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St Heliers awash with support for beach makeover

MEDIA RELEASE

17 October 2005

St Heliers awash with support for beach makeover

Residents have given overwhelming support to Auckland City's plans to restore St Heliers beach and protect Tamaki Drive from coastal erosion.

The St Heliers Beach Seawall Protection Project open days, held in late August, were well attended and 182 submissions were received.

The results show an overwhelming majority of respondents support the beach being resanded (as per Kohimarama Beach) in order to preserve Tamaki Drive long-term.

Out of the three options for the coastal structure at the east end of the beach - a naturalistic headland, an island or a pier - the naturalistic headland option has now been confirmed as the preferred way forward and will be similar to Kohimarama (Kohi) Beach.

Public opinion favoured the headland with 142 respondents either supportive or neutral and only 14 opposed. Opinion on the pier option was polarised with 83 supporting and 60 opposed. The island option had the least amount of support.

A sample of comments regarding the headland option include:

- "Least intrusive to natural surroundings"

- "Seems to provide best management of sand drift"

- "Looks more natural. Doesn't cut up the beach as much as pier."

- "Seems to be the longer lasting design".

Neill Forgie, manager of Auckland City's traffic and roading services, says that the Kohi Beach makeover has been a great blueprint for St Heliers.

"The Kohi Beach project received huge support from locals and has been hugely successful - it has not only addressed issues of safety and erosion but has also improved the look, quality and user-friendliness of the area," says Mr Forgie.

The project team has considered all written public submissions and will lodge a resource consent application with Auckland Regional Council in the first week of November.

Subject to resource consent processing, resanding work is likely to begin in winter next year to minimise disruption to the beach users.

ENDS

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