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Managing coastal erosion at Wainui Beach

Managing coastal erosion at Wainui Beach

How Gisborne District Council proposes to manage coastal erosion at Wainui Beach will be outlined at a public meeting on Wednesday evening. Council has reviewed its 2003 Wainui Beach Management Strategy with the help of coastal experts and people representing the interests of groups likely to be affected.

The strategy is close to being finalised, says acting environment and planning group manager Kevin Strongman. “We want to share the proposals in the strategy with people that may be affected. People living close to Wainui Beach or who are regular beach users may be interested.

“The strategy aims to ensure people can access the beach, that properties are protected and to conserve and enhance the natural environment.”

“We know that the shoreline at Wainui Beach changes a lot and often experiences rapid erosion during storms. This is followed by a slow rebuilding of the dunes. However, over the next couple of decades, sea levels are expected to rise due to climate change. This is likely to cause the shoreline to retreat in the southern part of the beach.”

“To address this, council will make adjustments to its district planning documents to avoid further development in areas of Wainui prone to erosion.”

Erosion at Wainui is primarily a risk for Wainui Beachfront property owners. When dwellings are threatened after a storm, council is proposing to reinstate dunes by pushing-up sand (beach scraping). Council will also encourage planting with the appropriate plants to restore dunes.”

“Studies indicate there are no existing erosion control structures (such as rock revetments) on Wainui Beach that will solve the problem of a retreating shoreline in the long term. However, existing groynes and rock walls will be left in place as they do provide some protection against erosion and have little impact on the beach. A new rock revetment will be built north of the concrete groyne but other hard erosion control structures will be avoided. The training walls along Wainui Beach streams will also be maintained.”

The public meeting will be held at the Wainui Surf Club on Wednesday 11 June at 6pm. All are welcome.

“I would like to thank all those who have been involved in the drafting of this strategy. We have had three public meetings, all with good turn outs from the Wainui community. From those meetings a Key Stakeholder Forum was formed. The forum has met eight times and spent hours reading reports and talking with the surfing, environmental, property owner and beach user groups they are part of.”

“A working group formed from the Key Stakeholder Forum members have devoted even more time to the development of the strategy. They have worked through the big issues integrating the perspectives of different stakeholders and making recommendations to the stakeholder forum.”

The Wainui Beach Management Strategy can be found on Council’s website or contact Customer Services in Fitzherbert Street or Te Puia Springs to request a copy. . A number of reports have been received and presentations given about the Wainui coastal environment and these can also be found on Council’s website.


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