Storm wipes out road on beachfront
The builder of a road along Parapara Reserve Esplanade watched his work slip away during the pre-Easter storm, and if he wants it fixed, will probably have to pay for it.
Former policeman Graeme and wife Peggy Howard have lived along the esplanade since 1962. They are surrounded by holiday homes, and the pair were two of the first to set up in the beachfront area permanently.
Graeme and Peggy sit in their living room every day and look out over the beach.
There was no road when they first moved there, so Graeme built one, driving a tractor through the area.
"I got in trouble for that," he said.
A local hotelier than gravelled the road, after he "knocked it in."
Now that road is partially washed away, and huge chunks have fallen down on to the beach.
"The storm took most of the road," he said.
Graeme and Peggy have noticed the road and the beach erode over the years, "the water is coming in closer and closer."
Tasman District Council mayor Richard Kempthorne met with three Parapara Reserve property owners this week.
As the road was not built by the council, he said the TDC was not financially liable to fix it. The esplanade was under their jurisdiction though. There was a lot of coastal erosion in the Tasman area, which was sped up in the recent storm.
"With the incidents of coastal erosion in different parts of the district we have to be realistic with what is affordable. While council might not go into repairs we have to tell the residents what options are so they can fix it themselves."
He said it was an initial meeting and the council would meet with them again to discuss their options.
"We plan to help the people who live there to understand what their options are for repairing," he said.
"It was pretty devastating. talking with people about what it used to be. There is a huge amount of erosion".
Peggy Howard said it was good to meet with the mayor but she was waiting for the next meeting to know how they would proceed over the eroded road.
"We have got to live here, this is our only house. If we have to pay well, we have no choice."
The Nelson Mail