Beach erosion update, November 2017

The area between the vehicle entrance and the river is eroding badly. The Association is looking for a long-term solution to prevent further loss of dunes and land.

For quite a while now the Association has been engaging with local bodies and other groups about the ongoing beach erosion, particularly between the river and the vehicle entrance.

On 17 November 2017 there was a meeting to discuss this further, with the aim of finding a long term solution. While we didn’t take minutes from the meeting, here are some notes for your information.


  1. Cr Christine Mitchell, Horowhenua District Council
  2. Cr David Cotton, Horizons Regional Council
  3. Cr Colleen Sheldon, Horizons Regional Council
  4. Rodney Inteman — directly affected resident
  5. Kevin Burns — Secretary, Waikawa Beach Ratepayers Association
  6. John Hewitson — Chair, Waikawa Beach Ratepayers Association
  7. Miraz Jordan — member, Waikawa Beach Ratepayers Association
  8. Gallo Saidy, Manager of Infrastructure Services at Horowhenua District Council
  9. Ramon Strong, Horizons: River Management group manager. This group looks after our river schemes and catchments to provide flood protection.

The group first held a discussion at John Hewitson’s home, then we all visited the site.

Very high tide at vehicle entrance.
When conditions are right, the whole estuary floods and blocks the vehicle entrance.

Our concerns

  • we want to keep the estuary for the wading birds and protect properties.
  • Horowhenua District Council used to actively monitor the river but lost their engineer to Horizons and monitoring fell off. There used to be trigger lines.
  • river cuts just don’t work. We would prefer deflector blocks.
  • the groyne was replaced but had no maintenance so sand built up and eventually it didn’t work to keep river going straight out. Sand is building up again.
  • the river is eroding sandhills and parts of private property.
  • the next big weather event is likely to further erode the dunes.
  • continued erosion could in the long term lead to the vehicle entrance disappearing and possibly the tide encroaching on to Manga Pirau Street.
  • erosion is caused both by the river and by high tide swells.
  • toitoi have helped hold the existing bank together.
Erosion beside the vehicle entrance.
Erosion beside the vehicle entrance.

Concerns of the Councils

  • rates may have to increase in order to do specific work.
  • the law doesn’t compel a Regional Council to do things around rivers. Waikawa Beach is on fringes, for whatever reason. No law says Horizons has to look after us with regard to the river.
  • Horizons wants to do more to help river water quality eg with planting and fences etc.
  • coastal management issues are not easy. Sea level rise adds complexity.
  • long term planning is looking at the Ohau Manakau (local river) schemes, eg Ohau stop banks. That scheme is heavily weighted to Ohau. A specific scheme allocates responsibility.

What the Association needs to do

To move this forward we need to:

  • ask Horizons to do more work and scoping.
  • make a written submission to the Ohau Manakau scheme and long-term plan and ask to make an oral submission too.
  • coordinate a submission by early March 2018.
  • discuss benefit to the wider community eg Manakau — this is their closest beach.

If you have concerns, comments or just contributions around the beach erosion please let us know, either by leaving a comment below or by emailing the Committee ( Watch the website for further updates.

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