Long wait for Environment Court Ōrewa seawall decision

Auckland Council and the Orewa community have had a long wait for an Environment Court decision that will determine whether or not a seawall will be built at the northern end of Orewa Beach. At the time of the hearing, in May, the parties were close to an agreement on a revised design for the wall between Kohu Street and Marine View. Controversially, the new plan is expected to cost more to build and substantially increase the volume of sand that is transferred between the southern end of the beach and the north (HM May 22).

The original proposal to build the seawall was turned down by independent commissioners who said that it would generate adverse effects on coastal processes, public access and natural character. Council appealed the decision, which led to a drawn out legal process that began in December 2017 and culminated in the Environment Court appeal hearing before Judge David Kirkpatrick. The case pits separate divisions of Auckland Council against each other as appellant and respondent – a process that has so far cost ratepayers close to $1 million (HM September 19, 2018). Generally the court aims to release its decision within three months of closing submissions, which were in by the end of June.

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