Waikawa Beach erosion protection or a buffer zone as in Paekakariki?

This is interesting, especially since it’s just down the coast from us and we’re suffering some similar issues: The Greater Wellington Regional Council is proposing putting in a 40m erosion buffer zone at the southern end of Queen Elizabeth Park.

The council is proposing putting in a 40m erosion buffer zone at the southern end of Queen Elizabeth Park in Paekakariki which would mean relocating buildings, including the surf club, to a safer area.

A 2010 report indicated that Queen Elizabeth Park could lose up to 40m of land due to coastal erosion from climate change or severe weather events at the park.

Over the last few years, there have been a number of significant weather events that have undermined the dunes at the park, and washed away tracks and a bridge.

Greater Wellington Regional Council’s manager of parks Amanda Cox said the council concluded it needed to put in a plan of retreat from the coast.

“We want to pull back with park infrastructure such as roads, tracks, we’ve got the toilet block there, other facilities and relocate those in a safer zone.”

Ms Cox said the council would also be planting out the 40m buffer zone with dunes, so there was a more resilient fore-dune system which would withstand the effects from adverse weather and would allow natural marine processes to take place.

The plan focuses on the coastal edge from the park’s southern entrance at Wellington Road in Paekakariki, to approximately 900m north. …

Judy Lawrence from Victoria University’s Climate Change Research Institute researches climate change science in public policy and decision making. … “It is really interesting because it provides a number of new benefits for the community in creating new spaces, new trails, new beach access, open spaces and so forth,” she said.

It’s worth reading the whole item which gives more detail and mentions certain legal requirements.

When you look at how much land has been lost around the access at the end of Manga Pirau Street in the last decade and what it might cost to deal with that erosion in the face of rising sea levels it seems only prudent to ask about a similar ‘buffer zone’ approach for Waikawa Beach.

Bank retention near the vehicle entrance 05 February 2018.
Bank retention near the vehicle entrance 05 February 2018.
The bank was gone by 25 June 2018.
The bank was gone by 25 June 2018.

2 thoughts on “Waikawa Beach erosion protection or a buffer zone as in Paekakariki?”

  1. At the Waikawa river mouth area in question why don’t they just commit to retaining and reclaiming what is lost already before it gets worse and costs to much to fix?We have a family beach house at Manga-Pirau st.

    Usual residence: NZ

  2. Thanks for the comment Scott. At tomorrow’s WBRA Committee meeting the Horizons Regional Council is presenting findings from a recent report by Tonkin and Taylor about erosion in that area. Once we’ve seen that report we’ll be coming back to the community for discussion and input. We should be able to give a clearer idea about all this after our meeting.

    Usual residence: Waikawa

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