A sea wall to halt tidal erosion at Picnic Bay is a step closer, with an application for resource consent gaining support from Ngāi Tai ki Tāmaki Tribal Trust.
Ngāi Tai representative Jonathan Billington inspected the proposed site for the wall last week and says the trust will write in support of the local resident group’s application for resource consent.
The group, headed by Pam Nash of Donald Bruce Road, has been locked in a 10-year struggle with Auckland Council to gain permission and part-funding for a 205-metre rock wall to protect the beach below their homes from significant tidal erosion.
While Mrs Nash and her neighbours are ready to fund most of the project themselves, they are still awaiting local board approval to offer the remaining $65,000 needed for the project.
“There is some outstanding information that council have requested so currently we’re in the process of getting that together, and we’ve done Iwi consultation as part of the process,” says planning consultant Wendy Baverstock, who is handling the application on behalf of the residents and council.
There are also still construction management issues to be ironed out, she says, such as how machinery and materials will be delivered and the stability of the available work platforms on the beach.
If resource consent is granted and the board provides funding, construction of the wall could begin next March.
“This is the final box to be ticked, as I understand it,” Mrs Nash says. “It’s a relief, but it’s not the end until we see the wall in place. We need the council’s funding now because the contractors want a definite confirmation from us in order to book a date for the work, which we estimate will take just four days.”
If successful, the residents group plans to establish a charitable trust to fund continuing maintenance of tidal defences for the foreseeable future. • Richard Jones