Kiwi surf breaks and beaches driven on by four-wheel-drives are being more closely monitored and protected by better coastal planning, Conservation Minister Eugenie Sage says.
"Surfers can be grateful that protecting surf breaks is now something that councils consider in preparing plans and when resource consents are sought for development work, such as dredging," she said.
Her comments came after the Sunday release of a review into the success of the New Zealand Coastal Policy Statement, introduced in 2010.
The statement guides New Zealand councils and the Environment Court when making decisions about coastal areas under the Resource Management Act.
Ms Sage said the review found councils that embraced the statement and spent money on resources and strategic planning for coastal areas were gaining good guidance from the document.
However, some others were not and "had work to do", she said.
More work was also needed to assist councils by developing a consistent way to map and assess risks in coastal landscapes.
To get the best planning outcomes, councils needed to use the coastal policy statement in conjunction with the Ministry For Environment's Coastal Hazards and Climate Change report, released in September, she said.
"[These documents] will assist councils [to] plan for storm events, such as that experienced this week," she said.