The Challenges of Coastal Setbacks in New Zealand
Coastal setbacks are a popular land use and hazard planning tool to avoid development in areas susceptible to coastal hazard risk. Controversy and debate however surround coastal setbacks, from determining the line, through to their implementation into plans. This is due to the multiple coastal setback methods that exist, as well as the reluctance to establish setbacks due to the restrictions they impose on coastal development. The purpose of this research was to examine and evaluate the use of coastal setbacks in New Zealand as a hazard planning tool. This was done by adopting a qualitative research approach in order to gain the views and opinions of those in the coastal hazard planning field as a primary method. The findings of this research highlight that the focus of coastal setbacks has been on delineating the line, rather than on the line as a management tool. Greater consideration needs to be given to the latter, to ensure effective management takes place. The communication of setback in plans has been recognised as highly valuable in ensuring that justification and understanding is provided to the public. However, the process of implementing setbacks into plans has been deemed a difficult task due to a number of barriers. This includes: the desire of people to live on the coast at all costs; local politics; a lack of guidance by central government; a lack of council resources; existing development, as well as a prevailing ‘manage the hazard’ coastal paradigm. This research has identified several ways in which improvements can be made to help overcome these barriers. This includes the need for greater central guidance, greater community involvement and owner responsibility. The adoption of a risk-based approach to coastal hazard planning and hazard identification is also highly supported, as well as the adoption of setback method guidelines. These changes to the status quo will help lead the way to a more effective approach in dealing with hazard avoidance, resulting in more resilient coastal communities in the future.
Advisor: Hilton , Mike
Degree Name: Master of Planning
Degree Discipline: Geography
Publisher: University of Otago
Keywords: Coast; Setback
Research Type: Thesis