Unfortunately, back in February 2018, Ex Tropical Cyclone Gita moved the river right up to the vehicle entrance and took away swathes of the seaward side of the dunes. That left us with a metre or two of drop between the end of the access track and the water and no way for vehicles to get on to the beach.
Particularly frustrating is that the Committee has been actively trying to work with Horizons District Council and Horowhenua District Council for several years now to sort out river control, erosion prevention and vehicle access.
In the meantime, nothing much has changed and the vehicle entrance remains unusable.
Unfortunately one local took it upon himself to cut a new track through private land without consulting the owner. Several hundred metres of track now lead to a new, unauthorised, vehicle entrance that nevertheless still exits into water most of the time.
Our vehicle access has been through private land and is entirely at the whim of the owner who has been kind enough to let us use that corner of the property. With this latest act of appropriation though the owner has let us know they are considering revoking all access. The owners are very upset with this rogue action.
The map below has an arrow to show where the official vehicle entrance is at the end of Manga Pirau Street, and has outlined the private land, which also extends right into the sea.
Today brought a very high tide and strong northwest winds driving water onshore. Now that the front line of defensive dunes has been
broken the tide has started to encroach further on land. This is likely to cause increased erosion. I guess the next big winter storm will tell.
Locals have been quite clear that they want vehicle access to the beach. Many have boats, fishing gear or whitebaiting nets to deal with. Secure and usable vehicle access is something that needs to be sorted out.