Rouse, H.L, Blackett, P., Hume, T.M., Bell, R.G, Britton, R. and Dahm, J., 2013. Coastal Adaptation to Climate Change: a New Zealand story.
The requirement for using a participatory approach to consider options for adapting to climate change is well documented, but there are some key challenges of engaging with communities, especially over the complexities of projected climate change impacts and possible adaptation options. Here we describe the development of a two-stage method aimed to overcome these challenges, and the testing of this method in a coastal community in Whitianga on the Coromandel Peninsula, North Island of New Zealand. First, at an Open Day we used projections of sea-level rise driven changes to coastal inundation, erosion and habitat change and mapped them on large aerial-photo maps to use as the basis for a participatory mapping exercise. The purpose of the Open Day was to elicit input on valued aspects of the Whitianga community that might be at threat from climate change. Second, at a follow-up Workshop we worked with the community to explore the potential for adaptation options to provide ‘solutions' to these issues, exploring who the winners and losers would be for each option, and what would be required to enable the options to be actioned. The maps were a key tool in this engagement case-study, and we reflect on them in our discussion of their development and usefulness. Finally we summarise the lessons learned in this case study and describe four key inputs to successful community engagement: the right team, the right data, the right support, and the right resources.