New plan to manage erosion at Cockle Bay

A revised plan to repair erosion damage at Cockle Bay is the result of input from local residents, concerned about wave reflection and sand loss at the popular beach.

Howick Local Board will fund $250,000 for the urgent works needed after a storm, combined with king tides, wreaked havoc on the coastline in January.

Initially engineers recommended extending the seawall, but after meeting with the local board and residents, have revised the plan.

“Residents told us they were concerned that extending the vertical sea wall would actually cause more wave reflection and lead to sand loss so wanted our engineers to rethink that,” says Auckland Council’s head of operational management and maintenance, Agnes McCormick.

“They made some good points so we asked the engineers to have another look and what we plan to do now is enhance the existing wall and retain the temporary rock structure we put in place in January and to transfer sand from the eastern end of the beach to the area immediately to this to restore public access and the look of the beach.”

Howick Local Board chair David Collings understands the locals’ concerns and says it is great that council’s community facilities and coastal erosion teams have been able to address these.

“The experts are telling us that the work is urgent, they made some temporary repairs in January but if we get another bout of weather like that there could be real problems.”

“The real pleasing thing is that after some delay we are now able to get this addressed, have it fit in with the community expectations and most importantly, that it comes in under the original budget.”

The local board has long maintained and advocated for a regional fund to manage coastal erosion but with no regional funding available, it has agreed to fund this work due to the urgency.

At its meeting this week the board also noted that work at Mellons Bay Beach, which was also extensively damaged in the storm, will be funded out of a regional community facilities budget and were given an update on plans for Eastern and Bucklands Beach beaches.

A copy of the full report considered by the board is available here, see item 17.