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Shore futures

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What is Shore Futures?


There are challenges facing communities within the Kawhia and Aotea catchments. The population is shrinking and people are concerned about the long-term viability of these communities. At the same time there is pressure to subdivide and develop housing in sensitive areas such as along the coast, and such development could put important natural features of the environment at risk. The purpose of the Shore Futures Project is to provide an overall framework within which all of these issues will be addressed. Details of how to implement this framework will be determined through forthcoming council plans.

Who’s involved?

The Shore Futures Project team comprises staff representatives from Waikato Regional Council, Otorohanga, Waikato and Waitomo district councils, Federated Farmers and the Department of Conservation. The project team are also working with tangata whenua and other interest groups and agencies such as the Ministry of Fisheries and the Historic Places Trust.

What's happened so far?

The Shore Futures Project has been through a number of phases, including information gathering and community consultation.

Information gathering

To determine the trends and issues the Kawhia and Aotea catchments are facing, the project team has collected information from councils, tangata whenua, key stakeholders and experts. This information includes:

  • water quality data (harbours, rivers and streams)
  • ecological information (harbours, rivers and land)
  • coastal hazard information
  • a landscape and coastal natural character assessment of both catchments
  • cultural information
  • historical sites
  • economic and social/demographic information.

Information still being gathered for the project includes cultural, hazard and heritage information.

Community consultation 


In recognition of tangata whenua's special status in these two catchments, the project team has carried out specific consultation with iwi groups, including:

  • Ngati Hikairo
  • Ngati Mahanga
  • Ngati Mahuta
  • Ngati Maniapoto
  • Ngati Te Wehi.

Information about issues, values and aspirations is being sought from the iwi/hapu groups. The information will be used to in part to acknowledge the cultural richness of these areas and provide recognition and protection, but also to acknowledge the various groups and what is important to them. Information from the groups is being gathered through hui and workshops, from current or pending iwi management plans, websites, and other documentation. This consultation is ongoing.

Community open days

The Shore Futures process kicked off publicly on 18 February 2007, with an open day in the Kawhia Hall. A second open day was held on 3 March 2007 at the Te Waitere Boating Club.

The open days were an opportunity for the project team to introduce the project and share information they had collected to date.

Community workshops

Nine workshops were run from March - May 2007 in Aotea, Kawhia and Hamilton. The workshops gave people the opportunity to tell the Shore Futures project team what they love about these arfeas, what they're most concerned about, and how the various issues facing the community should be managed.

Shore Futures questionnaire

A questionnaire was sent out to around 1200 people including land owners, residents and other stakeholders. Over 140 completed questionnaires were returned. A summary of these questionnaires is in the Shore Futures Consultation Summary Report.

Consultation Summary Report

A summary of consultation undertaken between June 2006 and June 2007 for the Shore Futures project has been prepared. It is a record of conversations and correspondence, and contains people's opinions and suggestions about the key issues in the catchments. This document will be used to inform the Shore Futures Preferred Futures Report.

Shore Futures consultation report
(625 kb, 89 seconds to download, 56k modem)


Throughout the Shore Futures process, newsletters have been sent to people in the community and key stakeholders to keep them up to date on the project.

Shore Futures update June 2009
(198 kb, 28 seconds to download, 56k modem)

Shore Futures update March 2009
(772 kb, 110 seconds to download, 56k modem)

Shore Futures update September 2008
(308 kb, 44 seconds to download, 56k modem)

Shore Futures update December 2007
(461 kb, 65 seconds to download, 56k modem) 

Draft Preferred Futures Report

The Draft Preferred Futures Report was released for feedback from 8 June - 27 July 2009. The report, produced using information gathered and feedback received through consultation, identifies key issues and recommends policies and objectives to guide the future management of the Kawhia and Aotea catchments.

Close to 50 feedback forms were received - thank you to all those who took the time to provide comments on the draft report. This feedback was used to guide the Shore Futures Governance Group as they finalised the Preferred Futures Report.

Preferred Futures Report

The Preferred Futures Report was released late November 2009. It set outs a number of recommended actions to manage change in the Kawhia and Aotea catchments.

You can download the Preferred Futures Report below.

Preferred Futures report
(1228 kb, 175 seconds to download, 56k modem)

Preferred Futures report - A3 maps
(1067 kb, 152 seconds to download, 56k modem)

What happens next?

Giving effect to Shore Futures

The Shore Futures Project now moves into an implementation phase, which involves incorporating the recommended actions into formal council plans and budgets. The Shore Futures Governance Group will meet annually to review the progress made on these actions.

Many of the recommended actions relate to resource management issues and will become part of the relevant district and regional plans. Part of this process will involve deciding what implementation methods will best achieve the desired outcomes identified. The most common form of implementation methods are 'rules', but other non-regulatory methods such as environmental education and incentives may also be used.  Other actions may involve working with local communities to advocate for support from central government and other service providers (such as electricity and telecommunication companies) to ensure the communities remain viable.

Changes to district and regional plans that affect the Kawhia and Aotea catchments will involve full and formal consultation processes as provided for by the Resource Management Act 1991 (RMA).

You can continue to have your say on the future of Kawhia and Aotea catchments by getting involved in the review of the following council plans, which will potentially be affected by the Shore Futures project.   

Additionally, the Waikato Regional Policy Statement and/or Waikato Regional Plan will be adapted to reflect the findings of the Shore Futures project.

Read more about the Waikato Regional Coastal Plan, Waikato Regional Plan and Waikato Regional Policy Statement here.

Project organisation

Catchment boundaries

Further information

For further information about the Shore Futures project, please contact one of the following people:

  • Amanda Banks, Waikato Regional Council – phone 07 859 0537 or freephone 0800 800 401
  • Rachel Kelleher, Department of Conservation – phone 838 3363
  • Paul Le Miere, Federated Farmers –  phone 07 858 0815
  • John Moran, Waitomo District Council – phone 0800 932 4357
  • Reg Proffit, Otorohanga District Council - phone 07 873 8199
  • Allan Turner, Waikato District Council - phone 07 824 8633.