A decision is expected next month regarding the construction of a seawall on the northern stretch of Orewa Beach, between Kohu Street and Marine View.
Auckland Council and the Orewa community have had a long wait for the Environment Court decision. By the time it is released, it will be almost a year since the hearing ended, and 10 months since closing submissions were filed.
Generally, the court aims to release its decision within three months.
At the hearing, the parties were close to an agreement on a revised design for the wall, which, if it goes ahead, is expected to cost more to build and substantially increase the volume of sand that is transferred between the southern end of the beach and the north (HM May 22, 2019).
The original proposal to build the seawall was turned down by independent commissioners who said that it would generate adverse effects on coastal processes, public access and natural character.
Council appealed the decision, which led to a drawn out legal process that began in December 2017 and culminated in the Environment Court appeal hearing last year before Judge David Kirkpatrick.
The case pits separate divisions of Auckland Council against each other as appellant and respondent – a process that has so far cost ratepayers close to $1 million (HM September 19, 2018).