Urgency needed on erosion

By Roger Moroney


It's like the old saying that rust never sleeps ... although it has to be said that rust can be battled, and beaten, with a spot of urgent remedial work.

Erosion never sleeps either.

So can it be beaten?

Well yes, it certainly was in parts of the world where coastlines were under threat and urgent remedial work was prepared, planned and carried out.

And carried out relatively quickly.

The latest attacks from the sea against the southern arc of Hawke Bay, the Clifton stretch, have left major damage and even more major concerns.

To put it bluntly, Clifton is being eaten away.

The road is shattered and access to the camp has disappeared.

Twenty-five years ago, when we made a visit to Clifton with the kids, the road was sound and safe.

The sea surged away innocently to our left.

It was a fine summer and the campsite was full of people from all over the country, and the world, who wanted some seaside solace.

Now you can't get there.

The sea no longer surges innocently into the region - it surges destructively.

Global warming? Cyclical meteorological changes?

Who knows, but as it is eating away at other stretches of the Kiwi coastline (because we are not alone here) the question is not why ... it is so what do we do?

What we have to do, given the pace of the erosion, is work fast.

But no, it seems the wheels of remedial erosion action are built in the same bureaucratic workshop as those in Christchurch when it comes to sorting out residential issues in the wake of the earthquake. Still ongoing issues today - and the first disastrous quake is coming up to three years.

Of course, there are processes that have to be followed and then councils consider things like remedial options and resource consents.


The land is disappearing by the hour - I would have thought consent was taken as read.

It is all about approvals and reports and negotiations.

If this was Japan, the seawalls would have been up 10 years ago.

There are times when the usual rules and regulations should be relaxed in what are surely unusual situations.

The coast is disappearing and we need to fix it now because erosion never sleeps.

- Hawkes Bay Today

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