Roadway built for erosion rockwork

By Janna Sherman

A temporary road has laid above the rapidly eroding Hokitika foreshore over the weekend, allowing easy access for emergency rockwork if king tides over the next few days aggravate the situation.
The West Coast Regional Council has spearheaded the works to salvage what is left of the grassed area between the road and the beach.
The gravelled area will allow rocks to be dumped quickly if needed and is only a stop-gap measure until the Westland District Council decides how it will carry out, and pay for, more permanent works according to the results of a ratepayer survey now under way.
Ratepayers have until July 1 to decide if they want to form a rating district to pay for some form of seawall.
Regional council chief executive Chris Ingle said if people voted for a proper seawall, the temporary rockwork would be incorporated into the new structure. If not, the move would not be repeated.
Staff from both the regional and district councils monitored the king tide about 10.30am yesterday, but the estimated 2.3m swells did not eventuate.
District council operations manager Vivek Goel said a new report on the erosion would be discussed at the council meeting this week, including a recommendation that the NZ Transport Agency be approached for some funding now that Beach Street is under direct threat.
The highest king tide is forecast for 12.15pm today.
The five options put to residents in a consultation document mailed to ratepayers on behalf of both councils, are.—
1. Do nothing.
2. Semi-permanent: A 650m semi-engineered rip-rap rockwall; the rock would need to be regularly topped up. Cost: $543,000.
3. Long term: A 650m permanent rock-armoured seawall with low annual maintenance costs. Cost: $984,000.
4. Long term with reclaimed foreshore: A 650m seawall as above, but built 15-20m seaward of the current erosion line to reclaim some of the foreshore land taken by the sea over the past few months. Cost: $1.5 million.
5. Long term with raised bund: A 650m seawall but with an additional 1m height to minimise wave wash-over during very high seas. Cost: $1.04 million.
The cost per ratepayer will depend on where the property is located, the option picked and the value of the property. The most expensive is $133 a year per $100,000 of capital value of the property, and the cheapest is just $4.80.