Wednesday 22 February 2023
Under section 88 of the Civil Defence Emergency Management (CDEM) Act, Waikanae and Midway beaches are closed until the extreme danger of woody debris is removed.
Tairāwhiti Civil Defence controller Ben Green says this is a temporary closure.
“This closure is to limit the extent of the emergency our region is under. We are able to use the CDEM Act to do this because we are under a state of emergency.
“Our emergency services are already stretched to capacity dealing with a national state of emergency.
“We want to keep you safe.”
Waikanae and Midway beaches will stay closed until the extremely dangerous woody debris, which includes large logs and trees in piles that are up to two metres high, is cleared.
Mr Green says forestry companies have started to clear the beach between Waikanae Surf Club and Waikanae Cut. They are aiming to have this clear by the end of the week.
“We are developing a plan of how and where to dispose of the debris. It’s a complex problem and we thank you for your patience while this is worked out.
“Beaches will be progressively re-opened if they are safe.
“We understand other beaches in the region, such as Uawa are also at risk and we are currently engaging with local community on how to manage the hazards. Contractors on the coast are also prioritising restoring road access before work on beaches can begin.
“We will update the community if there will be closures and when clean-up will get underway.”
Pictures by Phil Yeo.