The first part of a staged district-wide coastal hazard investigation will see Motueka residents hear mid-year the level of risk their town faces from climate change-driven sea level rise and storm inundation.
The town, Tasman's second-largest settlement, is the largest low-lying community in the district.
The district council's environment policy planner, Maxine Day, said the council was undertaking the risk-assessment work with the National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research (Niwa) using Enviro-Link funding.
"Towards the middle of the year we expect to come out to the community on some of the results and start to talk about options, costs associated with those options and risks people are prepared to accept," Day said.
The project was complex but the aim in the first instance was to provide the community with what the science was indicating may happen, she said.
"When we have the final report from Niwa we will assess what are the other at-risk towns. We also have to look at what money we have for detailed analysis and consider the level of risk to those settlements."
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