Auckland Council has spent over half a million dollars and is engaged in a legal battle with itself in a bid to build a controversial seawall in Orewa.

The council had applied to itself, as the consenting authority, to build a 600m seawall in the northern part of the beach.

However an independent panel of commissioners rejected the resource consent application last December.

In its decision the commissioners said a "hard structure", such as a seawall, should only be a "last resort". If built, it would adversely affect coastal processes, public access, natural character and the appearance of the area.

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Auckland Council is taking itself to court in a bid to build a seawall at the northern end of Orewa Beach. Photo / supplied
Auckland Council is taking itself to court in a bid to build a seawall at the northern end of Orewa Beach. Photo / supplied

The commissioners determined the seawall would only be necessary to protect a walk and cycleway, which in the council's proposal would run above it from Kohu St south to Marine View.

The council subsequently lodged an appeal, saying the decision failed to acknowledge how the seawall would counter natural risks.

Figures released to publication Hibiscus Matters under the Official Information Act showed costs of engineering, design and legal fees so far were $660,000.

The bulk of this was for environmental and engineering consultancy Tonkin & Taylor, $516,800, while legal fees amounted to $143,549.

Plans for the seawall have been in place since September 2013, when a severe storm caused flooding and erosion.

A hearing has been set in the Environment Court on April 9, where judges will decide if the council is able to appeal its own decision, and if not, whether or not the appeal should be thrown out.

This was the second time such a consent had been rejected, after the former Rodney District Council's option for the same stretch of beach was also declined consent in 2010.