Costs of Orewa seawall consent revealed

The cost to Auckland Council as it seeks resource consent to build a seawall on the northern part of Orewa Beach has so far cost ratepayers well over half a million dollars.

Figures released to Hibiscus Matters under the Official Information Act show that the costs of engineering, design and legal fees so far sit at $660,000.

The bulk of this is the bill from environmental and engineering consultancy Tonkin & Taylor – $516,800. Legal fees amount to $143,549.

The plan for the section of beach between Kohu Street and Marine View combines a 600m-long grouted rock seawall with a section of engineered loose rocks and a small area of restored dunes. It includes a 2m-wide walk and cycleway on top, along with access ramps and stairs at intervals.

The wall was expected to cost around $6m to build as well as $50,000 annually to maintain.

Consent was declined for the project last December and Council immediately lodged an appeal. The former Rodney District Council’s option for a wall along the same stretch of beach was declined consent in 2010.

Council has two roles in the appeal process – as applicant for the consent and as the regulatory authority that determined the application. Both sides have legal representation and their own technical experts.

The first stage, mediation between Council and submitters opposed to the project, has not yet been scheduled.

If mediation is unsuccessful, the appeal will be heard in the Environment Court. It can take several months to obtain a hearing date and, following the hearing, a decision can take a further few months.


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