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$5 million beach rebuilding gathers momentum

$5 million beach rebuilding gathers momentum

The Recreation and Events committee yesterday supported a report to restore sand on up to eight beaches across Auckland’s two harbours, at a cost of $5 million.

“We intend to draw on our experience from the highly successful Mission Bay and Kohimarama sand replenishment projects,” says the chairperson of the Recreation and Events Committee, Councillor Scott Milne. “The sooner the right sand can be found to pump onto these beaches, the better.”

Replacing sand is an effective strategy to prevent coastal erosion and restore valuable recreation space.

Sand is already being pumped onto Kohimarama beach and the project is due for completion in November. The need for urgent work to protect the sea wall and Tamaki Drive at Kohimarama was identified in October 2002. St Heliers beach is now considered a priority for the same reasons.

Manukau Harbour beaches have been identified as a priority and the committee has asked city officers to work with the Auckland Regional Council to study potential sand sources as soon as possible.

The report says eight beaches at Pt England Reserve, Pt Chevalier, Herne Bay, Home Bay, Sentinel Reserve, St Heliers, Blockhouse Bay and Taylor’s Reserve are suitable for the work. These beaches would benefit from the replenishment programme because of their popular recreational use and concerns over infrastructure including stormwater.

The committee has also asked officers to prepare a 10 year programme detailing how sand replenishment would be staged, and identify funding sources.

The $5 million preliminary figure would cover sanding costs, and there would be other design and related engineering costs, like stormwater improvements.

“This is the cheapest parkland Auckland City Council will ever buy. The success of Mission Bay and Kohimarama Beach rebuilding projects are well documented and well received. These beaches have become city-wide parks particularly being located on the Panmure and Glen Innes bus routes. They are playgrounds for residents right across Auckland,” says Mr Milne.

“At the same time, valuable stormwater infrastructure, roading and historic pohutukawa trees which make up beach reserves are being protected and enhanced by these measures. This is Auckland gilding its most precious natural asset – our coastal interface,” he says.

Sand replenishment for the city’s beaches has become part of a city-wide coastal management strategy being prepared by the council’s City Planning group.

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