Longer seawall possible

By Janna Sherman

The cost of completing the Hokitika seawall could be bumped by a further $600,000 as the West Coast Regional Council looks to extend the wall to protect more foreshore, behind the residential area to the north.
It estimates about 15m of beachfront from the northern end of the rockwall has been lost since work began in August.
Representatives of both the regional council and the Westland District Council, including those on the Hokitika Seawall Committee, assessed the problem on site yesterday.
The committee will be asked when it regroups tomorrow to draw a line in the sand and recommend how and where to end the seawall.
Regional council planning and environment manager Michael Meehan said three options — ranging between $100,000 and $600,000 — had come back from a report on long term management of the Hokitika beach erosion problem.
The first, and least expensive, option would be a temporary sand bund at the end of the 650m-long wall, which was intended to reach only to the end of Stafford Street.
However, that option would have high maintenance costs, Mr Meehan said.
“The second option would be building a wall along the same alignment out of smaller quarry rubble, extending to the existing Hampden Street groyne.”
The closest northern groyne was a good end point for the seawall, allowing sand to build up further north.
Carrying on the rock work to the groyne, was the most expensive option, he said.
All options, as well as a management plan for all existing groynes, would be discussed by the seawall committee tomorrow, with recommendations expected to be made back to both councils by the end of the week.
Mr Meehan said the seawall was on track to be completed early next month, which was ahead of schedule.
They were now also at the stage of discussing amenity works.
The Westland District Council is responsible for providing most of the aesthetics, including access ways on to the beach. It has included in the annual plan that the ‘coastal erosion reserve’ be used for any required amenity purposes on the new seawall.
District assets manager Vivek Goel said yesterday a landscape plan was currently being worked on and would be subject to the 2014-15 annual plan process.
Meanwhile, the council this week had an indicative offer for a contribution towards the beach protection project from the New Zealand Transport Agency, but Mr Goel was not able to give any further details yesterday.