Input invited on coastal erosion issue

Alex Familton.
Alex Familton.
Community input is being sought to help solve the Waitaki district's "huge" coastal erosion problem.

Staff from the Waitaki District Council are still assessing what can be done to save a section of Waianakarua Rd south of Kakanui, after about 60m of roadside collapsed into the sea last week, forcing the closure of a 200m section of the southbound lane.

However, Waitaki Mayor Alex Familton said sea erosion was a problem that affected a large portion of the district's coastal roads.

"Councillors are concerned, as the problem is huge.

"The sea erosion problem extends, with various degrees of intrusion, from the Waitaki River to the Waianakarua River and, if all those areas were to be protected, the cost would be astronomical. We will carefully make decisions about possibilities on the basis of fact and engineering advice to avoid the mistakes of the past."

Mr Familton said a solution to the immediate problem on Waianakarua Rd would be found "as soon as possible", and urged members of the local community, including the Waitaki Forward group who had planned to build a protective wall on Waianakarua Rd before the slip, to put forward their own ideas on how best to address the issue.

"I have spoken with some people, locally, and will put their suggestions, and any other presented information, into the solution. For example, I welcome the Waitaki Forward group, invite them to introduce themselves and make their contribution to our enthusiastic team, so that we can make progress together."

The council was determined to work towards the best outcome for farmers and tourists, he said.


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