Letter To The Editor - Protect or Retreat
I support the planting of local reserves and restricting access by defined paths while still allowing for continued use. However, all this will be in vain with sea level rise and storm events, unless a permanent solution is found. I have watched with trepidation the issues concerning the Macrocarpa Reserve at Ohuka Beach where the Macrocarpa tree is at greater risk from erosion than root compaction. One only needs to walk the beach up to the Boating Club to see this erosion occurring. If the rock wall to the south of the Macrocarpa reserve had not been constructed by private owners, it is very likely most of those properties therein would have been lost (managed retreat)- even though a form of protection would very likely have been constructed by Transit NZ to protect SH 25.
Our Council finally protected Brophy’s Beach after losing large amounts of the foreshore reserve.
We need to agree on a solution. Doing nothing will ensure our reserves disappear. How long before Taputapuatea Reserve disappears back to Taputapuatea Creek and, once through the foredune, where does the erosion stop? Transit NZ may protect SH 25 if this occurs, or might they retreat as well? There aren’t too many options for a new road. Either way, huge areas of reserves will be lost and likely our town.
Whitianga needs a decent debate, PROTECT or RETREAT? If we are going to protect, let’s start now. Both the Macrocarpa and Boating Club reserves need immediate protection.
If we start now, the entire town can be protected over the coming years. This protection can be continually worked on until sea level rise and storm events are no longer able to destroy our reserves and town.
Paul Graves Whitianga