Media release

Science of South Dunedin flyer lays foundation for future options

Wednesday 30 August 2023

Joint Media Release – Dunedin City Council and Otago Regional Council: South Dunedin people have begun receiving a flyer that explains the water, land and climate change-related challenges facing their community – the next step to creating an adaptation plan for the area.

The flyer was developed for the South Dunedin Future programme by science communicators at Tūhura Otago Museum with input from Otago Regional Council natural hazards experts and a range of local scientists. It will be delivered from today to 7,000 homes and businesses in the Flat area of South Dunedin.

South Dunedin Future is a joint programme of the Dunedin City Council and Otago Regional Council to develop a climate change adaptation strategy for the area.

The programme’s manager, Jonathan Rowe, says the flyer’s release is an important step towards making a climate adaptation plan by 2026.

“We hope this flyer will help explain to everyone the many natural processes already at work, and what is likely to happen to the area in future.”

“It’s important to understand the challenges before we can work out what to do about them.”

The flyer brings together the known information on the main four natural hazards affecting South Dunedin: heavy rainfall (flooding and runoff), rising sea levels (erosion and storm surge), rising groundwater (surface ponding and dampness) and seismic hazards (earthquakes and liquefaction). It includes the latest projections for the anticipated effects of climate change.

ORC Manager of Natural Hazards, Dr Jean-Luc Payan, says the flyer summarises work by a range of scientific organisations including GNS, NIWA, NZ SeaRISE and University of Otago.

“The ORC and others have been collecting information to better understand the physical environment and natural hazards in South Dunedin for over a decade and it’s great to be able to share this knowledge with the community.”

This flyer is the second in a series of four this year giving all residents and other stakeholders information about the programme, the science, community values and options. A first ‘long list’ of adaptation options for South Dunedin is planned for release in December 2023.

A letter is also being sent to all non-resident owners of property in South Dunedin highlighting this new information and inviting them to get involved. More detailed information about how particular hazards such as groundwater and rainfall will affect South Dunedin are expected to be released over the next two years.

A series of community events are being held in September and October including a ‘meet the scientists night’, street meet and sausage sizzle in the main street, and a forum with water experts about the options for South Dunedin’s future.

Download the flyer now


Community events coming up

The Science of South Dunedin - Meet the Scientists night

Find out more about the past, present and future challenges facing the area.

Wednesday, 13 September, 7pm-9pm

Nations Church, 334 King Edward Street, South Dunedin


Street meet and sausage sizzle

Come down, grab a bite and give us your views on South Dunedin’s future.

Saturday, 23 September, 10am-2pm

Main shopping strip

King Edward Street, South Dunedin


What could be done in South Dunedin?

Hear from the water experts, find out what others are doing, and tell us your ideas.

Tuesday, 10 October, 7pm-9pm

Dunedin Gasworks Museum, 20 Braemar Street, South Dunedin