Pathway row developing

Dunes siting 'crazy' idea

JOEL MAXWELL
Last updated 08:22 31/01/2013

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Kapiti Observer

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A walkway planned for Waikanae Beach dunes has hit stiff opposition from residents left "horrified" by its impact on the habitat.

Resident John Hunn said he had no idea why the pathway running behind his property was being planned and he and wife Margaret have submitted against it.

The joint project between Kapiti Coast District Council and the Rotary Pathways Trust would see a pathway running through dunes from Te Moana Rd to Hemara St.

Council has said the proposal has attracted both positive and negative responses and people who wanted their view heard should make submissions to council. The Waikanae Community Board will consider submissions made by residents at its February 12 meeting, and decide whether to support the proposal going to council for consideration.

The walkway was proposed by the Rotary Pathways Trust and council staff and would be similar to the walkway around Waimea lagoons. The same trust provided funding to build the Paraparaumu Beach walkway.

Mr Hunn said a walkway would disturb what has become a natural habitat for birds and plants and increase sand blowing from the dunes.

"I think this is just crazy," he said.

Resident William Higgins said three generations have lived in his family's home on the beach.

The beach car park near the Te Moana Rd intersection, built in 1965, was an example of similar "dumb" projects that flatten dunes and cause sand to blast into properties, he said.

He questioned why the council was building a path in an area the council itself tagged as at-risk from rising sea levels in its draft District Plan.

"We're not allowed to do anything developing our property," he said.

Waikanae Community Board chairman Michael Scott says he recognised the benefits the trust had provided to the community and their interest in the pathway, but it was quite different to the Paraparaumu Beach walkway.

"This proposed walkway would go through dunes and between the beach and residential houses so we need to take into account the needs of all groups in a community when considering such a venture."

Mr Scott says the board asked council staff to obtain feedback from residents.

"There have been concerns raised and these will need to be considered alongside those who have stated their support for the proposal."

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- Kapiti Observer

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