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Coastal HazardsMōreareatanga Taha Moana

Coastal hazards in Hawke's Bay include tsunami, storm erosion and storm flooding, and you can learn about the planning rules for coastal hazard zones that are in place, and the management strategy that is underway.

Hawke's Bay Region has over 350km of open coast and estuary shoreline. This ranges from rocky shores and cliffs to dunes, sandy beaches and gravel beaches.

Our shoreline does not stay in one place. It changes position in response to storms, large waves and high tides. Landward movement of the shoreline - coastal erosion - is usually in response to these natural processes. Such changes in shorelines are typically only a problem when property, infrastructure or other human assets have been built too close to the shore and become threatened.

Coastal hazards include tsunami, storm erosion and storm flooding. The present-day extent and likelihood of various coastal hazard risks are expected to increase, 1. as a result of climate change projections of increased storm intensities and, 2. a rise in sea level of around one metre in the next 100 years.

Find out more on the dedicated HB Coast website

Clifton to Tangoio Coastal Hazard Management Strategy

A strategic long-term strategy for managing coastal hazards between Clifton and Tangoio is being developed through a Joint Committee made up of representatives of Hawke’s Bay Regional Council, Hastings District Council, Napier City Council and Iwi. Visit to find out more about this project.

The Hawke’s Bay coastline between Clifton and Tangoio is defined by a gravel barrier ridge which provides a vital defence from the sea. Without it large areas of Napier City and some of Hastings District would be regularly inundated and potentially be uninhabitable.

Coastal Hazard Zones and Regional Planning Rules

The Hawke's Bay Regional Coastal Environment Plan includes maps identifying areas at risk of coastal erosion and coastal flooding. These areas are categorised into CHZ1, CHZ2 and CHZ3. Within each of these CHZs, rules and policies apply. View the HB Regional Coastal Environment Plan for more information.

NOTE: The HB Regional Coastal Environment Plan does not identify coastal hazard zones for the coastline along Westshore and Bay View. Instead, refer to Napier City Council for further information.

Coastal Hazard Assessment Studies

NOTE: Maps in 2003-2008 studies may have been superseded by more recent coastal hazard assessment mapping work. Refer to the Regional Coastal Environment Plan maps for coastal hazard zones (CHZs) within which regional planning rules apply.

Hawke's Bay Regional Council regularly monitors shoreline changes over time. Over the past few decades, a number of studies have assessed the region’s vulnerability to various coastal hazards. Those studies assist the council and communities to make better-informed decisions for the future. The most comprehensive study of areas at risk of coastal erosion and coastal flooding was to 2004 Regional Coastal Hazard Assessment Study. Additional studies since then have reassessed the erosion and flooding risks, including assessment of tsunami risk.

The East Coast LAB: Life at the Boundary project is a multi-agency, multi-discipline investigation into the risk to the eastern coast of New Zealand from earthquakes and tsunami generated in the Hikurangi Trough subduction zone.

More information


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While every endeavour has been taken by the Hawke's Bay Regional Council to ensure that the information on this website is accurate and up to date, Hawke's Bay Regional Council shall not be liable for any loss suffered through the use, directly or indirectly, of information on this website. Information contained has been assembled in good faith. Some of the information available in this site is from the New Zealand Public domain and supplied by relevant government agencies. Hawke's Bay Regional Council cannot accept any liability for its accuracy or content. Portions of the information and material on this site, including data, pages, documents, online graphics and images are protected by copyright, unless specifically notified to the contrary. Externally sourced information or material is copyright to the respective provider.

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