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Working on new beach access

New access to Matapouri beach is being investigated following erosion of the sand dunes and steps near the carpark during very high tides and heavy storms.
Updated: 3/09/2014 3:47 p.m.
Image of beach access at Matapouri.

​Beach access at Matapouri.

​“We are keen for people to keep away from the new vertical sand banks.  They will collapse over time and form a more natural shape, but we want to make sure no one burrows into them and risks being trapped in and collapse in the meantime,” said WDC's Technical Officer, Stuart Jackson.

Mr Jackson explained that dunes are very mobile features and storms this winter had changed them considerably. The centre of the beach is now about 1.75m lower than it was prior to the tides and storms, and this has undermined dunes that will begin to collapse as they dry out.

“There are a number of places around our coast where erosion, particularly caused by bad weather, has created vertical cliffs in sandy material that can collapse. Children and animals should always be kept away from above and below these areas because they are unstable and can collapse, hurting those who fall or crushing those who they collapse upon.” 

Mr Jackson said two of the sets of boardwalks/steps that provide access to Matapouri beach have been damaged and will need to be removed and replaced and we are working on the designs for those now.

“We will salvage as much of them as we can to be re-used.  Our aim is to create some steps which effectively lean against the dunes but are firmly attached to a firm anchor at the top.  These should be possible to move as and when the dunes move and until such time as the dunes become stable again.” 



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