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Revised Concept Plan For The Whangamata Boardwalk Extension Project Out Now

A revised concept plan for the proposed Whangamata boardwalk extension project is out now. The proposed plan is:

  • To progress with a boardwalk along The Esplanade only.
  • The dunes section of the proposed boardwalk and eventual connection to Hunt Road (to form a connection with the town centre) is to be delayed while further details are worked through with iwi and The Department of Conservation (DOC).
  • To undertake a small 10m trail section of boardwalk at the southern end of the existing boardwalk by the surf club (Beach Access 10) to test a new lightweight construction that will reduce the need for pile excavations and be able to be relocated if needed.

“We would like to thank our community for their feedback on this project over the past few months, which we have taken into consideration,” says Whangamata Board Chair Ken Coulam. "The Board are acutely aware of the pressure our community is under due to the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. Based on the feedback we've decided to progress with the shorter Esplanade section of the boardwalk extension only this financial year."

Overall feedback for the proposed boardwalk extension was positive with 60 per cent supporting the proposal which can be viewed here.

“There were a lot of really good suggestions from the community during consultation, which we have taken on board,” says our Project Manager Ross Ashby. “We’re keen to keep the community informed around the next steps, which includes detailed design of the Esplanade section."

We'll be seeking feedback on a planned trial of a 10m section of light weight boardwalk at Beach Access 10 to see how it performs and whether it meets the project objectives. Read more below.

We also heard a lot from our communities around potential environmental impacts and have draft ecological and archaeological reports on the proposed that can be viewed on our website here. An updated coastal report is due this week for staff to review.

"Throughout the project we have been working with iwi will continue this relationship," says Mr Ashby."There are opportunities for iwi to tell their stories and include cultural references and values where possible."

The land the proposed dune section of boardwalk is located on is a Marginal Strip administered by DOC on behalf of the Crown. No construction will occur until discussions with iwi have been completed and a formal application has been made to, and approved by DOC.

Trial boardwalk design

We're trialling a new way to construct a coastal boardwalk at Beach Access 10 which will be installed by the end of June.

The new design aims to reduce the need for excavations and will sit at the surface to maintain natural dune form. It also allows for sections to be built off-site reducing some of the costs and construction disturbance and provides the ability to shift sections should these need to be re-positioned.

Further feedback will be invited during the trial to inform future decisions for the boardwalk. Make sure you sign-up to our e-newsletter for regular updates. Further information can be found on our website at tcdc.govt.nz/whangaboardwalk.

Overall project plan: The latest project plan will delay the dunes section of the proposed boardwalk and eventual connection to Hunt Road (to form a connection with the town centre), while further details are worked through with iwi and The Department of Conservation (DOC).

Key principles the project will meet:

Safe and Connected
Allowing for safe, legible and universal access along the coastal edge for all users.

Character
Build on the existing sense of place and strengthen the cultural and coastal associations through design elements and interpretative signage and wayfinding.

Access
Provide improved access to and from the beach for all users. The design of the boardwalk will adhere to principles of universal design, be usable by all including the vulnerable, to the greatest extent possible without the need for specialised design. Design considerations include ample width, gentle gradients and smooth transition of surfaces.

Protect and Enhance
Provide formalised beach access to reduce the degradation of the coastal ecology and dune systems. Enhance the dune resilience through new planting.

Amenity
Enhance the overall amenity of the area through upgraded facilities, seating, planting, and shade provision.

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