National held back advice on 1.9m sea rise until after election while new developments built

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Let’s get this straight, the National Government held back a report showing no council should build near the sea because of a predicted 1.9m rise in sea levels and a new development got green lighted while they hid this report???

Drowning dreams: Billions at stake as Govt mulls sea level rules

Today, leading scientists recommend considering between double and quadruple that amount when planning new developments. The most up-to-date advice is codified in a new guide written by scientists and policy experts for the Ministry for the Environment.

That guide has no official status, but many councils know what it says, and the public learned of its contents when it was leaked earlier this year by the Green Party.

Based on the latest science, the guide says people should be planning for 1m of sea level rise for existing neighbourhoods, and 1.9m for “green-fields” developments or redevelopments that intensify land use in already built-up areas. The goal is to avoid adding lots of new housing to areas that might one day be flooded.

Yet, in the Coromandel alone, hundreds of new, permanent land titles have been created on low-lying coast in the past two years, after modelling at most 1m of sea level rise.

In 2015, Thames-Coromandel District Council approved a subdivision of 167 coastal sections after rejecting advice from flood experts at Waikato Regional Council to consider 2m higher seas. The district council factored in 1m, instead, noting in emails to the regional council that any updated government guidance wasn’t likely to arrive in time.

Two years later, the council allowed 72 new titles to be created along canals flowing from a harbour, again after modelling for a maximum of 1m higher seas.

These developments weren’t breaking any rules, or even going against best practice guidance, because the advice to factor in 1.9m higher seas was held back by the previous government until after the election.

The National Government knew what the report said but held it going out before the election because it would demand they had an actual plan for climate change rather than the meaningless lip service they currently provide.

That the National Government were prepared to damage so many peoples properties for such political gain is another ugly truth of the last 9 years under National.

26 COMMENTS

  1. ‘Developers making a killing is more important to national than peoples homes and having life savings trapped in a house which is un-insureable and unsaleable..

    Investor state profits above all else is a consistent result from Nacts behind closed doors crony connivance .

  2. The Newsroom report cites four cases where dodgy coastal developments were consented by Thames Coromandel Council alone – while the previous government took 9 years to update the 2008 Guidance to councils on sea level rise. And when they got the MfE draft new Guidance in 2016 they sat on it till after the election. Here are links to three Newsroom sub stories –
    https://www.newsroom.co.nz/2017/12/11/67387/drowning-dreams-apartment-block-where-the-waters-meet – Thames
    https://www.newsroom.co.nz/2017/12/11/67413/drowning-dreams-a-167-lot-subdivision – Cooks Beach
    https://www.newsroom.co.nz/2017/12/11/67390/drowning-dreams-72-new-houses-on-man-made-canals — Waterways Whitianga

    • They are just a “ship of fools,”

      They dont know what is comming or do they?

      I am living 1650 FT up inthe hills above gisborne and folks are moving in here now even rich folks from Auckland have bought 8 acres one km from our 10 acres and apparently are going to build their “retreat” there.

      Maybe they know what’s comming as “waterworld” is the senerio they may think rightly?

    • pretty graceless comment there, Im Right. Bet you consider yourself a decent kind of person too eh? Can you quote where CG has pleaded poverty?

  3. Sea level rise is just over 2mm per year and has been fairly consistent for the last 6000 years. Before that we had the post ice age ‘pulse’ where levels rose dramatically.

    Extrapolating that 2.2mm per year it will take 863 years to achieve 1.9m rise.

    So I’m not holding my breath

    • Exactly, and there are a number of peer reviewed papers that show no acceleration of sea levels in NZ.

      However, the MfE claim, in their report that was leaked by the Green Party, that sea levels rates have doubled over the 20th Century

      Who are we to believe, the scientists or the government?

      • “Exactly, and there are a number of peer reviewed papers that show no acceleration of sea levels in NZ.”

        I call bullshit on that, Andy. I notice you offer no evidence.

        Statistics NZ has on their website:

        ……………….

        Our coastal sea level (relative to land) is rising.

        Most sites experienced higher sea levels in the last 20 years and lower sea levels in the first 20 years for which we have data.
        Available tide gauge data showed rising linear trends (with standard deviations given in parentheses) in all long-term monitored sites throughout the period for which data are available.

        The Wellington tide gauge showed the most marked trend with a rate of increase of 2.23 (±0.16) mm/year for 1891 to 1893 and 1901 to 2015.
        Other sites with less marked increases were:
        Auckland: 1.60 (±0.08) mm/year from 1899 to 2015
        Dunedin: 1.42 (±0.08) mm/year from 1899 to 2015
        Lyttelton: 2.12 (±0.09) mm/year from 1901 to 2015
        Moturiki (Mount Maunganui): 1.9 (±0.25) mm/year from 1973 to 2015
        New Plymouth: 1.37 (±0.16) mm/year for 1920 and 1955 to 2015.

        http://archive.stats.govt.nz/browse_for_stats/environment/environmental-reporting-series/environmental-indicators/home/marine/coastal-sea-level-rise.aspx

        ……………….

        What are these “peer reviewed papers” you refer to? Please share therm with us.

          • Just google them, there are plenty

            Crap.

            That’s BS, Andy. if you make claims it’s your responsibility to back it up. Otherwise you’re dismissed as just another climate denier crank.

          • Andy, that paper you are referring to is dated 2011 – six years out of date.

            The Statistics NZ data referred to here:

            The Wellington tide gauge showed the most marked trend with a rate of increase of 2.23 (±0.16) mm/year for 1891 to 1893 and 1901 to 2015.
            Other sites with less marked increases were:
            Auckland: 1.60 (±0.08) mm/year from 1899 to 2015
            Dunedin: 1.42 (±0.08) mm/year from 1899 to 2015
            Lyttelton: 2.12 (±0.09) mm/year from 1901 to 2015
            Moturiki (Mount Maunganui): 1.9 (±0.25) mm/year from 1973 to 2015
            New Plymouth: 1.37 (±0.16) mm/year for 1920 and 1955 to 2015.

            – is current to 2015.

            Note that the rises (eg; 1.6mm for Auckland) is per year, every year.

            ref: http://archive.stats.govt.nz/browse_for_stats/environment/environmental-reporting-series/environmental-indicators/home/marine/coastal-sea-level-rise.aspx

            Quoting out-of-date sources will not help persuade anyone.

            • Thanks for the links Frank, but the Stats page doesn’t report acceleration.

              I am not disputing that sea levels are increasing in NZ.

              What I am disputing is that there is currently any significant change in the rate.

              A 6 year old thesis or paper isn’t “out of date” in this field. The MfE document itself states that a 50 year window is required to detect a change in the rate.

    • “Sea level rise is just over 2mm per year and has been fairly consistent for the last 6000 years. Before that we had the post ice age ‘pulse’ where levels rose dramatically.”

      Citations, AndrewO?

      Sea levels do rise and fall over time. Long periods of time. We’re talking of a few decades here.

      You’d better be holding your breath if you’re unfortunate enough to be living on a coastal property. Or learn to swim.

      • We have tide gauge records that go back approx 100 years that show < 2mm a year in sea level rise. Paleoclimate reconstructions from sediments suggest a lower rate before 1900.

        The ice age pulses were much larger than anything seen today

  4. @ Im right? – Cleangreen is not the one who held back an important document because they did not like it’s findings – why attack him?

  5. The last time atmospheric CO2 was 400 ppm sea level was approximately 25 metres higher than present, and there was no ice on Greenland.

    The only reason sea level is not 25 metres higher right now is the thermal lag associated with heat transfer to the deep ocean and heat of phase change associated with the melting of ice.

    Currently, atmospheric CO2 is 407 ppm, having recently transition through the seasonal minimum (due to photosynthesis in the northern summer. Next May atmospheric CO2 will peak in the range 412 ppm to 415 ppm. And in 2019 the predicament will be worse.

    Of great concern to people with brains that function properly is the rapid decline in Antarctic ice ( currently the lowest on record for the time of year) and probability that the undercutting of glaciers where they enter the ocean will cause catastrophic collapse of ice levels.

    https://ads.nipr.ac.jp/vishop/#/extent

    Politicians of all colours have been repeatedly advised of these matters (and other just as crucial, such as the peaking and decline of the global nergy supply) since the year 2002; politicians have assiduously avoided all mention of the reality of our collective predicament because they are servants of the international banking system and are required to lie to the masses keep their jobs (and most of them are too stupid to understand basic science.

    I recall speaking with Harry Duynhoven (so-called Labour MP) on the matter of a need for ban on ‘development’ of land less than 5 metres above current high tide: all he wanted to do was get me out the door as quickly as possible, and he subsequently refused to see me at all. Duynhoven was the Mayor of NP district who banned discussion of matters environmental……arsehole of the highest order.

    We can be certain that the Adern government will turn a blind eye to everything that has urgently needed attention for well over a decade, and will carry on promoting everything that makes our collective predicament (especially that of our children) worse faster.

    • I beg to differ … the last time CO2 was @ 400 ppm, for a sustained amount of time, which this time round is with bells on….. there was no ice = 80 meters sea level rise, which is what an ice free planet looks like.

  6. Ardern/Labor/ National/ NZ ban 1080 first et all are no different than any others..
    In one breath she says climate change is the biggest ‘issue’ facing this generation* and in the next is signing global trade deals, that by there function actually make climate change worse.
    She is saying black is white, at least with John Key or even Donald Trump, we
    know what we had, ie people that don’t give a stuff about climate change and current/future generations, where as Ardern is making noises about CC but doing the opposite. Her government is still building roads (read white elephants) and increasing speed limits? Go figure? What is the message here? Roads or burning bunker/all fossil fuels delivering Lego blocks around the world etc is good for the environment ?
    She is no better than a High Priestess on Easter Island encouraging deforestation, and increasing population, while saying carved rocks will come alive and save everyone.
    * the last human generation could be as old as 20 NOW, we could be soon facing millions of deaths per day as humans start to go extinct.
    Ardern may will be the last New Zealand prim minister? Soon enough the government will not even be able to answer the phone, let alone maintain law and order, or a food supply to us all.
    Mark my words.
    http://www.oilcrash.com
    This 23 minute skit may help you understand what is now in motion https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uTq0mQ3xG34
    good luck
    and good luck to the post going live
    http://kapitiindependentnews.net.nz/kin-politician-of-the-year/#more-60236
    Robert Atack PERMALINK
    December 12, 2017
    To back up some of my statements An open letter to the Australian Prime Minister on the climate crisis, from 154 scientists
    August 25, 2016 6.26am AEST https://theconversation.com/an-open-letter-to-the-prime-minister-on-the-climate-crisis-from-154-scientists-64357

    But alas even these guys don’t get it, people in the know use the word ‘unprecedented’ when describing what is happening in the atmosphere . Meaning having no precedent; unparalleled, unheard-of etc, hence my comments that we are in runaway climate change, with nothing from the past to compare the situation with.

    There have been 5 mass extinction events in the past, most of which ‘created’ massive amounts of CO2, or were caused by massive amounts of CO2/CH4. And during some of these events the earth healed itself be sequestering the CO2 into the ground. Humans have dug up a lot of this CO2 and injected it back into the atmosphere.

    The last great extinction event was caused by 10,000 years of volcanic activity, where CO2 went from about 280 ppm to over 400 ppm = what humans have done in lees than 200 years, during that 10,000 year period all the global ice, and most of the trapped CH4 would have been released (see up to 300 km diameter craters off the Canterbury coast) this would have happened slowly. Where as now we have bought the environment up to 400 ppm, faster than the ice could melt, Alas the ice is now fast catching up, which is causing the jet streams to go out of whack, hence why we are now living in the age of ‘storms and droughts’
    Water is heaviest at 4.7 C, and as the oceans heat up this heavy water is now floating around the bottom of the oceans , undermining ice sheets, and melting tundra, as the sub sea tundra melts the trapped CH4 is being released, just 10% of the East Siberian Arctic Shelf CH4 is equal to all the CO2 humans have added to the atmosphere. CH4 is up to 150 times stronger than CO2 for global warming ie 2 ppm CH4 = 300 ppm CO2e .
    Those flares you see off oil rigs is the oil companies burning off the CH4/methane/natural gas, sort of converting it to CO2 as fast as they can. But the stuff coming out of the tundra, and fast drying swamp land, and heating lakes is mostly ending up in the atmosphere.
    For the past 800,000 years CH4 has stayed @ or below .7 ppm, where as now it is hitting a global average of 1.8 ppm, with areas around the Arctic spiking at 2.7 ppm, higher concentrations of CH4 creates more local warming, which is called a positive feedback – the more CH4 the more warming = the more CH4 etc etc.
    Soooo with the above information you might understand why we are in this unprecedented situation, the planet has never had so much CO2 in the atmosphere, while also having literally millions of years worth of sequested CH4/CO2 just sitting under the surface, being held there by the very fast melting ice.
    The climate we are seeing now is from the CO2 we released from prior to 1990 ish, meaning there is a short period of ‘lag time’, driven by the ice and ocean temperatures.
    The question now is how fast the ice will melt, and where it will melt first ? once the ice has gone the oceans will be 80 meters higher and the global average temperature will be about 10 c above what it is now, we haven’t a frigging clue when or how soon this will be, but if what we are seeing happening now globally is a result of the past CO2 emissions, how long have we got? especially when you take into account that CO2 is increasing at the unseen amount of 3 ppm per year currently . Up from about .1 ppm during the past mass extinction event.

  7. http://kapitiindependentnews.net.nz/kin-politician-of-the-year/#more-60236

    Robert Atack PERMALINK
    December 11, 2017
    Ardern is no different than any other politician.
    In one breath she says climate change is the biggest ‘issue’ facing this generation* and in the next is signing global trade deals, that by there function actually make climate change worse.
    She is saying black is white, at least with John Key or even Donald Trump, we
    know what we had, ie people that don’t give a stuff about climate change and current/future generations, where as Ardern is making noises about CC but doing the opposite. Her government is still building roads (read white elephants) and increasing speed limits? Go figure? What is the message here? Roads or burning bunker/all fossil fuels delivering Lego blocks around the world etc is good for the environment ?
    She is no better than a High Priestess on Easter Island encouraging deforestation, and increasing population, while saying carved rocks will come alive and save everyone.
    * the last human generation could be as old as 20 NOW, we could be soon facing millions of deaths per day as humans start to go extinct.
    Ardern may will be the last New Zealand prim minister? Soon enough the government will not even be able to answer the phone, let alone maintain law and order, or a food supply to us all.
    Mark my words.
    http://www.oilcrash.com
    This 23 minute skit may help you understand what is now in motion https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uTq0mQ3xG34
    good luck
    and good luck to the post going live

    Robert Atack PERMALINK
    December 12, 2017
    To back up some of my statements An open letter to the Australian Prime Minister on the climate crisis, from 154 scientists
    August 25, 2016 6.26am AEST https://theconversation.com/an-open-letter-to-the-prime-minister-on-the-climate-crisis-from-154-scientists-64357

    But alas even these guys don’t get it, people in the know use the word ‘unprecedented’ when describing what is happening in the atmosphere . Meaning having no precedent; unparalleled, unheard-of etc, hence my comments that we are in runaway climate change, with nothing from the past to compare the situation with.

    There have been 5 mass extinction events in the past, most of which ‘created’ massive amounts of CO2, or were caused by massive amounts of CO2/CH4. And during some of these events the earth healed itself be sequestering the CO2 into the ground. Humans have dug up a lot of this CO2 and injected it back into the atmosphere.

    The last great extinction event was caused by 10,000 years of volcanic activity, where CO2 went from about 280 ppm to over 400 ppm = what humans have done in lees than 200 years, during that 10,000 year period all the global ice, and most of the trapped CH4 would have been released (see up to 300 km diameter craters off the Canterbury coast) this would have happened slowly. Where as now we have bought the environment up to 400 ppm, faster than the ice could melt, Alas the ice is now fast catching up, which is causing the jet streams to go out of whack, hence why we are now living in the age of ‘storms and droughts’
    Water is heaviest at 4.7 C, and as the oceans heat up this heavy water is now floating around the bottom of the oceans , undermining ice sheets, and melting tundra, as the sub sea tundra melts the trapped CH4 is being released, just 10% of the East Siberian Arctic Shelf CH4 is equal to all the CO2 humans have added to the atmosphere. CH4 is up to 150 times stronger than CO2 for global warming ie 2 ppm CH4 = 300 ppm CO2e .
    Those flares you see off oil rigs is the oil companies burning off the CH4/methane/natural gas, sort of converting it to CO2 as fast as they can. But the stuff coming out of the tundra, and fast drying swamp land, and heating lakes is mostly ending up in the atmosphere.
    For the past 800,000 years CH4 has stayed @ or below .7 ppm, where as now it is hitting a global average of 1.8 ppm, with areas around the Arctic spiking at 2.7 ppm, higher concentrations of CH4 creates more local warming, which is called a positive feedback – the more CH4 the more warming = the more CH4 etc etc.
    Soooo with the above information you might understand why we are in this unprecedented situation, the planet has never had so much CO2 in the atmosphere, while also having literally millions of years worth of sequested CH4/CO2 just sitting under the surface, being held there by the very fast melting ice.
    The climate we are seeing now is from the CO2 we released from prior to 1990 ish, meaning there is a short period of ‘lag time’, driven by the ice and ocean temperatures.
    The question now is how fast the ice will melt, and where it will melt first ? once the ice has gone the oceans will be 80 meters higher and the global average temperature will be about 10 c above what it is now, we haven’t a frigging clue when or how soon this will be, but if what we are seeing happening now globally is a result of the past CO2 emissions, how long have we got? especially when you take into account that CO2 is increasing at the unseen amount of 3 ppm per year currently . Up from about .1 ppm during the past mass extinction event.

  8. There are a few different things going on with SLR.
    Like Greenland will initially end up something like 30 meters above sea level, because ice has a similar ‘gravitational’ pull on water as does the inside of your drinking glass, note how say red wine goes up as it touches the glass, this is what ice does to local sea levels, so Greenland SLR goes down 30 meters, New York goes up 15 meters, and Scotland stays about the same, with a global average of 7 meters. Also once the wight of ice is removed from Greenland the country will rise. This is only relevant to Greenland ice melt, re 7 meters global average.
    It is the same in the Antarctic, the oceans sort of go up roughly from New Zealand. or maybe as far as Sydney (?), anyway once the Southern ice melts to be above water, then the ‘gravitational’ pull on the water will be weaker and level out the Southerner ocean, so one side of the pivot point -Antarctica the oceans will fall, and Sydney’s will rise disproportionately.
    But this isn’t a concern of ours what so ever, humans will be long gone before SLR becomes a problem, except a few pacific islands, and Venice.
    The ice could have decades left, unlike humans.
    SLR will impact a few currently ‘live’ countries, meaning ones with humans. Bangladesh, and places with coastal aquifers being ‘contaminated’ with salt water, like where most of the global rice supply is grown. opps.
    We are seeing agile blooms, and dead zones around the oceans, soon enough there will be highly toxic coastal areas around the planet, that will be toxic for humans living near the sea. Think Auckland or Wellington harbors? The Hut river is already a no swim zone, and don’t let your dogs swim ether. This is only the start.
    This is how most of the oil was created in the first place – millions of years of dying agile blooms.
    But like I said we will be eating each other, and chocking to death before SLR will really bother us.

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