Fraying coastal edges : coastal hazard adjustment and sustainable management : a thesis presented in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Philosophy (Resource and Environmental Planning) at Massey University

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Massey University
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This thesis investigates the development appropriate natural hazard policy and adjustment in New Zealand, through a topic evaluation of the proposed coastal hazard zone methodology presented in Gibb (1994). The thesis is structured around the four contexts: institutional, physical, socio-economic and cultural, that are considered appropriate in the decision-making process about natural hazard policy and adjustment. The review of literature about managing natural hazards provides the attributes which aid in the formulation of natural hazard policy and adjustment. This literature is augmented with attributes taken from the growing body of sustainability literature. These attributes are then modelled into a theoretical policy and adjustment model, supplemented by checklist. The model developed reflects the paradigm shift to a contextual mode of thinking. This contextual mode of thinking means that a wider range of contexts needs to be considered when developing policies an adjustments. The review of hazard management in New Zealand highlights the fact that the requirements of the Resource Management Act 1991 (the Act) forces planners to be contextual in their approach to natural hazards. This thesis intends to provide further guidance on how this contextual approach should be undertaken. The key findings of the thesis indicate that natural hazards planning should be considered in the wider arena of resource management planning, with policies and adjustment undertaken fulfilling a broader range of coastal management objectives the the narrow objective of adjustments to natural hazards. The contextual approach to natural hazards planning means that planners and local authorities need to obtain better information to inform their management role under the sustainable management concept. The thesis has concluded that the current pre-occupation on the need for a consistent national approach could be ineffectual because the institutional, physical, socioeconomic and cultural variations around New Zealand's coastline precludes emphasis on developing a single methodology for adjustments to natural hazards.
Hazardous geographic environment, Coastal zone management, New Zealand