Works to begin on Orewa Beach
Sand replenishment work to begin next week
Work to repair sand erosion at Orewa Beach caused by storm events is to begin next week
Extreme weather events on Thursday 4 and Friday 5 January coincided with the timing of the king tide to cause significant damage along Auckland region’s east coast. Whipped up by northerly winds, the force of the waves has caused damage to some beaches, sea walls and beachfront reserves.
Orewa beach was badly affected by the storm, with substantial sand erosion to the Orewa beachfront. The erosion between Marine View and Kohu Street resulted in a complete loss of sand which had been put there as a storm buffer just over a year ago.
Following the Mayor’s visit to affected areas to assess the damage on Friday with members of the local board and council engineers, it has been decided that work will begin this coming Monday, 22 January, to replenish the sand on Orewa beach, (as provided for under the conditions of council’s existing resource consent).
“We are commonly asked, ‘Why do we have to keep replenishing the sand on Orewa beach? Won’t it all just be washed away again if we have another high tide?’” says Agnes McCormack, Head of Operational Management and Maintenance for Community Facilities at Auckland Council.
“Good question! The answer is yes, but it’s not that simple!
“When there are extreme weather events, Orewa loses sand in two key areas of the beach. By replenishing the sand in these areas it actually performs the dual function of providing a storm buffer which acts to protect the beach from further erosion, at the same time restoring access and amenity by creating a pleasant sandy beach for beach users.
“Therefore, it is important to restore the sand on Orewa beach, because if there should happen to be another extreme weather event in the interim, the beach is very exposed to yet more erosion, and this is an unacceptable risk.”
Fencing will start to go up at the end of this week, on Thursday 18 and Friday 19 January, in preparation for work commencing on Monday morning for the remainder of next week. It is hoped that work will be completed and fencing removed on Friday 26 January, in time for the long weekend.
Access to the beach
While work is being carried out, access to the beach itself will be limited. The hours of work will be 7am till 6pm daily, dependent upon tidal activity. During this time, staff will be available to direct people where they are able to access the beach.
Gates in the fence will enable the public to access the beach outside of work times. If it’s after 6pm and the fence gates are open, then you can go onto the beach.
Access to the beach will be available from the north side of the Orewa Reserve to Arundel Reserve at the north end of the beach. This will be the area supervised by Surf Life Saving NZ and will be available for patrolled swimming. Access will be as normal for the green reserve areas, playground, barbecue areas, the river estuary, boat ramps and wharf.