Tauranga City Council’s Policy Committee has adopted a draft Coastal Structures Policy for public consultation later this year.
The role of this policy is to guide decisions on how council manages and maintains public coastal structures on public land.
The policy includes criteria for determining when council prioritises the annual budget to manage these structures.
General manager for strategy and growth Christine Jones says that this will be an important topic for the community to consider.
“Tauranga has areas around its harbour margins that are susceptible to cliff instability and erosion.
“The potential impacts of this will likely increase over time, based on sea level rise projections.
“In light on this, we are proposing changes to the current policy to ensure we can assign the budget for maintenance of council-owned coastal structures where it will be most effective.”
The proposed changes will help prioritise attention to the coastal structures that protect from erosion, and give less priority to structures built for recreational purposes.
The draft policy focusses on protecting three waters infrastructure, and public access around the coast.
As per the current policy, council will not build or maintain structures to protect private or commercial interests.
Instead, the draft policy proposes to allow, under conditions, landowners to build new hard protection structures on council-owned land to protect their private property, or to take the ownership of a protection structure that council has decided to stop maintaining.
Council will be asking the community for their views on the proposed changes in October and November this year.