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Funding approved for coastal erosion and damage caused by June storm

25 June 2014

Work's been approved to preserve Buffalo and Cooks Beach from further coastal erosion following the severe storm that hit the region in early-June.

Council has approved $991,440 out of its Hazard Management Activity to complete the Stage Two extension of a rock wall at Buffalo Beach as well as construction of an extension to the Cooks Beach Wall.

Council has approved these works after some sections of Buffalo Beach between the end of the newly finished NZTA wall extension and the Buffalo Memorial Area eroded up to 1m following the storm in early June. Large areas of the beachfront at Council's Purangi Reserve, Cooks Beach have also been lost to coastal erosion. The Cook Memorial at Cooks Beach had to be removed and a number of pine trees were also lost.

"People come to visit both these places because of the outstanding coastal lifestyle," says Mayor Glenn Leach. "This June storm isn't a one-off and what's frightening is the rate that these areas of beach are disappearing. It's only going to get worse, so we need to do something about it," says Mayor Leach.

"The work that's being planned to deal with this erosion is cost-effective and already part of our Coastal Management Strategy," says the Mayor.

This work at Buffalo Beach will entail extending the existing rock wall another 120m costing $633,100 with construction planned to start late 2014/early 2015 and be completed in 2-3 months, subject to the resource consent process.

At Cooks Beach $358,340 funding has been approved to carry out design and resource consenting for an extension of the Cooks Beach Wall..

Buffalo Beach Rock Wall



The first stage of the extension of the existing rock at Buffalo Beach, beside the NZTA wall, was finished late 2013. The wall stood up to the storm, protecting the road and reserve behind it.

In the past 18 months community dune plantings sessions have also been held, which have helped protect more than 200m of Buffalo Beach. Another planting of approximately 100 -150m of this coastline is scheduled in for August/September 2014 with the plan being to keep establishing the native dune planting along the rest of Buffalo Beach to meet with the end of the Buffalo Beach wall.

Regular sand push ups (which are conducted before public holidays or in advance of any storm events when we get warnings) to help mitigate any coastal erosion, will also continue.

Work at Brophy's Beach

Our funding of $680,000 for Stage One of the Brophy's Beach works becomes available 1 July this year. Subject to receiving the necessary resource consents, construction is planned for early 2015.

We are lodging the consent application with our Council and with the Regional Council by July.

"We look forward to working in partnership with the Waikato Regional Council on this project," says Mr Marshall.

"Some of the construction consists of a backstop seawall built in two stages. The first stage will be from the children's playground up to the boat ramp. The wall will be made from geotextile bags (which are like oversized sandbags that last much longer) and are sand coloured.

The aim is to have most of the wall buried by sand to deter further erosion of the reserve past the wall. The wall will also replace the rocks that were placed on the beach as emergency works several years ago.

The preference was to build the wall outside the sewer pipe, to save the cost of relocating the pipe back into the reserve and to reclaim some of the land that's been lost. However from a cost and ease for consenting point of view, the current approach is now to relocate the pipe further back into the reserve

Storm damage around Coromandel-Colville.

Meanwhile $500,000 has been approved for storm damage sustained in mid-June to roads and road infrastructure, particularly around the Coromandel-Colville area.

This will comes out of Council's 2013/2014 Disaster Relief Fund. An early cost for damage to roads and road infrastructure has been estimated at $900,000.

The clean-up has only begun in areas like Port Charles, Port Jackson and Colville and it will be a long time before anyone forgets the enormity of the storm and its consequences. Our Council staff and contractors will be continuing to supporting these affected communities.