WDC urges public to comply with safety measures in place at Point Road Mokau

4 Oct 2016, 8:52 AM

Waitomo District Council (WDC) urges the public to comply with the signage and security measures in place at the end of Point Road Mokau. It has come to the attention of WDC that people have been observed scaling the fencing despite a safe alternative public access route being located just metres away.

The parking area of the road-end directly above the WDC constructed rock cladded embankment is restricted with a two metre-high security fence. Warning signs are in place, and alternative access to the beach is located between No.21 and 23 Point Road.

People who choose to ignore the signs and climb over the security fence, are not only risking their health and safety, but are also committing an offence in breach of Section 9.1.1 (a) and (b) of the WDC Land Transport Bylaw. A person convicted of an offence against the Bylaw is liable for a fine not exceeding $20,000.

WDC constructed temporary rock cladding on the road reserve to protect the embankment, to reduce the rate of erosion of the road-end of Beach Road and Point Road. The intention being to secure physical access to the properties and to allow for a managed retreat of the affected properties. The structural integrity of the road-ends continues to be undermined by the erosion.

WDC’s consistent position has been to work for and promote a managed retreat approach for the owners of the properties at risk.  It is important that all reasonable steps are taken to keep the legal roadway available and usable in the immediate future so that a managed relocation or removal of property can occur. 

The magnitude of the physical erosion process and its associated impact on private residential property is significant. It is not practicable to construct an adequate seawall designed to act as a real barrier that would be sustainable overtime. Finding an engineering solution or contributing further funding towards temporary measures is not an affordable option.

The challenge of coastal erosion is significant for many seaside locations in New Zealand, such as at Marokopa and elsewhere on a larger scale in Whitianga, Waihi Beach, and Nelson.

WDC is currently developing a Managed Retreat Strategy that will outline the planned approach, process, and timeline for the relocation of the affected properties.