A storm off the East Coast sent powerful easterly swells over the beach crest at Haumoana yesterday, worrying some residents with houses on the beach crest - but not John Bridgeman.

The concrete company owner said his home had good defences.

He owns six properties on the beach crest and said waves were rarely a problem because of the shape of Hawke's Bay.

"You get these storms maybe two or three years apart," he said.


Bought 60 years ago, his houses are uninsured from inundation.

He said his home could still be standing in 100 years if the Hawke's Bay Regional Council or the Hastings District Council provided protection, but they were reluctant to do so.

People who said nature should take its course were "idiots".

Haumoana resident and Walking on Water (Wow) spokesman Keith Newman said owners on the beach were in a dilemma, finding it very difficult to gain resource consent to protect their homes.

One family was told to pull out unconsented protection "realising doing so will cause problems to their neighbours".

"They are trying to sell their property because it has been so emotionally costly to them dealing with the powers that be."

Newman is a member of the Clifton to Tangoio Coastal Hazards Group which is seeking a strategy for the long-term management of the coast.

"This week we will be looking at a short list of options, which essentially brings us back where we were with the councils three years ago," he said.

Wow's proposal for a groyne field was presented as an option seven years ago.

MetService meteorologist Brian Mercer said yesterday's 2m swell was increased by a tide slightly higher than normal and, because the storm was well off the coast, the interval between swells increased.

"Even though 2m isn't an enormous height, there is a huge amount of energy in each wave because they have that long period, so are more likely to be destructive and more likely to travel up the beach a little bit further."

He said the storm was shifting southeast, which made it more likely Cape Kidnappers would protect the coastline today.