TODAY |

Hawke's Bay community for the intellectually disabled to move inland over climate change threat

A coastal community for the intellectually disabled has been forced to retreat inland due to the threat of climate change.

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Hohepa has to spend millions of dollars on the precautionary move. Source: 1 NEWS

Sixty residents of Hohepa Hawke's Bay will have to relocate from their current quarters in a proactive move that's set to cost millions of dollars.

The community has evacuated its 60 residents three times in the past two years after local rivers rose rapidly after heavy rain.

Hohepa lies less than 500 metres from the coast line at the meeting point of three Hawke's Bay rivers: The Tutaekuri, the Ngaruroro and the Clive.

Commissioned reports show the area is at high risk to sea level rise and relocating residents to safer sites in the area will cost over $10 million.

Santiago Demarco of Hohepa Hawke's Bay says while the risk is not imminent, it’s urgent they do something about it.

"Having to manage any evacuation with any person with high and vulnerable needs is no easy task," he says.

About 85 per cent of the funding comes from Government departments but in order to pay for the move, they are going to have to get money from donations.

But the wider community is also facing climate change costs, the regional council is looking at a $30 rates increase to pay for future spending.

Peter Beaven of Hawke's Bay Regional Council says millions of dollars will be needed.

"So we can form a contributory fund so we can spread the cost of it over a longer period of time because the Hawke's Bay community over the next 100 years is facing costs of at least 300 million dollars."