Eastern Beach Futility Continues Apace 
Wednesday, November 11, 2015 at 3:55PM
Bill Barclay

The famous Eastern Beach Coastal Defence System continues apace.

It is beginning to resemble the German Atlantic Coast Defence System built by the Todt Organisation from the Second World War, but apart from the gasps of people who just cannot believe what they are seeing, and the unspoken air of futility, our Council continues to make it it up as it goes along. And with changes of staff, new and expensive systems are tried and rejected, as Canute Consultants delve further into their bag of tricks in an endeavour to keep the sea 'at Bay,' temporarily.

Why Whitianga was built where it is will never be satisfactorily explained - it is a mixture of total arrogance, and blind faith that led to this choice - if you asked specifically for the most inappropriate piece of land anywhere in the country to build a town it would have to be this unprotected sand-spit lying fully exposed to the north-western prevailing wind and potential Tsunami track right out of the Kermadec Trench. That Hopper was ever given permission to build his Marina Folly where it is beggars belief. Eventually the entire spit will disappear and we will all be left to carry the can.

In the meantime, these utterly futile attempts to keep the sea at bay continue, and we can only watch as hopeles efforts are made to find ever more ways to preserve the sand that residents find so essential to their very lives, and livelihoods. The Whitianga Community Board must be tearing its collective hair out as it endeavours to deal with the problem, but make no mistake, we will all end up paying the piper for this piece of gross foolhardiness.

Groynes are by their very nature temporary affairs that bugger up the landscape, and are a last ditch effort in the overall scheme of things - but here we again at that end of the desperate spectrum - just wait for the howls of anguish as the summer holiday makers arrive to find their beach impeded with these outrageous constructs. Even the dogs will be howling at the moon as they endeavour to find their way through the maze.

Rock walls, lagging, geo-textiles, timber structures, sand bagging - what has not been tried to date? - lets face it, nothing works in the face of the continuous onslaught over miles of exposed beach-front, and still the plans emerge, to be funded by district wide funding because "no one area could afford it on its own."

It is an outrageous waste of money, and one of long term problems that every council hopes will outlast their term of office before the piper has to be paid. Meanwhile, countless public servants come, look, blanch and walk away, and Tonkin & Taylor must think that that the East Coast is the Christmas present that just gives and gives.




Article originally appeared on BillBarcBlog (http://billbarclay.co.nz/).
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