22 Jul 2016

Erosion-threatened campground braces for bad weather

4:32 pm on 22 July 2016

The manager of an eroding West Coast campground is on high alert, with bad weather forecast for the area tomorrow.

A stretch of the West Coast near Punakaiki (Pancake Rocks)

A stretch of the West Coast near Punakaiki. Photo: 123RF

Craig Findlay of the Punakaiki Beach Camp said the line of erosion that threatened the camp was now too close for comfort.

Mr Findlay said a single severe event could take out the nearby sewage infrastructure, meaning the camp would have to close immediately.

The land has been retreating by up to a metre with each large storm and while sandbagging had provided temporary relief, extending an existing seawall is now essential, he said.

The owner of the land, the Buller District Council, agreed at a meeting this week to set up a committee to tackle the matter - with a degree of urgency.

Meanwhile, the Milford to Te Anau Road will be closed overnight because the avalanche risk is too high. The New Zealand Transport Agency said the road would close at 5pm.

There was also a heavy rain warning in place for the west and northern part of the South Island tomorrow and a strong wind warning for Fiordland and Southland.

Motorists were being urged to drive to the conditions..