Scott Simpson: Our big decisions to make on climate change
Climate change is a big issue for a coastal island nation like ours. Photo / Paul Taylor OPINION: The Government released its Climate Adaptation Plan and while its misses several key points, it at least begins a discussion on one of the greatest issues facing property owners, councils, and central government. Climate adaptation is something that we don't talk enough about, in my opinion. Too often it's been pushed off into the future, but the release of the adaptation plan has reinforced that these changes will be coming down the pipeline much sooner than previously thought. It's a big issue for a coastal island nation like ours and particularly around the Coromandel Peninsula where we have multiple issues relating to coastal erosion. This will only continue with sea level change and the increased frequency of heavy weather events in the future. We have some big decisions to make, such as the extent to which we defend our coastal communities with more rock walls and other flood protection initiatives. The adaptation plan also references a managed retreat, which means that in years to come we won't be building houses and baches in some places where they are today. Of course, looming behind all these decisions is the question of who pays for the subsequent actions. Will those whose property and community are not at risk be willing to support those who find themselves bearing the brunt of climate change? This is a huge issue as we've got a habit in New Zealand and around the peninsula of paying the highest premium for property that is closest to the high-water mark. A spectacular airshow will dominate the skies above Mercury Bay over Labour Weekend.