable change and adaptation to occur over time. s32 Report – Coastal Environment  

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Proposed Kāpiti Coast District Plan

Coastal Environment

Effectiveness These policies provide an effective way to achieve Objective 2.4 in that they succinctly identify criteria for identifying the coastal environment extent. This enables the coastal environment to be comprehensively managed and ensures those features contributing to the coastal environment are identified. The policies also provide an effective means of identifying natural character. The policies list criteria to enable areas of high natural character and natural coastal features to be identified. The policies and ensure their protection and restoration (where appropriate). The proposed policies provide an effective framework to achieve Objectives 2.3(c) and 2.4 by providing mechanisms to minimise the risk of coastal hazards to life and property. The policies enhance the well-being of residents and landowners by protecting amenity values, environment, health and safety. They support the protection of natural features, such as dunes and wetlands, as buffers, which in turn meet the values people appreciate about the coastal environment. But overall the policies avoid exacerbating existing risk by requiring new buildings to be located away from areas at most risk, and preventing subdivision in hazard areas that could lead to expectations of future buildings. The policies are considered effective by ensuring that coastal hazard risks are part of the planning for the future, and factored into development decisions. While it is clear that parts of the Kāpiti Coast will be prone to serious erosion in the future (particularly in high risk areas), the issues for affected property owners and for public infrastructure are significant and will pose a range of implementation challenges. To give effect to these policies will require considerable time and effort in working with affected parties, and will require a long-term commitment by Council and community to finding appropriate solutions to very complex and challenging situations. There are likely to be major difficulties associated with the implementation of these policies given the fact that managed retreat is likely to be ultimately required in areas of severe erosion. This is consistent with national policy but will nonetheless raise very complex issues that will need to be resolved. Policy 25 of the NZCPS in particular requires in areas potentially affected by coastal hazards over at least the next 100 years: a. b. c.

avoid increasing the risk of social, environmental and economic harm from coastal hazards; avoid redevelopment, or change in land use, that would increase the risk of adverse effects from coastal hazards; encourage redevelopment, or change in land use, where that would reduce the risk of adverse effects from coastal hazards, including managed retreat by relocation or removal of existing structures or their abandonment in extreme circumstances, and designing for relocatability or recoverability from hazard events;

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Proposed Kāpiti Coast District Plan

d.

Coastal Environment

encourage the location of infrastructure away from areas of hazard risk where practicable; discourage hard protection structures and promote the use of alternatives to them, including natural defences; and consider the potential effects of tsunami and how to avoid or mitigate them.

e. f.

The policies in the proposed coastal environment chapter effectively implement this approach. The policies of using management zones and a combination of responses will be highly effective in achieving the proposed objective and giving effect to the NZCPS.

5.2 What are the risks of acting or not acting if information gaps exist? The proposed policies will give effect to the requirements of the RMA, NZCPS and proposed RPS, in respect of a range of matters including natural character, public access and amenity/landscape values and hazard management,. They take into account the Council’s “Discussion Document: Natural Hazards and Managed Retreat” and public submissions made on this document. While there are inherent uncertainties associated with the effects of climate change, it is predicted that future climate change will lead to increased storminess, higher rainfall intensities and an increase in sea level. As a consequence, current coastal hazards are expected to be exacerbated with the potential to increase the risk of damage to people and property. The increasing risks associated with climate change effects also require recognition of the dynamic nature of many natural hazards and the need to address residual risks where structures currently protect people. Reducing the exposure of people and property to risk from coastal hazard events and potential climate change impacts would not only result in less impact on people and communities, but would also enable the coastline to respond and adjust in a more natural way. It will be necessary to manage the built environment in areas at risk from coastal hazards to avoid any increase in vulnerability for future generations. Taking this into account the risks to people, property and the environment of not acting to reduce further risks from natural hazards by restricting where development can occur far outweigh the costs of doing nothing. It is acknowledged that further detail and knowledge of the coastal erosion hazard risk could be obtained through site-by-site investigations. However for the purposes of the District Plan review the district level analysis has provided sufficient detail to respond to coastal erosion hazard risk through the adoption of the proposed provisions. The development of policies was informed by: 

Coastal Systems Ltd – Kāpiti Coast Erosion Hazard Assessment Part 1: Open Coast (March 2008)

Coastal Systems Ltd – Kāpiti Coast Erosion Hazard Assessment Part 2: Inlets (March 2008)

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Proposed Kāpiti Coast District Plan

Coastal Environment

Coastal Systems Ltd – Kāpiti Coast Erosion Hazard Assessment 2012 Update (August 2012)

Kāpiti Coast District Council Discussion Document: Natural Hazards and Managed Retreat, (November 2010)

Focus Resource Management Group, District Plan Review: Coastal Hazard provisions (October 2012)

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Proposed Kāpiti Coast District Plan

6

Coastal Environment

EVALUATION OF PROPOSED RULES

6.1 Do the proposed rules implement the relevant objectives? The following provides an evaluation of whether the methods/rules are the most appropriate for achieving the draft objectives, having regard to the efficiency and effectiveness of the methods/rules and taking into account their benefits and costs. Classification of activities Benefits     

   

  

Articulates a range of activities anticipated in a particular area Provides certainty to the community as to what activities / structures might establish. Encourages development that meets the standards (usually as a permitted or controlled activity) Discourages development and subdivision that does not meet the standards (often as a discretionary or non complying activity) Subdivision of land in areas of high natural character requires a resource consent as a restricted discretionary activity which enables the effects on the natural character to be assessed. This is an effective means of achieving proposed Policy 4.3. Buildings and earthworks land in areas of high natural character requires a resource consent as a restricted discretionary activity which enables the effects on the natural character to be assessed. This is an effective means of achieving proposed Policy 4.3. Enables buildings and earthworks in the coastal environment not in areas of high natural character to proceed as a permitted activity (provided standards are met). Maintenance of existing buildings and structures in the No Build CHMA is a permitted activity enabling landowners to maintain their buildings without needing resource consent approval Subdivision within the entire CHMA is prohibited. This ensures that no additional lots are created in the most significant areas of risk from coastal hazards. This is in accordance with proposed Policy 4.11. New buildings within the No Build rural and urban CHMA are prohibited. This ensures no additional people nor structures are exposed to the areas with the highest risk from coastal hazards. This achieves proposed Policy 4.12 and 4.14. Coastal protection structures in the No Build urban CHMA are discouraged through a non complying status, This achieves proposed Policy 4.9. Relocatable buildings are enabled as a controlled activity in the relocatable urban CHMA. This gives certainty to the applicant that the consent will be granted (albeit with conditions) but enables effects to be assessed. Minor additions to existing buildings and structures in the No Build rural CHMA is a permitted activity (provided standards are met) enabling landowners to make minor additions without needing resource consent approval.

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Proposed Kāpiti Coast District Plan

     

Coastal Environment

Enables limited types of structures in the No Build urban and rural CHMA as a permitted activity provided standards are met. This enable limited types of structures without the need for resource consent approval. Earthworks in dunes requires a resource consent as either a controlled or restricted discretionary activity which enables the effects to be assessed. This will achieve proposed Policy 4.7. Infrastructure is discouraged in the No Build urban CHMA as a discretionary activity. This minimises the risk of damage to vital infrastructure as a result of coastal hazards. Maintenance of existing infrastructure in the No Build rural CHMA is a permitted activity enabling landowners to maintain their buildings without needing resource consent approval Maintenance of coastal protection structures in the No Build urban CHMA is a discretionary activity which will enable effects to be assessed in accordance with proposed Policies 4.6 and 4.9. Removal of structures and buildings in the No Build urban CHMA is encouraged as a permitted activity. This achieves proposed Policy 4.12.

Costs         

Administrative costs for Council associated with processing applications and assessing compliance. Potential additional regulatory costs to land owners and developers through a structured method of managing the District’s rural resource Additional time required to obtain a consent Additional cost in obtaining the necessary assessments to support a resource consent application Subdivision within the entire CHMA is a prohibited activity meaning no resource consent can be applied for. This limits the development potential for these properties. New buildings and more than minor additions to buildings in the No Build rural and urban CHMA are prohibited activities meaning no resource consent can be applied for. This limits the development potential for these properties. Potential loss of private property value due to recognition of risk and strict controls on development Potential litigation and other costs associated with the transition to managed retreat, where this becomes necessary. They are limited in effecting change to existing development in the serious hazard risk areas. This could undermine the effectiveness of risk reduction of existing properties, particularly in urban areas.

These rules (classification of activities) will be efficient to achieve Objective 2.3(c) and 2.4 as the benefits identified above outweigh the costs. Council considers that the selected manner of achieving the objectives is efficient because the costs have been minimised where possible and are necessary consequences of achieving the objective. The benefits mean that overall the rule framework is as efficient as it can be while still achieving the objectives and policies. The activity status table clearly signals to the community and landowners which activities are appropriate and which activities require close inspection in terms of potential effects with regards to natural coastal character and hazards. This is an s32 Report – Coastal Environment  

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Proposed Kāpiti Coast District Plan

Coastal Environment

effective approach in achieving the objective and minimising the risk to life and property as a result of coastal hazards. Standards Benefits            

Clear expectation of compliance with the standards. Encourages development that meets the standards (usually as a permitted or controlled activity) Lessens the risk to life and property in accordance with Objectives 2.3(c) and 2.4. Ensures that any buildings comply with the bulk and location standards of the underlying zone. This maintains the character and amenity of that zone. Small additions are permitted which will not substantially increase the risk to structures from coastal hazards Encourages the planting of indigenous vegetation within close proximity to the coastal marine area Ensures public access to and along the beach is maintained Ensures that buildings within the relocatable building CHMA are indeed easily relocatable Encourages infrastructure to be located as far landward as possible. This minimises the risk of damage to vital infrastructure as a result of coastal hazards. Encourages infrastructure to be aligned perpendicular to the coast which will minimise the risk of damage to vital infrastructure as a result of coastal hazards. Earthworks in areas identified as having high natural character is limited to minimise the effects on high natural character values The requirement for lots to not wholly be created on land identified as having high natural character ensures that buildings sites can be located outside the area of high natural character. This will minimise the effect on high natural character values.

Costs    

Places restrictions on activities and structures May create additional cost to comply with the standards. Places restrictions on how buildings are to be designed. May constrain the maximum development possible on any particular site.

These rules (standards) will be efficient to achieve Objective 2.3(c) and 2.4 as the benefits identified above outweigh the costs. Council considers that the selected manner of achieving the objectives is efficient because the costs have been minimised where possible and are necessary consequences of achieving the objective. The benefits mean that overall the rule framework is as efficient as it can be. Compliance with the standards in terms of Permitted activities ensures effects on natural coastal character are minimised, and minimises risk to life and property from

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Proposed Kāpiti Coast District Plan

Coastal Environment

coastal hazard events. This is an effective approach in achieving the objectives and policies protecting the community from the risk of natural hazards. Identified coastal environment As outlined in Policy 4.1, the extent of extent of the coastal environment is identified and mapped in the District Plan. The main purpose of this is to In order to give effect to both the NZCPS and the proposed Wellington RPS. This extent creates certainty about the area of land to which the NZCPS and the coastal environment provisions of the District Plan refer. Benefits     

Achieves Policy 1 of the NZCPS Achieves Policy 4 of the Wellington PRPS that requires district plans to identify the landward extent of the coastal environment Enables the coastal environment to be comprehensively managed Provides certainty for the community and landowners by mapping the coastal environment extent on the District Plan maps Ensures those features contributing to the coastal environment are identified

Costs 

There may be inaccuracies

This method will be efficient to achieve Objective 2.3(c) and 2.4 as the benefits identified above outweigh the costs. Council considers that the selected manner of achieving the objectives is efficient because the costs have been minimised where possible and are necessary consequences of achieving the objective. The benefits mean that overall the rule framework is as efficient as it can be. Mapping the extent of the coastal environment is an effective means of giving effect to the provisions of the NZCPS and Wellington Proposed RPS.

Identification of natural character on District Plan Maps As outlined in Policy 4.1, criteria have been used to identify areas of high natural character and natural coastal features in the coastal environment on the District Plan maps. The main purpose of this is to provide certainty to give effect to Policy 3 of the Wellington Proposed RPS. Benefits    

Achieves Policy 13 of the NZCPS Enables areas of high natural character and natural coastal features to be comprehensively managed Provides certainty for the community and landowners by mapping the areas of high natural character and natural coastal features on the District Plan maps Ensures those features contributing to the coastal character are identified

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Proposed Kāpiti Coast District Plan

Coastal Environment

Costs 

There may be inaccuracies

This method will be efficient to achieve Objective 2.3(c) and 2.4 as the benefits identified above outweigh the costs. Council considers that the selected manner of achieving the objectives is efficient because the costs have been minimised where possible and are necessary consequences of achieving the objective. The benefits mean that overall the rule framework is as efficient as it can be. Mapping areas of high natural character in the coastal environment is an effective means of giving effect to the provisions of the NZCPS and Wellington Proposed RPS. It is also an effective means of enabling natural character to be protected and restored where appropriate.

Coastal Hazard Management Area on District Plan maps As outlined in Policy 4.10, the extent of the three Coastal Hazard Management Areas is identified on the District Plan Maps to enable development in these areas to be managed to avoid exacerbating coastal erosion hazard risks. The Coastal Hazard Management areas are: a) b)

No-build urban Coastal Hazard Management Area (no build urban CHMA); Relocatable build urban Coastal Hazards Management Area (relocatable build urban CHMA); and No-build rural Coastal Hazard Management Area (No-build rural CHMA)..

c)

Benefits      

Clearly identifies on the district plan maps the geographical extent of the coastal hazard management area Enable comprehensive management of development within those areas most at risk from coastal hazards Reduces the risk to property and people from coastal hazards over time Provides certainty for present and prospective land owners for the management of erosion on beachfront properties Enables consideration of sea level rise Minimises risk through limiting the number of people and structures potentially affected by coastal hazards

Costs    

Restricts development in these areas May reduce the economic value of sites in these overlays There may be inherent inaccuracies – some properties will be incorrectly identified whilst others may be left out Based on theoretical models which may not accurately forecast the future

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possible and are necessary consequences of achieving the objective. The benefits mean that overall the rule framework is as efficient as it can be. Mapping areas most susceptible to risk from coastal hazards an effective means of firstly identifying the risk and secondly enabling these areas to be managed to minimise risk to life and property. This is an effective approach in achieving the objectives and protecting the community from the risk of natural hazards.

6.2 What are the risks of acting or not acting if information gaps exist? The proposed rules and methods will give effect to the requirements of the RMA, NZCPS and proposed RPS, in respect of a range of matters including natural character, public access and amenity/landscape values and hazard management,. They take into account the Council’s “Discussion Document: Natural Hazards and Managed Retreat” and public submissions made on this document.

While there are inherent uncertainties associated with the effects of climate change, it is predicted that future climate change will lead to increased storminess, higher rainfall intensities and an increase in sea level. As a consequence, current coastal hazards are expected to be exacerbated with the potential to increase the risk of damage to people and property. The increasing risks associated with climate change effects also require recognition of the dynamic nature of many natural hazards and the need to address residual risks where structures currently protect people. Reducing the exposure of people and property to risk from coastal hazard events and potential climate change impacts would not only result in less impact on people and communities, but would also enable the coastline to respond and adjust in a more natural way. It will be necessary to manage the built environment in areas at risk from coastal hazards to avoid any increase in vulnerability for future generations. Taking this into account the risks to people, property and the environment of not acting to reduce further risks from natural hazards by restricting where development can occur far outweigh the costs of doing nothing. It is acknowledged that further detail and knowledge of the coastal erosion hazard risk could be obtained through site-by-site investigations. However for the purposes of the District Plan review the district level analysis has provided sufficient detail to respond to coastal erosion hazard risk through the adoption of the proposed provisions.  

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Proposed Kāpiti Coast District Plan

7

Coastal Environment

CONCLUSION

The proposed Coastal Environment chapter addresses the following:  the extent of the coastal environment;  the preservation of natural character in the coastal environment;  the maintenance and enhancement of public access to and along the coast;  management of development in relation to coastal hazards. The chapter is divided into two sections. The first sets out general policies which primarily relate to the identification and protection of coastal natural character and processes. The second section sets out policies in relation to coastal hazard management areas. The coastal environment of the District has many unique characteristics and natural qualities. This uniqueness is due in many respects to its undeveloped and ‘wild’ nature. There are many places in which there are significant ecological values and important coastal habitats, as well as landscapes of valued natural character. The landforms visible from and associated with the coast form part of the natural character of the coastal environment. A consequence of the unique characteristics and natural qualities of the coastal environment is that it is under considerable development pressure which tends to conflict with the natural character, systems, landforms and processes of the coastal environment. The potential threats to the natural coastal systems include the rapid rate of coastal development, degradation of the dune features, effects of climate change including more frequent storm events, sea level rise, salt water intrusion of wetland areas and pressure from increased recreation use. The coastal environment is highly valued by both local and the wider community, in terms of its aesthetic, natural, productive, recreational and historical values. A large number of people live in the District to enjoy the beach and coastal marine area for recreation, food gathering, views, openness and spiritual reasons. The beach is a very popular destination for recreation for residents and visitors, valued as a great place to walk dogs and ride horses, for family picnics, for children to play, with good surfing, whitebaiting, fishing and swimming opportunities. The natural ecology and processes of the coastal environment can be adversely affected by activities if not properly managed. As part of development of the coastal plain for agriculture and urban areas, bush has been cleared, dunes flattened, exotic species planted and introduced, wetlands drained or filled, aggregate removed from rivers, river channels narrowed and protective structures built. Subdivision and development can be inappropriate in the coastal environment, given the fragility of ecologically sensitive areas such as dunes. This dynamic system would have been able to retreat and accrete over a wide area prior to permanent development, but the dunes are now constrained to a narrow strip in most areas. The natural character of many parts of the Coastal foredunes are degraded by the presence of exotic plants, and natural coastal process have been modified by structures and development. The proposed Coastal Environment chapter recognises the importance of the natural coastal character and processes through policies which are implemented by rules and standards.

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Proposed Kāpiti Coast District Plan

Coastal Environment

The proposed Coastal Environment chapter recognises the potential for coastal hazards to threaten life and property and seeks to minimise the risk. Proposed Objective 2.3(c) and 2.4 both seek to ensure the safety and resilience of communities by avoiding exposure to the risk of coastal hazards. The response to the effects of increased sea levels and storm intensity on the District’s low lying coast will be a major focus for Council and the community in the next few decades. The District Plan Review is the opportunity for the Council to formulate objectives, policies and rules to address the challenges in relation to the management of the Coastal Environment. This direction is implemented through policies which provide mechanisms for achieving the objectives. Examples of this include Policy 4.11 which avoids locating new subdivision, land use and activities in Coastal Hazard Management Areas. The policy achieves this through mapping those areas on the District Plan maps. Rules then ensure this is implemented through activity classification and standards. For example subdivision within the CHMA and new buildings within the urban and rural No Build CHMA is a prohibited activity. The proposed District Plan provisions also give effect to the direction given through the NZCPS and the Wellington Proposed RPS. This includes Objective 5 of the NZCPS which requires that Councils assessment of coastal hazard risks take account of climate change and that these risks are managed by locating new development away from areas prone to such risks, that the Council consider responses including managed retreat, for existing development and protecting or restoring natural defences to coastal hazards; and Policy 25 which requires in areas potentially affected by coastal hazards over at least the next 100 years that subdivision, use and development is avoided that would increase the risk of adverse effects from coastal hazards. The proposed Coastal Environment chapter takes a comprehensive approach to giving effect to these provisions. For example through proposed Policy 4.8 which seeks to minimise the risk of coastal hazards effects by managing the location of buildings and infrastructure in the coastal hazard management areas and proposed Policy 4.10 which identifies three Coastal Hazard Management Areas which are mapped on the District Plan maps. The methods/rules to implement these policies ensure that no additional lots are created and no new buildings are built in the most significant areas of risk from coastal hazards. This ensures that no additional people no structures are exposed to the areas with the highest risk from coastal hazards. Relocatable buildings on the other hand are enabled as a controlled activity in the relocatable urban CHMA and removal of structures and buildings in the No Build urban CHMA is encouraged as a permitted activity. This enables managed retreat in the longer term in response to the potential extreme effects from climate change. The proposed Coastal Environment chapter is considered to provide clear objectives relating to the extent of the coastal environment, preservation of natural character in the coastal environment and access to and along the coastal marine area and addressing coastal erosion hazard risks. The provisions for coastal hazards focus on minimising the risk of coastal hazards through managing development. This in turn enables an efficient and effective framework of policies and rules to be established. This approach enables the Council to fulfil its statutory obligations of the RMA in a way that provides for the social, economic and cultural well being of current and future generations. This sentiment is reflected in Objectives 2.3(c) and 2.4 and will be achieved through effective and efficient policies, rules and methods.

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