Storm clean-up continues – beach accessways damaged
Work to assess, repair or make safe a range of community assets following this month’s storm is ongoing but will take time to complete, Kāpiti Coast District Council says.
The Coast bore the brunt of the high tide swells and some beach accessway tracks along the Kāpiti Coast have been either been washed away, undermined or badly eroded.
Parks, Open Space & Environment Manager Gareth Eloff says crews have been clearing and marking hazards on all beach accessways and contractors have started to make them safe or, where possible, repair.
“At the southern end of the coast, especially Paekakariki and Raumati, some beach accessways have suffered substantial damage and are currently unsafe,” Mr Eloff says.
“Rock-based accessways are eroded and will need a good amount of material to reinstate, and until that can happen they pose a safety risk to users. Storm surges also removed rock from the tops of seawalls, so there are holes and uneven surfaces.
“These have been signposted so please follow the notices and respect areas which have been closed.”
Beach vehicle accessways at Raumati, Paraparaumu, Waikanae, Peka Peka, Te Horo and Ōtaki are all clear and can be used.
“Council staff are working across a number of fronts and fully repairing all accessways will take time.
“The storm was significant, our teams have been depleted by COVID-19 and we are having to prioritise where our resources are used. The focus is on making things safe.”
Mr Eloff says the storm also took a lot of sand off the foredune.
“The next onshore wind will start bringing the sand back to the beach to be blown back up onto the kōwhangatara (spinifex) and pīngao.
“It will take some time to recover but this process of removal and replacement is very natural although with future sea level rise, replenishment may not always be able to keep up with removal.”
Kōwhangatara (spinifex) and pīngao can handle salt water washing over them and the fresh sand will bring new nutrients to the plants.
“This time next year it may all be looking beautiful again. We’ve just had 5,800 new spinifex plants delivered and will use these to bolster specific areas.”
Work repairing minor seawall damage, culverts and stormwater assets around the district is also under way.
If you would like to help restore our dunes, please contact one of our local restoration groups. Visit Local restoration groups for more information.