Residents want action on erosion problem

SIMON SMITH
Last updated 05:00 31/01/2014
Eastern Beach
ACTION PLEASE: A few years ago these Eastern Beach residents would have been standing on grass.

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A popular beach is rapidly disappearing but residents will have to wait until the end of summer before work begins to fix it.

Storms are shifting the sand and foreshore along much of Eastern Beach to its southern end.

Nothing has been done to fix the damage caused by the latest severe weather event in September last year.

And high king tides are predicted to hit from today until Tuesday.

Auckland Council parks manager Malcolm Page says remedial work is not allowed in the first three months of the year when visitor numbers and use of the beach is high.

However, Chester Brown, who has lived on The Esplanade for 16 years, says enough is enough.

Since he's lived near the beach there have been "about four bad storms" that washed away about five metres of grass foreshore, leaving only a metre or two.

"Kids used to play football on it," he says.

"It's just gradually eroding away and the sand is going with it."

Eastern Beach resident Wally Stamp wants the council to communicate its immediate plans more clearly

"They have already sent the tenders out so they've decided what they are going to do but they haven't told anybody."

Mr Page says the council appreciates residents' concerns.

"We understand people's frustration at what appears to be a lack of remedial work following the storm, but we can assure residents that the area is safe and that preparatory work is happening behind the scenes," he says.

Mr Page says the council is working on long-term erosion management as well as short-term work to address the storm damage that will start in April.

The Howick Local Board commissioned a Tonkin and Taylor report in 2012 on the state of its beaches.

The report proposes significantly expanding the width of the sand and bank of Eastern Beach north of the boat ramp at a cost of up to $4.8 million.

The council consistently trucks sand to the beach, with 1845 cubic metres added in 2011, and 600 cubic metres from May to June last year.

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- © Fairfax NZ News

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