Your Opinion – Hibiscus Matters April 18, 2022

Just get on with it

The long drawn-out decision regarding the Ōrewa seawall (HM April 4) should be an embarrassment to all involved. I am a frequent user, of over 70 years, of the seawall at the south on the South end of Milford, built by manual labour during the depression of the 1930s. This wall nearly 100 years old is still standing firm and millions of people of the years have benefited by it . Surely we can learn from the past? Look at why it is still there, serving the purpose it was built for and get on and get the Ōrewa wall completed before there is no real foreshore at the south end of the magnificent Ōrewa Beach.
Peter Burn, Gulf Harbour

With nature 

The time taken on the shoreline defences for Ōrewa is extraordinary (HM April 4). But I think the most natural option is probably not only cheapest, but best. Climate change and sea level rise are going to transform our shores and we just have to take this as the consequences of our wasteful and polluting ways. Learning to work with nature, not against it, is the way to go.
Alison Broadbank, Ōrewa

More mobility, less motorbike

We are spoiled for choice in Ōrewa with our fabulous restaurant and café strip along the Hibiscus Coast Highway opposite the beach. However, it seems that only able-bodied people, walkers or those who ride a motorcycle are able to take full advantage of this as there are no bicycle racks and more importantly, no mobility parking nearby. Instead, up to 10 motorcycles are catered for in prime parking spots alongside the cafés, smothering café patrons in exhaust fumes as they back in, idle and then drive out again. The space allocated to these motorcycles should easily be able to be converted into one or two mobility parks and a large bicycle rack. The reply from AT to a letter I wrote in 2020 advised that after consultation in 2012, a demand for motorcycle parking in Ōrewa was identified and that as they “have provided sufficient mobility parking in the proximity,” no changes are planned. No mention was made of bicycle racks in their reply. I suggest that the Ōrewa parking plan should be reviewed to be more inclusive as they may find there is a much bigger need for multiple bicycle racks and more convenient mobility parking spaces now than there was 10 years ago. 
Janet Lee Martin, Ōrewa

Re-align the Estuary

I am always amused by letters to the editor about Ōrewa Beach, usually triggered by a storm. The common theme is that people are passionate about the beach and are seeking a miraculous low cost solution to resolve the constant cycle of erosion and accretion, expecting the beach to remain static ad infinitum. Sadly, most people have next to no technical understanding of the coastal processes at play, which results in ludicrous suggestions to rectify the perceived issues. The consent conditions for the proposed new rock wall include that sand transfer will be required constantly, in order to maintain minimum dry beach levels in front of it. This will require the importation of sand at huge expense, since the sand available at the southern groyne, is insufficient even for a paltry sprinkle on the existing beach profiles. Natural sand build up is evident in some locations along the beach, where sand is being trapped by natural formations and plants etc, but these are few and far between. It’s a shame that sand is allowed to blow onto the highway, whereby it is disposed of in “contaminated landfill locations”, rather than being recycled back onto the beach. If the public want a full time dry beach that is resilient to storms and has a process whereby sand can be free to erode and accrete, then there needs to be around 300,000 cubic metres of sand imported onto the beach along with soft shorelines, not rocks, as these accelerate erosion. This can be cheaply achieved by realigning the estuary, back to its pre-1954 alignment, along with simultaneous extraction of sand from the estuary. This can be achieved for far less than the more than $14m for a 600m length of rock wall.  I have coastal engineering as one of my levels of expertise, along with 46 years engineering experience and have lived on Ōrewa Beach for 34 years, observing its changes daily.
Greg Shaw, Ōrewa (abridged)

Freedom to challenge

The Barrister for the Ōrewa Community Church and others, Madeleine Flannagan, misunderstood my statement “and us taxpayers are going to foot the bill”(Your Opinion, HM April 4). What I meant was that, as with any action taking the Government to court, the taxpayer inevitably foots the defence bill.
Garry Leslie, Tindalls Bay 

Editor’s note: You’re right of course – taxpayers pay. However, in a democracy, it is vital that anyone has the right to challenge government decisions through the courts, whether individual taxpayers agree with a certain legal challenge or not. If that were not the case, there would be a far heavier price to pay! The original response covered this by saying “…in NZ all citizens and entities have the right to legally challenge the decisions of their government…”