Addressing erosion at Port Waikato's Sunset Beach

What’s happening?

Community assets are being eroded by sea level rise and natural beach processes. This could continue with further loss of land for public assets.

A Council led focus group has been working together with the community to identify solutions and GHD consultants have been engaged to help work through options.

Council has also sought feedback from the Department of Conservation and Waikato Regional Council on the subject.

The agreed solution is the managed retreat of community assets. 

Where will the assets go?

A report has been put together and recently passed by Council which details the options the organisation and the Port Waikato community will take should erosion continue and the retreat of assets is needed.

If erosion continues, Council and the community’s preferred option includes retaining and constructing further beach access car parking as close to the existing Sunset Beach car park as possible. The option also includes relocating the community hall to the Port Waikato rugby grounds (Albie Phillips Reserve).

The purchase of private property may be needed for this option to occur. 

How will your feedback be used?

  • To inform the final site design and location for future community facilities at Sunset Beach and Port Waikato.
  • To feed into the District Plan Review for future zoning and development provisions. This is at an early stage of information gathering and engagement. The draft District Plan will be released for community consultation late 2016.
  • To inform Council decisions on short-term spending priorities to manage safety risks using existing annual budgets, and long-term spending through future planning.
  • For input to the Regional Coastal Plan review by the Waikato Regional Council.
  • To inform future investment into Surf Club facilities.
  • To inform cultural impact assessment of options once they have been drafted.


In 2014, Waikato District Council commissioned a consultant to report on potential erosion issues in the area after the local community board expressed concerns regarding damage to public assets.

The GHD report highlights likely ongoing erosion and potential implications for assets and properties in the future, and recommends a multi-agency approach between Waikato District Council, Waikato Regional Council and Department of Conservation to support the community.

Since receiving the final report, Council staff have joined Waikato Regional Council and Department of Conservation staff to meet with key stakeholders to discuss the information. Full Sunset Beach erosion report- December 2014.

Thanks to everyone who attended our community day, completed the online survey, emailed us, phoned us, talked to us and shared ideas on the recommended options to manage retreat from Sunset Beach.

We’ve collated all the information to prepare a comprehensive report containing all the feedback.

You can see a copy of that report below.

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