Port Waikato community briefing - 5 September 2019

05 September 2019

Following the significant erosion that has occurred recently at Port Waikato, Council is taking the following actions regarding the community hall and car park at Sunset Beach.

  • A member of staff has contacted the hall committee to start the process of regular users removing any equipment out of the hall.
  • The hall should not be used anymore and plans to demolish it have begun.
  • Our reason for demolishing it is purely in the interest of public safety.
  • The hall is being demolished because the “safe” 7.5m mark, which was determined a couple of years ago, from the front of the hall has now been passed. The “cliff face” is now about 6m away from the hall wall.
  • Demolition will happen as soon as possible. We are awaiting confirmation from the surf club about their stance on whether it should be the whole hall or just the front half, which will be determined this weekend. The surf club is currently building the community hub, which was partially funded by Waikato District Council and the community. Included in the Memorandum of Understanding with the Sunset Beach Lifeguard Service was that the surf club would use the hall as a storage area once the community hub was complete. So we are happy to be led by the surf club on whether it is fully demolished or partially.
  • The length of time it takes to demolish the hall depends on the extent of the presence of asbestos within the hall building.
  • Council staff are helping to find alternative location for regular users of the hall. Other groups such as Port Waikato Holiday Camp have put their hands up to help.
  • Extra signage will be put up in the car park warning people to stay away from the extra barrier that been put up at the car park.
  • There will be more warning signs at the access way to the beach warning people to stay away from the dunes.
  • It is council’s intention to remove debris from the beach. We are in the process of establishing a timeline for this work. For details on this should be available within a week.
  • The building team has spoken to the owners of the two houses/baches which are near the cliff face on Ocean View Road about keeping out of those houses.
  • If it is confirmed that the whole hall is to be demolished, council will be prioritising work to be done on the car park at Sunset Beach to add some capacity before summer.
  • Our civil defence and community resilience officer are working on understanding how we can support the community in the longer term to plan and prepare for impacts like this.