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Regional wrap-up – December 2022

  • 29 Nov 2022
  • |
  • Canterbury wide
  • |
  • Rising temperatures
  • Rising sea level
  • Rainfall
  • |

Berm transition works on the Waipara River

Old Waipara landfill site

A nature-based solution to increase the resilience to flooding is the idea behind a major protection project happening on the Waipara River.

The Berm Transition Project, undertaken by Environment Canterbury, is stabilising strips of land next to the active part of the riverbed by planting native and exotic trees in areas of unstable gravels and flowing channels.

This project will protect the old Waipara landfill site from future flood events, the site between Waipara Village and Waipara River, and between the railway embankment and Weka Creek.

Hurunui District Council’s Land and Water Coordinator, Rima Herber, said aerial photos show old flood channels from the Weka Creek cutting into the edge of the land-fill site area.

"This is part of forward planning for climate change resilience, in the face of the likelihood of more frequent and more extreme flood events. It will mean an increased resilience to riverbanks flooding, as well as creating sustainable habitat for native biodiversity," she said.

This work will be completed before November 2023.

Selwyn District Council gearing up for action following latest emissions report

Landscape over the Canterbury plains with the southern alps in the background

The latest carbon footprint mapping covering the Selwyn District Council’s carbon emissions for 2019/20 and 2020/2021 financial years show the amount of greenhouse gases released per capita in Selwyn fell in 2020/2021 when matched against the increased service demands from a growing population.

It shows the Council’s biggest emissions continue to come from its main contracted services: wastewater treatment, rubbish and recycling collections and disposal, and roads and parks maintenance. Diesel is the most significant contributor (45 per cent), followed by electricity (27 per cent) and the methane and nitrous oxide emissions from wastewater (22 per cent).

Having clearly identified our total emissions, the Council has good information to prioritise further action, Council sustainability lead Keith Tallentire says.

"This information is helping us to plan more ways we can act and hope others will join us in efforts to increase sustainability. It all works together to improve life in Selwyn for now and the future."

Adaptation planning begins with Lyttelton Harbour and Port Levy

Lyttelton Harbour

The Whakaraupō-Lyttelton Harbour and Koukourarata-Port Levy communities will be the first to plan for how they can adapt to coastal hazards caused by sea level rise.

Christchurch is more exposed to coastal hazards than Auckland and Wellington and since 1995 we’ve experienced about 15cm of sea level rise. We are anticipating a further 17-23cm by 2050 and 52cm-1m by 2100.

To prepare for this, Christchurch City Council is beginning adaptation planning in partnership with mana whenua and working alongside the most exposed communities to prepare for the effects of coastal flooding, erosion and rising groundwater on communities, infrastructure and the environment.

"For adaptation planning to be meaningful, it’s crucial we hear from residents of all ages, so we’re encouraging people to complete our short survey and tell us what they value about the area and what is most important to them," Coastal Hazards Adaptation Planning Team Leader Jane Morgan says.

The information gathered will be used by the Coastal Panel (made up of community and rūnanga representatives) to determine a short-list of adaptation options which will be opened to the community for feedback on next year.

WDC appoints Climate Change Advisor

Waitaki District Council climate change advisor Chelsea Clyde

Climate change is an increasing challenge for the Waitaki District and has become a core part of planning at Waitaki District Council. To help the Council and District respond to this, Chelsea Clyde has been appointed to the newly created role of Climate Change Advisor.

Joining Council from Tauranga in June as Resource Management Planner, Chelsea Clyde is up for the new appointment as Climate Change Advisor. "Having a background in biodiversity and ecology along with my recent work in resource management, I have been exposed to current impacts within the Waitaki District and our ecosystem. I look forward to bringing my experience and passion for the environment and community to this new role."

The purpose of the role is to bring a focus to ensuring that climate change and its implications are planned for and dealt with, and to lead the understanding and awareness of organisational and local climate risk and vulnerability.

A tonne of rubbish collected

Old couch collected in Waimakariri District Council clean-up

In just a four-hour clean-up of the northern bank of the Ashley-Rakahuri River more than 980 kilos of rubbish was collected. The recent clean-up was organised by the Waimakariri District Youth Council in conjunction with Waimakariri District Council, ECan Rangers, Ashley Rakahuri Rivercare Group and several volunteer groups.

Chloe Betony from the Waimakariri Youth Council says they would like to look at more ways to educate people about the environmental harm of dumping rubbish at the river.

"I feel sorry for the wildlife, particularly the different species of braided river birds. They have a difficult enough time as it is without the risk posed to them, from not just the rubbish itself, but the vehicles driving in there to dump it."

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