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Sea levels predicted to cause chaos

The famed Castlepoint lighthouse and reef will soon become an island as the lagoon would be flooded if sea levels rise by less than 1m. PHOTO/FILE

Castlepoint to Castle Island

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Rising sea levels may force residents out and drastically alter Wairarapa’s low-lying coastal areas, according to a new climate change map produced by Greater Wellington Regional Council.

The modelling tool shows the impact of climate change and rising sea levels across the Wellington region and along the Wairarapa coastline by the turn of the next century.

Scientists estimate the sea level rise by the end of the century will likely be from 0.3m to 1.3m.

A 2.4m increase is considered physically possible but an extreme value reading.

The modelling tool allows residents to better understand how the region might be impacted and whether their own homes or properties might be affected by rises from zero to five metres.

Worst hit will be the South Wairarapa region, with just a 1m sea level rise expected to cover roads, farmland and homes near lakes Onoke and Wairarapa.

The extreme projection of a 2.5m sea level rise would prove even more devastating, inundating further parts of Kahutara and Lake Ferry.

Parts of Cape Palliser, where soil erosion is already evident, will also be badly impacted with sections of road flooded, making the Cape Palliser Rd inaccessible.

Sections of road along White Rock, Kaiwhata, Homewood and Flatpoint could also be impacted if sea levels rise by just 1m over the next 100 years.

The beachside towns of Riversdale and Castlepoint will also be vastly different.

A rise of just 2m could have parts of the Riversdale Beach Golf Course covered, as well properties closest to the coast.

Also of concern is a swollen estuary which will flood most of the beach at the northern end.

The famed Castlepoint lighthouse and reef will soon become an island as the lagoon would be flooded if sea levels rise by less than 1m.

Parts of Mataikona and its geological rock formation features will also likely be underwater if sea levels rise by less than 1m and the estuary is also expected to flood at the boundary of the Masterton and Tararua districts.

Globally, the average sea level has risen by about 16-21 centimetres since 1900, with almost half this rise happening since 1993 as oceans have warmed and land-based ice has melted.

Sea levels across the region are rising at a rate of about three millimetres per year, though this is expected to increase due to climate change.

The data tool also allows users to model storm surge data available from NIWA to illustrate the extent of inundation under various scenarios, with values set from 0m to 1.5m.

More information can be found online at: mapping1.gw.govt.nz/GW/SLR/


  1. This is scaremongering by this inept govt. which makes global warming one of its highest priorities. There is no science to back this rising of sea levels up as some radical leftists have been saying for decades. The green movement has become like a religion but it’s based on fear and they think they can save the planet by driving electric cars, using windmills and getting rid of gaseous cows.

  2. One decent earthquake like have had in the past and our coast line rises three meters. No problem
    Lucky county

  3. I have heard that 97% of scientists believe in the tooth fairy! Andrea you don’t have to be concerned…listen to the real experts .Do some basic study on sea level rise and carbon levels and you can rest easy.Regards Dave

  4. Extrapolation of minimal data makes maximum uncertainty. More likely is a repeat of the Wairarapa earthquake of 1855 which raised most of this area.

  5. The latest article in the New scientist suggests that in as little as eleven years, our climate will have shifted to a state not seen for millions of years. Sea level rise will be much quicker, and much bigger than suggested in this article.

  6. The earth is cooling and at the same time shrinking. Active volcanoes bring magma to the surface as well so the end result has to be a rise in sea levels, nothing to do with global warming. We are supposed to be intelligent people so whatever comes our way we will always find ways to engineer a solution.

  7. It really concerns me, is there something we can do?
    I really wish I was not born in this century as I do feel very much responsible for this conundrum.
    If we knew this is what was going to happen, would’ve done this way? NO

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