Kapiti erosion debate kicks off

JOEL MAXWELL
Last updated 15:33 08/10/2012

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Kapiti Observer

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Battle lines have been drawn over Kapiti Coast District Council's report warning of potential erosion on 1800 coastal properties.

An opposition group, seeking support, has successfully gained the postal addresses of houses affected by the report that outlines erosion risks over the next century.

Mayor Jenny Rowan confirmed the council had been contacted with the request.

"We sought clarification from the Ombudsman's office on what we could or couldn't release. As a result we sent 120 pages of addresses to the letter writer. We were not instructed per se to send them."

Ms Rowan said the council encouraged people to get together and seek support from coastal specialists.

"A robust debate based on good technical information will, at the end of the day, provide us with a robust outcome. Most councillors knew full well that this issue was going to generate considerable debate.'

In August the council announced it would include information from its Coastal Erosion Hazard Risk report in LIMs.

The report found 1000 beachfront properties were at risk from erosion within 50 years - another 800 within a century.

The council was obliged by government policy to undertake the assessment, and forced by legislation to include it in LIMs. The information could see lower property values.

At last Thursday's council meeting Ms Rowan said the report author Roger Shand will make a presentation on his report at a meeting on November 1.

In a written release councillor K Gurunathan said the affected properties are some of the most highly priced and valued properties in the district.

"Some of the affected people who have contacted me are - lawyers, barristers, retired judges, engineers, surveyors, geologists, company directors, and economic consultants."

He said they are organising themselves into a district, and nationwide, campaign and are collecting a war chest to fund the campaign.

Christopher Ruthe, chair of the group called Coastal Ratepayers United, refused to be quoted in the Kapiti Observer.

The report information was included in LIMs the same day it was announced.

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