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Consistency Must Be A Priority

An interesting item appeared in the CEO's "Out Of Cycle" budget approvals to go before Council on Tuesday. It relates to the:

"repairs to Waitete Bay rock revetment wall as the result of storm damage sustained in January 2018 totalling $70,900 funded from loans."

This is interesting in view of the total indifference indicated in the case of the Tararu wall that failed to repell the waves that rolled in on 5 January. Some urgent rock-wall repairs on private property have taken place under insurance claim, but there has still been a refusal to acknowledge any responsibility, even where structures are on actual reserve.

Tararu residents affected by the 5 January event met last week to discuss the dilemma they face in rebuilding their protective structures - walls, bunds and groynes. All these date from 2004 when the last major event caused residents to contribute to a fund to erect defences. Their funds were used to seek and obtain a resource consent, and erect groynes off the end of Wilson St. The Council undertook bund work on its own land from the Yacht Club round to point where the previous reserve had been totally washed away. From there to Wilson St, where the Bupa facility (and bund) now begins was regarded as 'private' because of the absence of reserve, and a variety of defence structures were erected.

In that regard, Bupa needs to get its fingers out and institute remedial work if they are to adequately protect their multi-million dollar investment - and that of their residents, but discussion with them appears minimal, and residents are left in the dark.

There a residual $10,000 left over from the original fund established by the lower lying residents behind the Robert to Wilson St foreshore, that they now intend to now use to re-establish the previously consented groynes. Their Committee is obtaining appropriate engineering advice to undertake this work, along with assistance from the Council's newly appointed specialist engineer - Jan van der Vliet.

But a substantial contribution from the Council along the lines of that provided for Waitete would be appropriate. The circumstances are similar even if the Waitete work is evidently on reserve land.  The Tararu group are really showing initiative in tackling their own problem rather than waiting on Council, and this is certainly in accordance with Para 2.1.3 of the draft "Council Approach to Managing Coastal Hazards" that is the principal document being dealt with on Tuesday.

Para 3.2.3 spells out that landowners are exected to "take the lead in any processes required to determine and implement an appropriate solution." That is precisely what is happening at Tararu.

It should be acknowledged that the situation at Tararu is quite different to that on the East Coast with erosion leading to potential progressive loss of amenity and threat to housing. Periodic inundation on the West Coast must be recognised as a totally different kettle of fish with hard walls, appropriate rock placement, and drainage facilities the primary requirement. Residents recognise that total storm wave exclusion is an impossibility when combined with spring tides - erosion is not the problem.  




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Reader Comments (1)

The land immediately in front of the Bupa facility is an area were 'erosion' is an issue.
The January storm event has very evidently eroded the land frontage eastwards, to the extent that it is conceivable that the sea may breach the high point in successive storm events and consequently threaten the Bupa residential properties.
It must be frustrating for Tararu beach front residents to see the remains of a quite substantial sea-wall put in place many decades ago, presumably to protect the beach front, now lying, isolated from it intended purpose, on the beach.
My wonder is - who put the wall in place and why; and who paid the bill?
If it was the local body, it seems shameful that rules have been changed by successive generations of elected council to remove their responsibility; or now, as you say, for the current iteration of elected council to simply to deny any responsibility.
It does make one wonder how and why our several tiers of rate and tax taking councils/govt can simply deny any responsibility for such protective measures as you outline, in the face of their acknowledgement of sea-level rise.
Is it so difficult for the responsible agencies to all sit down with insurance companies and resident stake-holders and work out a joint plan?
Can some of our elected members who read this blog please explain.

August 6, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterRussell

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