'Canute' Project At Whitianga Commences
Friday, June 19, 2015 at 12:03PM
Bill Barclay

The futile effort to hold back the inevitable has commenced at Whitianga with the construction of a rock seawall extension at Buffolo Beach: 

"The rock seawall is being constructed to protect the road, residential properties and the reserve on Buffalo Beach Road from coastal erosion.

“We needed the strength of a rock wall here as the beach conditions can be quite severe,” says Mercury Bay Area Manager Sam Marshall.

The wall will be 115m long and will cost $375,000. Meanwhile in our Long Term Plan we have $520,000 set aside to provide further protection at the end of the wall currently being built, to the dune planting area."

I have no objection to our Council agreeing to protect "residential properties" in this manner, just so long as it paid for out of local rates.

Unfortunately, as the result of decisions by our current Council, that is no longer the case. As I have repeated many times in the past, this successful attempt by the relatively wealthy rate-payers of Whitinaga (and elsewhere on the East Coast) to spread the cost of their bad decision-making in the past to all the rate-payers of the District will eventually become an unacceptable burden to all concerned.

The precedent now being established at Whitianga will eventually lead to incredibly expensive works being undertaken up and down the East Coast, and every ratepayer in this District will then begin to understand just how unfair is this change of policy.

Not only are we paying for it, but the local Community Board is having a major say in just how the works are designed and constructed. You may be sure that this input will lead to higher, certainly not lower costs being incurred. Nothing will stop a Tsunami inundating Whitianga eventually, but in the meantime these "canute' like works will continue in a vain effort to halt the inevitable. And I mean inevitable - climate change or otherwise! 




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