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Storms and sea level change on The Project

The Project on TV3 screened an interesting item on sea level rise recently. It raised the issue of property becoming uninsurable and the costs of trying to save it, with no guarantee of success. It used the example of Petone, the venue of this year’s Coastal Restoration Trust conference, which is expected to be 3.5m under water by the turn of the century. To check it out go to here. It is about 5 minutes long and starts at about 1:20. You may need to login.

Responses of spotless crake and fernbirds to trapping in Whangamarino & Awarua Wetlands

Principal Science Advisor for DOC in Christchurch, Colin O’Donnell reported at a recent national wetlands symposium on the results of wide-scale predator control in wetlands at Awarua (coastal Southland) and Whangamarino (Waikato).

Both spotless crake and fernbirds appear to be increasing in numbers in the treatment areas after 5+ years of predator control, which is exciting news.

The project demonstrates the potential benefits of predator control in wetlands. However, overall, occupancy of habitats is still very low compared to the historic counts undertaken nearly 40 years ago by Ogle & Cheyne (1980).

Watch the presentation

The Invading Sea

Coastal hazards and climate change in Aotearoa New Zealand

Publication date: 11 October 2018

‘Low-lying coast is a chronically grim frontline of climate change, socially and economically, and the frontline with the most to lose.’

New Zealand’s coastline, one of the world’s longest, is under attack. When cyclones and king tides coincide, there is double trouble at the sea’s edge – erosion and flooding.

Award-winning author Neville Peat investigates the multiple faces of coastal hazard – the science of a warming, rising, stormier sea; the risky reality for many low-lying communities; the shortcomings and often sluggish response of central government and councils; the engineered solutions and the curly question of insurance. As new ways of adapting to the dynamic new era of coastal hazards unfold, what should be done and who should pay? Personal profiles highlight the issues for individual coastal dwellers, many of whom demonstrate sleeves-rolled-up resilience. But ultimately there is a political edge to the issue of sea-level rise and extreme weather, and how to adapt.

This is the first book for a general audience about adaptation to climate-change impacts on New Zealand’s coast – impacts that are shaping up as the greatest environmental issue New Zealand and its low-lying atoll-state associates in the Pacific are likely to face in the 21st century.

‘Whereas prior generations were unaware of climate change, future generations will be powerless to stop it.’

About the Author:

Neville Peat lives close to the coast on Otago Peninsula. He has written extensively about New Zealand geography and the natural environment. His titles range from Antarctica to the atolls of Tokelau. He was a journalist in earlier years, but also served a total of 12 years as a councillor on the Otago Regional Council and Dunedin City Council. In the 2018 New Year Honours, he was made a Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit (MNZM) for services to conservation.

Also by Neville Peat (titles exploring the coastal and marine environments):

Coasting – The Sea Lion and the Lark (2001)

New Zealand’s Fiord Heritage – A Guide to the Historic Sites of Coastal Fiordland (2007)

Detours – A journey through small-town New Zealand: A generation on (2008).

The Tasman – Biography of an Ocean (2010)

Wild Dunedin – The Natural History of New Zealand’s Wildlife Capital (revised 2014, co-author Brian Patrick)

Subantarctic New Zealand – A Rare Heritage (revised 2014)

Far North District Council proposing off-leash dogs on beaches all year

Photo by Patrick Hendry on UnsplashPhoto by Patrick Hendry on UnsplashThe Far North District Council is proposing that dogs are allowed off-leash on most of its beaches, most of the time. This would affect the wildlife that lives there, esp. during the bird breeding season.

You may want to make a submission on this by going to the website of FNDC. The online submission form/survey guides you in doing this.

Even if you don’t live in the Far North you may want to submit as policies and bylaws in that part of the country could set a precedent for other areas.

Submissions close at 4:30pm on Monday 24 September

DOC and Defence Force protect NZ fairy tern

The NZ fairy tern is NZ’s rarest breeding bird with a population of only 40 birds (11-12 breeding pairs). There are only 4 nesting sites: all in Northland. One of the sites is on the Royal New Zealand Air Force weapons range at Papakanui Spit, at the Kaipara Harbour.

Luckily for the birds this is a no-go area for the public and the Air Force provides more protection by not using the site during the breeding season. Now the Defence Force is stepping up its support by creating some raised nesting sites to protect the birds from extreme tides and storms.

Read the full story.