First, a media release from the KCDC:

In March, the Kāpiti Coast District Council will hold a Summit and community event to kick-start a conversation on the challenges climate change will bring to our coastline.

National and local leaders and climate experts will address the Summit conference in the morning followed by a community event that will combine entertainment, food and family fun with the opportunity to find out more about climate change and its effect on our coastline.

Professor James Renwick, Māhina-a-rangi Baker and Professor Bruce Glavovic will be presenting on the day with more speakers to be announced.

The Summit launches a significant community engagement project that aims to encourage and empower our communities to become more aware of the impacts of climate change and sea level rise and to take part in developing solutions and pathways for adapting to coming change.

Kāpiti Coast District Mayor K Gurunathan says the Takutai Kāpiti Climate Change and Our Coast Summit will take place on Sunday 8 March 2020 at Ngā Purapura in Ōtaki, and is a chance for the community to come together to discuss the issues and the challenges we face.

“As a coastal district, we know our community is facing significant environmental challenges as the result of our changing climate and rising sea levels which will erode our coastline over time,” says Mayor Gurunathan.

“In May last year we declared a climate emergency on the Kāpiti Coast. This is political recognition that our communities are facing an iceberg of significant costs now, and increasingly over the coming decades, from coastal erosion and floods.

“While we don’t know how significant these changes will be and how quickly they will happen, we do know that communities that plan for change, and work together, are more resilient in the face of that change.

“I encourage anyone in our community that is interested in how we respond to these challenges together, or wants to learn and share knowledge, to join us at Takutai Kāpiti.

“We won’t solve climate change issues for Kāpiti at one Summit – but it will be the start of a community-led process for responding to coastal change in the district,” says Mayor Gurunathan.

Councillor Sophie Handford says the devastating fires in Australia are a stark reminder of how quickly we need to come together and take action.

“The fires show what the consequences will be worldwide if we fail to reduce our emissions and adapt by building resilient communities.

“If we don’t commit to having the conversation on climate change and our coast, and acting on it, we may have a completely different world to hand on to our children and our mokopuna.

“Responding to climate change is the defining moment for our generation and we all need to be part of this journey together,” she says.

Event details
What: Takutai Kāpiti: Climate Change and Our Coast Summit

When: Sunday 8 March 2020

10 am–12 pm Summit conference: opportunity to hear from national and local climate experts. Spaces are limited so book your free place at

12 pm–3 pm Summit community event: opportunity to enjoy an afternoon of food and entertainment and hear more from experts and community groups on the community-led coastal adaptation project. (No need to book — just come along!)

Where: Held at Ngā Purapura, 145 Tasman Road, Ōtaki.

The KCDC is clearly a corporate ‘true believer’ in Climatism; by way of balance, here is a speech by the spokesman of another body, Coastal Ratepayers United, which in terms of the new religion must be a ‘heretic’. This was given to the council meeting yesterday by Quentin Poole of Waikanae Beach.

[Speaking to council agenda item]  8.4   Resource Management Act issues and options draft submission

CRU is aghast at the folk tales about the Proposed District Plan — which no doubt still circulate on Rimu Rd — which emanate in this paper.

We have spent only 1 hour in researching this paper and we have found the following:

Page 4, third paragraph of the draft says:

“Councils are already dealing with the impacts of climate change as they respond to increased flooding and inundation events and the problems these create for our communities and infrastructure.”

This is an uncorroborated statement not supported by facts that we can find in any literature.

The Kapiti Coast has had one major storm event since 1976 – the event in 2016 only damaged a piece of KCDC infrastructure that had not been maintained.

We ask that this statement is either supported by factual references or removed.

Page 4, second paragraph of the draft says:

“The Schedule 1 plan making process, with full public consultation and appeal rights, means that plan changes that are needed to protect our communities are able to be held up by small factions concerned about their own interests (e.g., fears over the impact of hazard lines may have on their property values) over the needs of the community at large. This can lead to drawn out and expensive plan changes that may not ultimately be successful and a proliferation of other litigation.”

This is outrageous.

The hazard lines were rejected during expert review because they were scientifically unsound, and not fit for purpose. Good science and good planning is not going to be overturned by litigation, and it would not be worth anyone’s while to try. The hazard lines would not in fact have protected the community.

When councils mess up and refuse to admit it, as happened in this case, recourse to the legal system is the only redress that ratepayers have. In a just society, there must be some independent way to overturn bad planning proposals when the proponents have no intention of admitting error. At present, the legal system is the only recourse.

A previous Mayor said publicly that if residents did not like the proposed plan, they should “lawyer up”. With such an attitude, no consultation process can be effective, and indeed there can be no belief that any consultation would be in good faith. We do not suggest that the present council — either councillors or staff — share that view, but the possibility is not just theoretical.

We ask that councillors delete these sentences from the draft prepared by staff.

Page 4 : there is again reference to KCDC’s problems with the PDP.

“Our second generation plan was first publically[sic] notified in 2012, decisions were notified in 2017 and this year we are expecting to resolve the remaining appeals so the plan can be made operative – some 8 years after first notification.”

This is used to argue against allowing appeals against a plan once approved.

Again, however, this history fails to mention that the PDP (as a whole, not just the coastal provisions) was so bad that an expert panel said it was touch and go whether the whole thing should simply be withdrawn and re-done properly.

Instead, KCDC decided to have it extensively rewritten by the expert hearings panel at what must have been enormous daily rates over a very long time. The PDP took forever to get right because it was so incompetently drafted in the first place. And CRU’s appeal points, all of which were accepted in substance by Council staff, helped to fix several serious remaining problems in the plan after the hearings panel had been through it.

KCDC should be grateful for CRU’s constructive engagement at the appeal stage, not arguing to remove the rights of appeal — prior consultation is necessary, but it is not a substitute.

We ask that councillors delete this whole section [Schedule 1 Process – Consultation and Appeal Rights] and the first paragraph of the next section [Plan oversight] as there seems no remaining point to make once the full facts are set out. Also all other references to consultation and appeal rights in the document be removed.

CRU has been unable to peruse the entire document due to time constraints; however, we note that there are issues promulgated in this document that have never been canvassed by the community – e.g. “Managed Retreat”.

Council should be the conduit of its citizens’ wishes rather than telling the citizens what they can do as in “Big Brother”.

We suggest that councillors withdraw this draft paper in its entirety so it can be re-written showing the aspirations of its citizens.

Note that there are several experts in the community who have offered help in the past to KCDC in these matters which KCDC has never availed itself of.

I personally find it incredulous that a council that voted for a “Climate Emergency” last year, now finds it is not so much of an emergency as the review!