Recent articles have referred to information in a new report commissioned by Hutt City Council on Sea Level Rise. This in incorrect, as no new report has been commissioned.
The information in question was included in a paper (See pages 8-18) on zero carbon for Hutt City Council’s Policy and Regulatory Committee Agenda on Monday 26 November (PDF 8.4MB).
Data was used to prepare a map on sea level rise which features in some media. The paper noted the diagram showed “potential inundation effects from SLR”. The label on the diagram noted that the information provided was in relation to “land elevation in Lower Hutt”. This means that the diagram does not take into account mitigations that are in place such as flood protections from stop banks, water pumping etc. Potential interventions are also not taken into account in the diagram. This is a separate piece of work for the Council.
The Ministry for the Environment has asked local government to plan for, in terms of long lived assets, a 1 metre rise in sea level over the next 100 years. The effect of a rise like this depends on various scenarios, i.e. exposure to this risk does not necessarily mean we can predict actual costs or that buildings or dwellings will be affected.
It has also incorrectly been reported that Council is currently consulting on what could be done. We have started work which will contribute to an assessment of regional coastal vulnerability involving all Wellington region councils and facilitated by Greater Wellington Regional Council. Late next year we will look to engage with the community on how sea level rise may affect particular areas and how best to respond to these changes.
Council’s role is to look ahead and plan for the future. We want communities to start thinking about climate change and this is reflected in our paper on setting net zero carbon targets for our Council.