Unsurprisingly, this has also been mentioned during the campaign.
As a background to what has happened up till now is this article from 2012 which begins:-
Seemingly sloppy science seems to have sullied our coastal planning process. Dr de Lange describes, in the polite, scholarly way of his, a scientific blunder in a Kapiti Coast erosion report that anyone less courteous than him would call a dereliction or worse. Why? Because the wrong formula was used to calculate the amount of foreshore vulnerable to damage from sea level rise, and many hundreds of properties are now apparently at risk. The report explains correctly why a certain formula should not be used, but then, in a stupefying about-turn, goes ahead and uses it anyway. Prices for those properties will plunge, yet the new risks just aren’t justified.
The author (or principal author) of the Kapiti Coast Erosion Hazard Assessment 2012 update is Dr Roger Shand, of Coastal Systems Ltd. He said the report was peer-reviewed by “Coastal Scientist Dr Mike Shepherd” – who effectively works for Dr Shand. Why didn’t they admit that they’re colleagues? This isn’t a peer review, it’s a pal review, and if values plummet, land owners will descend on the High Court demanding compensation. Does the District Council realise its exposure? – Richard Treadgold
And this article from February last year which begins:
Coastal follies in Kapiti
The Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment (PCE) has hired Crown research institute NIWA to draw up coastal hazard lines.
Yet the 2012 hazard line guidance co-authored by NIWA staff fails to define, even in principle, what likelihood such lines are meant to represent, let alone justify that choice in cost-benefit terms.
The folly of coastal hazard lines of unknown likelihood and net benefit is illustrated by the experience in 2012-14 of the Kapiti Coast District Council.
A 2012 coastal scientist’s report, commissioned by the Kapiti council, drew lines on a map that it described as predicted shorelines, 50 and 100 years hence.
On examination, they were not predictions at all. They were actually unreliable, speculative “what if” projections. For example, they simply assumed zero future accretion for a long-accreting shoreline.
And there is this pdf spreadsheet of responses from the Mayoral and District-wide council candidates (notably Mayor Church didn’t bother to reply).
Is there an erosion problem for Waikanae and Peka Peka beaches? Not that we can see. However, the storm over 23-24 July demonstrated that damage to the dunes from surging big waves in severe storms as a result of climate change is possible. What best to do about that? We don’t know; let’s get the views of people expert in the subject. It may just be a case of, if it happens, the council just reinstates the washed away areas and replants the dunes.