Council urges beach users to be safe

24 July 2015

Agencies monitoring erosion at Sunset Beach, Port Waikato, are urging beach goers to be sensible and play it safe in the area.

Over recent weeks staff from Waikato District Council, Waikato Regional Council and Department of Conservation have been working with the Port Waikato community to address erosion at their local beach.

Tim Harty, Waikato District Council Service Delivery general manager, says recent wild weather, combined with the volatile nature of the beach environment, has increased the risk to users.

“Any beach environment is an extremely difficult situation to manage. We’re assessing the situation for short and long term solutions in partnership with all stakeholders but in the mean time we need the public to take responsibility for their safety.

“There are risks from overhangs created by erosion but the risk increases when people stand on, or near, this area. It’s a simple message - please stay behind the fence.”

He says staff are aware of debris on the beach but they need to be realistic about managing it.

“With every tide there is more or less debris on the beach, both natural and man-made, with the ocean adding to and removing items on the beach from tide to tide. We continue to observe the situation and have ensured the appropriate fencing and signage is in place to warn of the dangers in front of the carpark.

“While removing the debris after every tide is neither cost effective nor feasible, the plan is to have the beach cleared of major debris prior to the summer season.”

Mr Harty says planning is also underway for community meetings to discuss a range of solutions to manage the erosion.

“We’d encourage concerned residents and beach users to stay in touch with us either through our email address, sunset@waidc.govt.nz or through our website."

For more information contact:
Erin Rangi-Watt
Senior Communications Advisor
Waikato District Council
07 824 8633 Extn: 5900
027 551 1601
erin.rangi-watt@waidc.govt.nz