Orewa Seawall work seeks funding

Earlier this month, Hibiscus & Bays Local Board had an opportunity to put its case to the governing body for its top priority project – protecting Orewa Beach from the effects of further erosion.

The local board wants to ensure that erosion protection work on Orewa Beach is funded by the governing body and presented supporting evidence at a Long-term Plan (budget) workshop on November 2.

The workshops are not open to the public or media.

The board has been advocating for this funding for many years. During the 2015 Long-term Plan process, it was estimated that $9 million would be needed over 10 years; the work was not funded in that budget.

Hibiscus & Bays Local Board chair Julia Parfitt says this time around each local board had an opportunity to advocate in person for one project – and Orewa Beach erosion protection was number one for this area.

A proposal to build a seawall along the northern section of the beach from Kohu Street to Marine View is currently going through the resource consent process. Funding for that – and work on the remainder of the 2.6km long beach, including in front of Orewa Reserve – depends on where the beach sits in Council’s list of erosion protection priorities. Council staff working on the Orewa Beach project indicated in the past that it should be at the very top of the list.

Mrs Parfitt says she and members Janet Fitzgerald and Chris Bettany got “an extremely positive hearing”. She says Council has sufficient funding for beach erosion work, and it was important to include what the local board has gauged will be the whole extent of the project – although exactly what that work will involve is still to be determined through a public consultation process.

Detailed options for the southern end of the beach were to be presented to the local board and community in 2016 but have so far not materialised; they are likely to include a mix of dunes, loose rock and masonry seawalls.

An indication of whether or not the erosion protection work will be funded will be revealed when Council’s draft Long-term Plan is released for discussion in February/March. The plan, which is a refresh of the existing Long-term Plan, will be finalised around June 30.

Mrs Parfitt says feedback from residents will be vital when the draft plan goes out for consultation.
“However, I’ve always found that if it’s included in the draft, it has a 95 percent chance of being included in the final plan,” she says.


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