Beach road stays off limits
"It's summer time and that's an awesome beach,"LEIGHTON KEITH
Neighbours are disappointed vehicle access to a popular North Taranaki beach will not be restored.
Deep cracks in Waitoetoe Rd, leading to the Conservation Department Recreation Reserve at Waitoetoe Beach, 44 kilometres northeast of New Plymouth, began to concern residents in 2004.
The road was barricaded about 150 metres from the reserve in August 2004 because of safety concerns.
Some of the cracks were more than a metre deep.
In February 2009 the section of road, which was previously under the control of New Plymouth District Council, was amalgamated into the reserve.
DOC acting area manager Jason Roxburgh confirmed yesterday that vehicle access to the beach would not be restored.
"The coastal erosion is still continuing, and the reserve and old road is still eroding, and DOC has no plans to reopen the road," Mr Roxburgh said.
The material in the area sat on a slippery silt base and sloped towards the sea, he said.
"The slip appears to have been instigated by a number of factors, including the weight of fill material along the roadway, and the gradual removal of supporting material along the coastline," he said.
"The slip appears to be very mobile and likely to continue at the northern end of this area."
But resident Tom Weston was disappointed the road had not been reopened.
"If they are worried about erosion, then why aren't they planting it out?" Mr Weston said.
He said the beach was popular with kayak fishermen, longliners and families, but having to lug their gear from the end of the road put many users off.
"It's a mission with the kayaks," another resident, Daniel Crisp, said.
People also didn't like leaving their vehicles where they couldn't see them.
The reserve has a working toilet block and Mr Weston believed the area had the potential to be a great asset for the community.
"I don't think it is good enough, it's summer time and that's an awesome beach," he said.
"It's probably the best sandy beach in north Taranaki."
Mr Weston was keen to see the reserve turned into a camp ground.
"It's totally underutilised, there is a beach there and it's more or less barricaded off.
"It just frustrates me that they spend so much money doing some things that they think are important and they just haven't spent a cent down there, they haven't done a thing."
- © Fairfax NZ News
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