West Coast campsite takes a battering

By Hannah Bartlett of Newstalk ZB

The king tide has passed uneventfully along Auckland's coast this morning, but it's bringing waves of anxiety to the West Coast.

Buller District Council's beach camp at Punakaiki is taking a battering.

Manager Craig Findlay said there was erosion all along the foreshore, and it would be the end of the weekend before the extent of the damage was clear.

He said waves were undercutting big trees at the southern end of the camp, and he expected some established trees would be lying in the sand by the end of the weekend.Mr Findlay said it would be devastating to lose large trees to the tidal battering, as they were irreplaceable.

Wave upon wave continues to batter a West Coast campground as this weekend's king tide pummels the foreshore.

Punakaiki Beach Camp manager Craig Findlay said they won't know the full extent of the erosion until the consecutive king tides abate, but expects around one-and-a-half metres will be washed away from the front of the camp by the end of the weekend.

"What you see is waves riding up the beach and pushing into the edge of the camp, which is predominantly now a vertical face of sand with trees and shrubs on its edge," said Mr Findlay.

"The significant thing is it's now undercutting the big trees to the southern end of the camp, so I would expect we will see some established trees lying in the sand by the end of the weekend, which will be devastating because we can't replace them."

Mr Findlay said a West Coast Regional Council report by coastal engineers is expected to be released next week, which he hopes will provide some solutions for a mechanism that will save both the foreshore and the camp.

Meanwhile along Auckland's east coast, the king tide went through largely unnoticed this morning, despite anticipated potential flooding.

An Auckland Coastguard spokesperson said the tide was "uneventful", and speculated this could have been due to calm weather conditions.

- Newstalk ZB

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