Update: In January 2018 Porirua City Council built a small earth wall to stabilise the bank, which has stopped further erosion. This area is identified in PCC’s coastal management strategy as an area that needs protecting.
Thirty Ocean Parade residents, including Iain MacLean from the Pukerua Bay Residents’ Association, came together on 2 December 2016 to discuss the rapid erosion of shorefront, civil emergency procedures post-earthquake (14 November 2016) and severe weather event (12-15 November) causing a landslide on Beach road – blocking access and damaging properties on Ocean Parade – of which three had to be evacuated over a twenty-four period.
We enhanced the Parade’s resilience through self-help community initiatives in regards to civil emergency procedures but the issue of rapid shorefront erosion was considered as urgent. We collectively concluded that we want to increase awareness of the problem and the residents selected a small Steering Group to undertake action. We want to see the Porirua City Council recognise the urgency of the shorefront erosion and act quickly to mitigate the effects of the inundation and subsequent erosion of the shorefront along Ocean Parade, Pukerua Bay – in close consultation with Pukerua Bay residents but with having vision for a long term solution.
Threats facing the Parade
Increased inundation, storm surges, and a rising sea level has caused rapid erosion of the shorefront along Ocean Parade, Pukerua Bay over the last six months. Shorefront collapse is increasing. The banks are being eroded from underneath through higher tides and then the bank is collapsing into the sea. Brendan Bay’s access is increasingly hindered by sand and debris blocking the path.
Threat to Health and Safety
The threat of an accident is increasing. As the bank continues to erode underneath, people are still parking cars or sitting on the seats and tables, which could collapse. Note the man’s foot is actually within centimetres of where the concrete is now aligning with the bank.
Threat to Council Infrastructure
Sewage pipes along the waterfront are at risk of being exposed and then damaged by the tides. This is a health and safety issue. Land Surveyor and long term resident, Warren Hampton is holding the sewerage map and pointing out where the pipe is located. The road formation is also being impacted.
Threat to Flora and Fauna
Flax bushes and Pohutukawa trees are in threat of collapsing off the banks into the sea. Vegetation that hosts the Korora (little blue penguin) and other native species have died in the last six months from salt water surges as the tide has risen higher.
RA Meeting follow-up
These findings were raised with Porirua City and Greater Wellington Regional Councillors at the Pukerua Bay Residents’ Association meeting a week later, and positive discussion has resulted; see the December 2016 minutes.