12 Nov 2019

Threat to surf life saving clubs: action 20 years too late

From Nine To Noon, 9:05 am on 12 November 2019
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Photo: Melanie Phipps

Severe weather events and coastal erosion mean some New Zealand surf life saving clubs are beating a hasty retreat.  Paekakariki Surf Life Saving Club on the Kapiti Coast north of Wellington is set to re-build its clubhouse 100m inland, to the tune of $3m.

The dunes there are eroding; its boat launching ramp collapsed recently when sand was clawed out from underneath it in winter storms.

Surf Life Saving New Zealand national life saving manager Allan Mundy says some clubs might have to close rather than face the cost of  relocation, and this needed to be tackled twenty years ago. 

Meanwhile salt-resistant dune planting has proven to be a cost effective method for off-setting beach erosion in the Bay of Plenty. Here the beach is accreting following a successful dune restoration project between Mount Maunganui and Papamoa.

Suzie Ferguson discusses with ecologist and beach restoration specialist Dr Greg Jenks, Paekakariki project leader Matt Warren and National Surf Lifesaving Manager Allan Mundy.