Research report

Communities and climate change: Vulnerability to rising seas and more frequent flooding

Deep South Dialogue Report, 2018

Managed retreat from coastal areas is already a political issue in Kāpiti, Dunedin, the West Coast and the Bay of Plenty. More generally, the experience of the red-zone in Christchurch has demonstrated the complexities involved with moving whole communities. Resolving those difficulties is critical to lessen the social and financial risks of managed retreat.

This paper emerged from a Dialogue held in May–June 2017. The paper highlights the need to understand vulnerability and resilience in a climate change context, how to allocate decision-making roles and responsibilities in relation to vulnerable communities, how effective flood mitigation schemes can be in protecting communities, and the roles of councils, iwi and community groups in anticipating and responding to climate-related challenges. 

Related research

Following this Dialogue, the following research projects were funded:

  • Flood mitigation schemes: are they working in flood-prone areas?
  • Climate adaptation, vulnerability and community well-being