Beach erosion alarms

Last updated 05:00 10/12/2013
Sutton
GONE AGAIN: Kevin Sutton gets photographic proof of further erosion at Orewa beach after the weekend’s high tides and rain. A temporary fence at the top stops people walking close to the edge but Mr Sutton is worried about the risk of the bank collapsing on children playing at its base.

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Temporary shoring up of Orewa beach has taken another hit with very high tides and bad weather combining to cause more erosion.

Residents including Kevin Sutton are worried the latest damage makes the area unsafe for children, with evidence of youngsters digging at the base of a metre-high bank at the Orewa Beach Reserve.

Sand was blown by strong onshore winds on to beachfront properties as well.

"What concerns me, and others, is that this recent damage has occurred so soon after the ‘temporary' repair work undertaken by the Auckland Council after the September 24 storm," Mr Sutton says.

"There is a strong likelihood that any more bad weather will cause the bank along the beachfront to collapse further. If this happened it could create a dangerous situation for the many beach users, especially young children, as we enter the holiday period."

Mr Sutton wants the sand replaced and urges the council to continue regularly monitoring the situation until a permanent and lasting remedy is found.

Council officers were due to visit the beach to check on the weekend's damage.

About $100,000 in emergency and remedial works, including taking sand by earthmovers from the Orewa estuary to reinstate beach buffers, was done in October.

A long-term plan is being prepared for the three-kilometre long beach, which will be discussed with the Hibiscus and Bays Local Board.

Public consultation on how sections of the beach will be treated is planned early next year.

Short-term and long-term works are expected to cost about $1 million.

The Auckland Council says several very high tides have caused some sand loss so a small section was fenced off on Friday where the fall was about a metre. A digger is expected to batter the escarpment this week, usually done about five or six times a year before the sand loss gets to the stage where replenishment is required.

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- © Fairfax NZ News

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