A 100-metre coastal rock wall in Haumoana is being hailed as a "fantastic idea" by residents who are tired of the area being "poster boy for climate change".
The wall will be constructed to protect Cape View Corner at the intersection of East, Beach and Clifton Roads from erosion.
Resource consent for the work is approved and will be funded through the Hastings District Council the 2020/2021 Annual Plan, with $600,000 set aside for the project.
Hastings and Hawke's Bay Regional Council have signed off on consents for the 100m long wall that will be built from large limestone rocks.
It will be similar to the revetment wall at Clifton Beach.
Chairman of WOW (Walking on Water) Inc and member of the community group for the Clifton to Tangoio Coastal Hazards Strategy Keith Newman said there was a general "sigh of relief" in the community over the decision.
"WOW (Walking on Water) Inc has been on the case, seeking urgent coastal protection, since it was formed by local councillor Ann Redstone in 2009," he said.
"The Clifton to Tangoio Coastal Hazards Strategy has identified the Cape View Corner area as one of the most vulnerable in Hawke's Bay."
Newman said the limestone revetment wall was a solution devised independently of the strategy but with its end goals in mind.
"The wall will be similar to that constructed at Clifton protecting the access road to the motor camp and marine club," he said.
"It is heartening to see both Hastings District and Hawke's Bay Regional councils agreeing to this project but it has also made is clear you need a champion for projects like these otherwise the paperwork continues to pile up, consenting drags on and on and nothing gets done.
"We're hoping this more co-operative and collaborative approach will become more evident as decisions are made for other coastal protection projects in Hawke's Bay so the region's leading edge Coastal Hazards Strategy can be seen to set the tone for other parts of the country facing sea-level rise challenges."
Newman added he didn't see the seawall as setting a problematic precedent.
"It's more proactive in looking ahead 50-100 years to maintain and protect public infrastructure, something all councils are required to do," he said.
"In this case that includes roading access, a cycle track, water pipes, electricity and access to the beach.
"In many ways we're tired of being the 'poster boy' for climate change. Our circumstances have been impacted by the shape of the bay shifting due to the 1931 quake and the extractions of tens of thousands of cubic metres of shingle from the shingle plant at Awatoto over many years. That extraction has now ended and we are in a recovery phase."
Nikki Armstrong, who has been living in Haumoana for the last 18 months, and believes the seawall will save the house.
"It will provide a break for when big waves come in, it would take the force out of the wave," Armstrong said.
"It will make the house a safer place to live, it's a fantastic idea. If they don't do something the house is in peril."
Newman said the reality was that quick action needed to be taken to provide medium to long term protection of public assets and properties currently under threat.
"All around the country councils with coastal perimeters are having to tackle these issues and there comes a time when producing endless reports and computer models needs to translate to action," he said.
"Doing nothing is no longer an option and in many cases the cost of removing properties or of managed retreat far exceeds protection costs."
Construction is expected to begin May 10 and the laying of a solid foundation for the rocks will take eight weeks.
A cycleway, parking developments and landscape planting will be undertaken when the wall is finished.
Regional council's asset management group manager Chris Dolley said the wall was consistent with the pathways set out by the Report of the Northern and Southern Cell Assessment Panels of the Clifton to Tangoio Coastal Hazard Strategy 2120.
"The recommended pathway for Haumoana to respond to coastal erosion and inundation due to climate change is for control structures and renourishment in the short term or 0-20 year horizon," Dolley said.
"For this location, HDC have responded to protect the transport corridor and critical lifeline services ahead of the Clifton to Tangoio long term strategy becoming operational, which is a positive outcome for this location."