A major clean-up of concrete debris around the entrance to Cape Kidnappers will go ahead so the popular Clifton Beach can be tidied before the start of the busy summer tourist season.
Rubble had been put on the Clifton foreshore over the past couple of decades by the former Hawke's Bay County Council and Clifton Reserve Society as a measure to protect the Clifton Motorcamp's access road from sea erosion.
But the concrete had eroded, exposing steel reinforcing, posing a danger to campers and visitors using the beach.
This week Hastings District Council shared responsibility for the mess and agreed to fund some of the $130,000 cost to remove the debris from the beach. Hawke's Bay Regional Council also agreed to contribute $50,000.
Hastings Mayor Lawrence Yule said it was time the council and the society accepted responsibility when he spoke at the council's community services committee meeting on Thursday. The council planned to help the society pay for a lease on a new road into the motorcamp but the society instead asked the authority to use that money to help pay to clean up the rubble.
Mr Yule said the society would pay for the road lease itself.
The decision was made after the council also agreed to go public with a new lease agreement between it and the society, on the way the motorcamp will be managed. The lease would be open for public comment and subject to approval by the Conservation Minister.
"What has happened for the first time is an acceptance of responsibility on a whole lot of issues by the society. They have agreed there will be no more erosion protection (without council permission) so they are at the mercy of the sea," Mr Yule said.
The new lease would be for 15 years, providing erosion did not render the camp inviable.
The council put no firm date on when the rubble clean-up would begin but Councillor Rod Heaps, who lives in nearby Te Awanga, said it would have to be done well before Christmas.
"Otherwise access might not be open to Cape Kidnappers. We should try to get it done before the tourist season," he said after the meeting.
Cr Heaps said he wanted the clean-up to extend to Te Awanga and Haumoana beaches as well.
"The concrete has scattered and the tide has pushed it to beaches between Clifton and Te Awanga. It's horrible stuff. It's not a matter of if, but when someone injures themselves," he said.