Mapua/Ruby Bay coastal management study : preliminary findings

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Stewart, C.; Becker, J.S.; Blackett, P.; Coomer, M.A.; Reese, S.; Hume, T. 2010 Mapua/Ruby Bay coastal management study : preliminary findings Lower Hutt, N.Z.: GNS Science. GNS Science report 2010/34 182 p.

Abstract: Coastal residents, absentee coastal property owners, beach users and visitors all have a stake in how the coastline is managed. To date, however, the aspirations of the ‘coastal community’ in this wide sense have only been determined to a limited extent anywhere in New Zealand. The community has an important, and to date restricted, role to play in coastal management. Similarly, little is known about public understanding of climate change and its role in exacerbating coastal hazards. The work presented in this data report is part of a national project conducted by GNS Science and NIWA. It is part of the Hazards and Society Research Programme funded by the Foundation for Research, Science and Technology. The overall aim of this work is to build community resilience to natural hazards, by investigating relationships between risk perception, risk acceptance and preparedness at individual, community and organisational levels. This report presents preliminary summary data from a questionnaire distributed to the community in the Mapua/Ruby Bay area, in Tasman Bay, in September 2009. A total of 271 questionnaires were completed and returned; this corresponded to a return rate of 31%. Compared to the general population of Mapua, the sample of respondents had the same gender balance, slightly less cultural diversity, and higher levels of educational achievement and home ownership. The findings of this study are summarised in the final section of this report. Key findings were that respondents’ overall attitude towards climate change could be described as lacking in urgency; that there is a greater level of support for ‘holding the line’ approaches to coastal management compared to other communities we have studied; that respondents generally believe that where private property is at risk from erosion, the owners should bear most of the cost, but that where public property is at risk, the costs should be shared as widely as possible; that opinions on seawalls in the area are best summarised as ‘divided’; and that a significant number of respondents are concerned about the ad hoc and fragmented approach to coastal management in this area to date. (auth)