2 July 2020
It’s been a while since our last newsletter. We hope you are all well.
Bear with us folks, there’s a lot of news to get through.
Independent mediator appointed
The trigger for this newsletter is the meeting we had with the Port Waikato Residents & Ratepayers Association (PWRRA) Erosion Subcommittee this week.
The purpose of the meeting was firstly to introduce Simon Bendall of Traverse Environmental to the group as a potential facilitator of the adaptive management work at the Port.
Simon has 15 years in the environmental planning sector and is a qualified mediator the Arbitrators and Mediators Association of New Zealand.
He has also worked extensively with Hawkes Bay and Wharekawa Coast communities and Councils on adaptive management planning processes.
It was agreed at the meeting that Simon would be involved in the adaptive management work in the role as an independent facilitator. This will be funded by Council.
Waikato Regional Council reps were also at the meeting to explain their role in the adaptive management work.
It was also agreed that the group would reconvene at a meeting in July convened by Simon to set down the terms for reference for the group.
Port Waikato wider area news
There was a wider discussion at the meeting about other topics at Port Waikato. Ken Scarlett of Nature Based Solutions was present and he provided useful insight into the top-down erosion and drainage problems at the Sunset Beach Car Park.
We also provided an update of some of the things we are doing in the Port Waikato area.
Toilets at Sunset Beach
Funding for the toilet upgrade/replacement project is currently assigned for 2022/23, however this can be pulled forward and the Community Connections team is currently looking into that process.
It should be noted that a number of options will be considered, including relocatable facilities.
Port Waikato Wharf
We’re looking into potential structural problems with the Port Waikato Wharf. We are awaiting our consultant, Beca’s structural assessment findings.
Sunset Beach Car Park
(Please note this image is just an indication of the work due to take place).
Problem: North end – There is shallow pooling of water on top of the sand base at the north end of the carpark.
Solution: A load of gravel will be dumped and spread in this area.
Problem: Edge of car park - Water is running off the edge on to the beach, speeding up erosion from the top down at certain points.
Solution: We have purchased Flexible Traffic Separators that will have rebar spikes and adhesive to steer water into the grate.
3&4. Problem: Lower end of car park - Water is collecting in the old entrance to the lower carpark and with the gentle slope towards the face; it is running off on to the beach at the southern end. There is an asphalt base on some of this area.
Solution: Change the contour to slope back away from the beach, which will be done by moving the sand towards the ocean side from the ‘hump’ at the entrance of this area.
5. Problem: Asphalt overhang - With the water going over the car park face, undercutting has occurred to a point where some parts of the edge are not safe.
Solution: Cut, lift and remove asphalt offsite, to about. 2m back from the edge at both upper and lower carparks.
6. Car park run-off - Water from the car park runs down the kerb and channelling but not all of it enters the grate. This runs down to the beach via the vehicle accessway, causing damage.
Solution: An easily relocatable rubber bund will help steer the water towards the nearby stream. It will be 200mm high, 2.5m wide and approx. 20m in length. This is being priced and will be progressed on the receipt of costings.
Ocean View Rd
Monthly monitoring is being undertaken by the Building Quality Team of erosion at 9 Ocean View Road. The team is keeping the owners informed
The latest measurements were taken on 5 June and there had been no progression in erosion since 7 May 2020.
We are progressing a drop-in session for residents of Ocean View Road that may want to meet on a one-on-one basis with consenting officers from the Building and Resource Consent teams to discuss their individual properties.
It is anticipated that these sessions will be held within the next two months, dependent on the demand from Ocean View Rd homeowners to attend sessions.
Communication with central government
We held a meeting with Hon. Nanaia Mahuta (Minister of Local Government and MP for Hauraki-Waikato) back on 30 January 2020.
Minister Mahuta spoke about the Cross-Government Community Resilience Work Programme, which is being led by the Offices of the Ministers of Local Government, Civil Defence and Climate Change.
Waikato District Council indicated that we would like to be involved in the pilot of the programme and believe that Port Waikato would make an excellent pilot case. WDC have followed up on this request with the minister’s office and await a response.
Minister Mahuta requested to be kept informed with relation to the Port Waikato community resilience programme of work. We confirmed that we would channel all information and updates through her offices.
An invitation was extended to Minister Mahuta to visit Port Waikato. To date we have not received a request to facilitate a visit. There may be opportunities for the minister to attend meetings once the project is under way.
Communication with local iwi
Through Council’s Iwi and Community Liaison Manager, we are seeking to progress conversations with Ngati Karewa and Ngati Tahinga with a view to ensure not only representation on the adaptive management work group, but a partnership approach to the long term community resilience at Port Waikato and the wider area.
Stock/feral animals on the Tuakau Bridge-Port Waikato Road
We are aware of large portions of either unfenced or insufficiently fenced land on Tuakau-Bridge Road between Tauranganui Marae and Port Waikato wharf. We have undertaken work to understand the state of fencing and will work with land owners on this stretch of road to ensure that fences are in place to contain stock, in line with our Roadside Fencing Policy.
The problems are two-fold – wandering feral animals and wandering domestic stock.
Community members are asked to report all wandering stock to Council’s Animal Control team via our Freephone number (0800 492 452). This is important so the instances are logged in our system and followed up.
We have also been in contact with local Police and Department of Conservation (DoC) with a view to work with DoC with regards to the management of feral animals; and collaborate with both agencies and the community on the issue of wandering stock.