Last year budget cuts related to Covid-19 put the building of the seawall on Ōrewa Beach, from Kohu St to Marine View, on hold (HM October 1, 2020).
The Hibiscus and Bays Local Board continued to lobby for the seawall as its number one priority project, and funding was again sought through Auckland Council’s Long Term Plan (budget). That budget, recently approved by Council’s Finance and Performance Committee, could see the project get underway within the next three years.
Councillor John Watson says that the sum of $16m set aside for key local board projects is enough to cover the $14m estimated cost of the seawall.
“Ōrewa’s seawall is one of very few projects across Auckland being advanced to actual construction over the next three years,” Cr Watson says.
That $14m price tag for the wall remains contingent on what it may cost for detailed design. This design work was “conservatively estimated” by Council’s lead on the project, Paul Klinac, last October to be more than $1m. In addition, Cr Watson notes that since work began on the project, in 2015, costs have already reached more than $2.1m. This includes the cost of lengthy Environment Court proceedings, details of which were first revealed in Hibiscus Matters.
Therefore, more than $3m could have already been spent by the time the first sod is turned on the project.
Resource consent was eventually obtained in May last year. That consent is valid for five years, but an application can be made by Council to extend that to 10 years.
Once Council’s Long Term Plan gets final sign off from the Governing Body this month, further decisions will be required to confirm the precise amount and timing of the budget allocation to the seawall project.