Longer seawall declined

By Brendon McMahon

The new Hokitika seawall will not be extended further, in the meantime.
The Hokitika Seawall Committee has decided against extending the 650m-long wall to Hampden Street, and will instead keep monitoring the situation.
The committee, made up of representatives from the West Coast Regional and the Westland District Council, met on Thursday to consider its three options ranging in cost between $100,000 and $600,000.
All were outlined in a technical report to address the long-term management of the erosion problem, by engineering consultants OCEL (Offshore and Coastal Engineering Ltd) commissioned to address the situation.
Regional council planning and environment manager Michael Meehan said the committee decided instead to keep a close eye on the erosion to the north of the current seawall.
“This is due to the improved climatic conditions and additional cost to the rating district that would arise from any extension,” Mr Meehan said.
The OCEL report outlined ways to address potential long-term effects of the encroaching sea to the north of the wall.
Options included dumping fill to the north of the new 650m protection work, extending the seawall to Hampden Street using rock rubble, or extending the wall to the same specifications as those used already.
The committee also decided to keep monitoring beach protection work, in line with recommendations by OCEL, particularly the groynes at Tudor and Hampden streets.
“At this stage the committee is monitoring the situation ... this may require additional rock in the future to ensure they function as originally designed.”
It also discussed landscaping for the new wall, access to the beach, and groyne maintenance, Mr Meehan said.
“The committee is investigating access ways which will withstand the coastal environment while providing safe access to the beach.”
The committee decided to grass disturbed areas in the meantime, allowing the Westland District Council to consult the community about amenity options and implement a strategy to manage whatever was decided.