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Home arrow Articles by Topic arrow Environmental Planning arrow The Growing Need for Coastal Expertise
The Growing Need for Coastal Expertise PDF Print
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Articles - Environmental Planning
Written by Roger Shand, Coastal Systems   
Thursday, 20 December 2007

Until the 1950s, coastal development was undertaken with minimal consideration of natural processes, unfortunate consequences could be both dramatic and costly.

Increasing development along the world’s shorelines, coupled with increasing knowledge of coastal processes, have lead to legislative controls and design standards which address personal safety, property protection, and preservation of the natural environment. In New Zealand the most influential legislation is the Resource Management Act (1991) and its offshoots: the New Zealand Coastal Policy Statement, Regional Plans and Policy Statements, and District Plans. Legislation and design standards are continually being revised to account for the effects of predicted climate change, increasing knowledge of coastal processes and changes in public values toward the environment.

Official conservatism is also related to their being expected to protect property developed earlier in the 20th century when those idyllic (but inherently unstable) sand spits, foredunes and cliffs proved so alluring as sites for holiday homes.

Given the lack of information defining the controlling coastal processes coupled with the serious consequences of coastal hazards, courts and government officials in particular, are quick to invoke the “precautionary principal” and err on the side of caution when considering development consents. Official conservatism is also related to their being expected to protect property developed earlier in the 20th century when those idyllic (but inherently unstable) sand spits, foredunes and cliffs proved so alluring as sites for holiday homes.

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Last Updated ( Monday, 24 December 2007 )
 
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