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Partial beach clean before Christmas

Sunday  18 December, 2022

Contractors will do a partial clean-up of the city beach this week after Councillors approved $52,000 for the job.

That’s enough to clean up Waikanae Beach between Grey Street and Beacon Street Reserve by Christmas.

Contractors will start tomorrow and expect to be finished by Friday, 23 December.

Council Liveable Communities Director Michèle Frey asks beach users to be mindful of the contractors as they carry out the job this week with big machinery.

The larger logs will be moved off the beach and closer to the sand dunes, with the smaller debris then placed behind those logs.

Ms Frey says woody debris is usually removed from the most popular beaches in October before Labour Weekend. However, an annual clean-up has not been enough recently.

This year Council’s budget for clean-up was prioritised to the most-used sections of beach in order to be as cost-effective as possible.

“The woody debris material washing up this season appears to be smaller in nature than previous years, with twig-like material continuing to wash up in some parts following the Labour Weekend clean up. But there is also some larger material that needs removing.”

Ms Frey says Council has spent on average $200,000 per annum on woody debris clean-ups in recent years.

“Although in 2021 the woody debris clean-up cost $360,000.  This year so far, Council has spent $250,000 with a focus on high visitor access areas – for example in front of surf clubs like Tolaga, Waikanae, and Midway.”

Councillors will consider a draft woody debris policy next year which proposes the development of a long-term approach to managing the issue of woody debris on our region’s beaches and how this will be paid for.