Stonewalled in Westshore

Keith Newman11 May 2012

Keith Newman finds coastal campaigner Larry Dallimore as persistent as the current that perpetually sweeps gravel northward around Hawke’s Bay. With millions of public dollars and a valuable coastline at stake, why aren’t councils responding to him?

Larry Dallimore is a stone in the shoes of Hawke’s Bay bureaucrats, engineers and councillors. They wish he’d stop pestering them about the dynamics of coastal erosion and his proposed Westshore seawall.

Dallimore, who has lived at Westshore for over 30-years, is first to admit that people’s eyes mostly glaze over when he tries to explain the coastal processes that are unique to Hawke Bay and the simple construction measures that could stop erosion and save councils millions of dollars.

Larry Dallimore

Although the retired contractor doesn’t have academic ABCs after his name, he’s got old school, hands-on credentials, having worked for all the local authorities over decades constructing reclamations, seawalls and breakwaters.

Dallimore’s often verbose attempts to deliver reports on how he sees things seem to get him into deep water, particularly when he advocates the use of local limestone for coastal protection, rubbishes the 2007 Komar ‘shoreline erosion’ report and criticises the tendency for councils to ignore the flexibility in the National Coastal Policy Statement.

When he’s not playing golf or fishing, Dallimore has made it his business to keep a watchful eye on decisions relating to Westshore erosion, which extends 2.8km from the headland at the Iron Pot (Whakarire Ave) to just past the end of Westshore Esplanade.

He’s attended all the meetings about the Napier City Council’s proposed 155 metre breakwater at Whakarire Ave and remains astounded at “the nonsense some people come up with” and the reliance on out-of-town experts to over-ride previous reports.

His current pet peeve is Napier mayor Barbara Arnott’s “fantasy” that if you add a new breakwater and keep renourishing with gravel, the sand will eventually come back to beaches north of the Port of Napier.

Dallimore wonders why Napier City would rather pay millions for ineffective beach renourishment and a new breakwater than have an open discussion around his concerns, and the possibility his seawall proposal might have merit.

He reckons private property, Kiwi Beach public toilets and large areas of reserve in the erosion zone could be saved through extra strengthening to existing rock protection. By adding a permanent rock seawall the Westshore Surf Club and the entire beach reserve would also be secured, saving millions on renourishment costs.

Dallimore is convinced breakwater extensions at the Port of Napier, and the deepening of the shipping trench which gathers northbound coastal sediment, have been major contributors to Westshore erosion since the 1970s.

Rather than Napier ratepayers footing the bulk of the cost for protection works and renourishment, he wants to see the Port of Napier and its 100% owner HBRC taking ownership for the man-made problem and the solution.

The earliest attempt to protect Westshore was in 1987, when a badly executed renourishment plan, using incompatible material sourced from the estuary, turned the beach into a muddy mess. Then Beca Infrastructure designed a shingle bank with a “moderate repose” but with each swell Dallimore says beach access becomes impossible.

The renourishment plan is supposed to include dredge droppings brought in from Pacific Beach, Marine Parade, which would otherwise end up in the shipping lane and be removed at a cost of over $30 m3. However the dredges can’t get close enough to the Westshore erosion zone.

In fact, most of the spoil gets washed further north to Bay View where, according to Dallimore, they’re appreciating the improved surfing, a wider beach and greater demand for properties.

Overall, he says, the $4 million Westshore nourishment programme is a costly waste of time, made worse by the use of increasingly smaller pebbles from Pacific Beach that are essentially rejects from years of shingle plant screening. “It’s an engineering myth that you can put pebbles on a sandy beach and expect them to stay there or that you will eventually restore that beach.”

Breakwater resistance

Dallimore says similar nourishment issues plagued the beach at Whakarire Ave, where material was simply swept north over a seven year period. NCC built a rubble and limestone wall in 1994 to reclaim and protect the land, but it funnelled wave energy to the southern side of Westshore worsening the erosion.

NCC now plans to mitigate that with the $4 million breakwater project, plus increasing the height of the seawall and re-profiling the backshore, in the hope it’ll create a new sandy beach on top of a reef, something Dallimore struggles to comprehend.

He believes the Beca Infrastructure designed breakwater will only funnel even more wave energy northward into the erosion zone. He tried to explain why it won’t work in a 30-page ‘discussion note’, then a further 34 page addendum to Napier councillors but claims nothing was discussed, explained or refuted.

Dallimore wanted a public debate with himself and the Beca engineer answering seawall versus breakwater questions. That seemed acceptable until a point of order was raised, essentially stating “we can’t have our paid consultants being quizzed by our residents”. A seminar was then held but he was barred from attending.

He began discussing the issue with the Beca engineer reviewing his report, but that dialogue was shut down by Napier mayor Barbara Arnott, who apparently insisted it was costing the council money and therefore ‘unacceptable’. He could never quite figure that one out.

Although issues about length are holding up the breakwater consent process, Dallimore reckons it won’t get past submissions from surfers who believe it will ruin their surfbreak, HBRC interpretations of the coastal policy, and opposition from environmental groups.

That may swing the focus back to his 2.8km rock seawall for Westshore. However, Dallimore worries that even if it is considered consentable, it may be subject to artificially inflated costs. The case in point is the “over designed and extravagant” repair job on the badly maintained Hardinge Rd seawall.
Napier City contracted HBRC to repair a 45 metre section of the seawall; it used filter cloth, crushed concrete, limestone rubble and a 1.5m layer of limestone boulders costing $135,000 or $3000 per metre.

Dallimore reckons a simple ‘rip rap’ seawall with a base of graded rubble then a rock armour layer would have been adequate at less than half the cost.

Rubble rousing

During the 1970s vast quantities of rock rubble were removed from the Hardinge Rd foreshore reserve for retaining and reclamation work at Napier Port, along with “countless truckloads” of sand and gravel from the once endless supply at the Perfume Point Pit.

Gravel movement had slowed when the shingle pit closed around 1980 and it was no longer piling up on the beaches. At the time no one seemed to connect this to developments at the Napier Port.
In hindsight, Dallimore believes this helped starve the supply to the Westshore Beach. Not satisfied with the reports that fingered the Port breakwater and the deepening of the shipping channel as major contributors, the Port of Napier, its 100% owner HBRC, and Napier City Council, commissioned Dr Paul Komar to review Beca’s breakwater studies and another 80 or so historical reports.

Komar, a retired oceanography professor from Oregon State University, began work in 2003 and delivered his “Hawke’s. Bay Environmental Change, Shoreline Erosion &. Management lssues” report in January 2007, identifying the 1931 earthquake as the major culprit.

Dallimore says there was no science to back that assumption or examples of comparable events in other parts of the world. A couple of lines borrowed from coastal expert Dr Jeremy Gibb stated erosion began at Westshore in 1962. “It’s a myth. I have photographic evidence and a good memory that it didn’t start until the late 1970s.”

He remains puzzled at Komar’s conclusion that the Port of Napier breakwater has reduced erosion losses, sheltered Westshore from storm waves, halved wave heights and bought relative stability to the beach.

But what really gets Dallimore is the almost emotional: it’s “time to put aside the placement of blame on the construction of the Port’s breakwater” and get on with improved recreational development of the shore. The beach has continued to decay.

He says it appears Komar’s conclusions are based on the breakwater as it existed about 1980 as there’s no mention of the deepening of the shipping channel and other major impediments to the flow of beach replenishment. “He then ends up asking people to stop blaming the Port and get on with it, like some kind of psychologist.”

Dallimore irreverently asserts that in Hawke’s Bay the Komar report has more power than the Treaty of Waitangi. “It’s the defining document. Everyone keeps referring back to it but if you read it carefully you discover how much has been missed and realise whose interests are being protected.”

Dallimore, who spent 23 years as Hawke’s Bay Harbour Board’s preferred contractor, claims decades of removing shingle from the region’s rivers has contributed to Hawke Bay’s man-made erosion.

He says millions of cubic metres of shingle were removed with full knowledge of the then Hawke’s Bay Catchment Board — that extraction continues today under its successor the Hawke’s Bay Regional Council (HBRC).

“The big stone was taken out for railway ballast and chips for roading then the small stuff was dumped back in the river to go out the river mouth to Awatoto.”

There used to be “beaches of shingle and stone” on either side of the Tutaekuri River. “We’d be in there with a front-end loader removing it at the direction of the Catchment Board. They thought we were helping them take the meander out of the rivers but while we were doing that we were also lowering the gradient of the riverbed.”

Today, he says, the Awatoto plant can’t get stones large enough for shingle chips which, along with sand, are the pay dirt of any shingle company. “They have to get it from the river system and that’s continuing to starve the supply to Hawke Bay.”

Dallimore’s got no issue with the Port of Napier or Awatoto going about their business, but suggests they need to take some responsibility for the consequences of their actions.

Seawall matter of gravity

Which brings us back to the Westshore seawall. Dallimore thought he’d try and help Napier City with some ideas on wall design back in 2009. That’s when his disillusionment with the public process began.

“I got labelled a self-styled expert by the Napier mayor before she even read my assessment and that’s where the disdain started. I’ve been shoved around ever since.”

Essentially he says the best way to reduce wave energy is dissipation and gravity. “An affordable ‘rip rap’ seawall would be an ideal long term solution, causing uplift while the rocks created white water to filter down to reduce the backwash.”

He says local limestone has been successfully used for seawalls and reclamations for decades; he supplied 352,000 tonne of rock from four different quarries over 23 years for different projects.

For a time, Dallimore had much higher hopes for the Westshore seawall; a proposal was put forward in 1998 but dashed when the National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research (NIWA) recommend imported rock be used.

The project cost soared to $60.4m with annual maintenance of $350,000 — and with it the myth that local limestone rock is not suited for coastal construction. Beca Consultants recommended rock from Tauranga and New Plymouth be used for the Whakarire Ave breakwater at $90-$100 a tonne for transport alone. They admitted in 2010 that they had not investigated rock from two local quarries.

Dallimore says advice presented to NCC by both NIWA and Beca “was bullshit then and an utter disgrace now” adding unnecessary cost to projects. “We’re in one of the most prolific limestone areas in the North Island — it’s lying in the valleys up the Taupo Rd — you don’t even have to dig it out and you don’t need resource consent to extract it or place it.”

Meanwhile the war of words continues. Dump the Whakarire Ave breakwater, says the lone coastal crusader, and concentrate on repairing and strengthening existing limestone rock protection that has not been maintained for decades.

And he urges the HBRC and Port of Napier to step back from their fortressed positions and take some of the pressure off Napier ratepayers by picking up part of the tab for ongoing renourishment and protection work.

Keith Newman11 May 2012

46 responses to “Stonewalled in Westshore”

  1. David Pickett says:

    Mr Dallimore is putting issues into the Napier City Council's too-hard basket. His views make more sense than any of the consultant's reports. His views are based on years of observation. Consultants? Certainly not history.

  2. Sylvia says:

    My family remembers Westshore Beach as a vast open space of clean sand, safe swimming for the kids and excellent bodysurfing. The beach parking areas were always packed and picnics were an opportunity to meet people from all over HB.

    Last summer, we found the beach in a mess, pieces of concrete, broken pipes, dangerous access and a narrow beach of stones with patches of sand. We ended up taking our grandchildren to the Humber St estuary but after finding the swimming pond dirty and toxic we decided to bear the costs at Splash Planet.

    The NCC promotes Westshore Beach as an attraction for tourists when really, they should be ashamed. What we find so puzzling – how can the Napier City CEO and Mayor Arnott spend more than 20 years struggling with an issue that continues to deteriorate.

    Is the grandiose of a new museum or the extravagance of two fake deco buses more important than saving a natural asset? The neglect of a wonderful beach will be the legacy of Barbara Arnotts reign as Mayor. I hope the next Council will be more interested in Westshore Beach and listen to Mr Dallimore.

  3. Larry Dallimore says:

    The NCC response is interesting – quote “the Mayor and CEO have struggled with the difficult issue of Westshore for over 20 years”. Conflicting expert advice is the only explanation for this situation.

    Engineers suggest the issues are complex and complicated because they cannot agree on what is actually causing erosion and this accounts for the continuing struggle to control the damage. Building breakwaters and groynes to control wave energy and the movement of coastal sediment is a science but constructing seawalls for the protection of land is basic engineering. Past and current solutions are simply not working so it’s time to halt further loss of land and accept the less favoured hard engineering option. As with the current soft engineering solution, any form of beach will be totally dependent on the amount of material imported.

    Councils are obligated to follow the advice of experts however a NCC consultant recently conceded that an isolated section of Westshore Beach is in a state of permanent erosion. Therefore, the planned solution for Westshore Beach, in the lee of Port structures and a deepened shipping channel, should be up for a major review.

    Mayor Arnott has to understand this state of irreversible erosion otherwise time will run out to save Westshore Beach and the Domain. These misguided public statements can explain why her struggle with the issues will continue.

    • The proposed breakwater will protect all of the Westshore beach and foreshore.

    • The breakwater will build up sand on the beach.

    • The breakwater will help replenish and restore it as a popular swimming beach.

    • Spending $3.2M on the breakwater will bring back sand.

    • The beach is being protected by nourishment.

    • The sandy beach of the 1970’s was a blip.

    • NCC is comfortable with nourishment as the long term solution.

  4. John J Harrison says:

    Sylvia, I do not agree with everything Larry says. But would point out that over the last 100 years there have been 84 reports and surveys undertaken that were unanimous in the view that the Port was responsible for the on- going and increasingly expensive erosion problem at Westshore. As Larry will concur, this is solely due to the breakwater. Arnott's lives in aparralell universe, never admitting that there was once a wonderful sandy, safe beach which was the envy of other cities– at Westshore. WhenI arrived in 1969 there were Sandhills, a broad sandy beach and you could walk out50 meters and still. Notbeoveryour head. Under Dick's rule he literally bulldozed through a motion to allow thePort toextend the breakwater and thus knowingly destroy the only real tourist asset Napier could rave about. This was done with a weak council and a strong Port company. Within 18 months Dick pushed throughtheoptionof"renourishing" the beach with concrete and shingle– literally turning a once pristine beach into a shingle pit. As a councillor– and while Dick was away I pushed through a council resolutionthatresulted in ASR producing a report that slammed the Portas the cause of thecoastalvandalism , which was in agreementwith the other83 reports from the Port board, their engineers,consultants, HBRC engineers, consultants, NCC ditto. Dick and Arottthen insisted thattheASR report be peer reviewed — as they did not agree with the outcome. This was done by Dr Paul Komar, who not only. Agreedwholeheartingly with ASR but rated theirs study and professionalism as world class . Upset, thePort and theHBRC and the NCC then paid him close to $100,000 to review ALL 84 reports on the Port culpability to date by way ofa " desk top study".

    This he did and after a short time found that all 84 reports were wrong , he waste only one right and thus the party that funded the vast majority of his exorbident fee was not responsible in anyway to the destruction of our oncepristinebeach.

    Today we have a totally gutless NCC and HBRC who go out of their way to support the Port at the expense of the ratepayers they were elected by to represent their best interest. Nothing will happen to even begin to address a long term solution until these two administrations are turfed out and we have one unified authority governing our region. Did you not read in theMail where these two dysfunctional councils are at each others throats, threatening legal action, and wasting 3 years and millions of dollars over a simple matter of wording? Wouldn't it be great to have a representative or two who has the guts to stand up to this on- going expensive crap fight ?It will never happen with the current bunch of sycophants,who collectively have thrown their own officers and consultants under the proverbial bus to appease thePort at the direct expense of their ratepayers.

  5. David Bosley says:

    I don't always see eye to eye and agree (heavens forbid) with what JJ Harrison says. But one thing is for sure, until such time as Mayor Barbara's "bootlickers" the likes of Mark Herbert and his fellow (as well as female) unemployable compliant cohorts, along with their controller CEO Neil Taylor gets their overdue "dumpty do" – we ratepayers will NOT see any progress!!! Dump Council-what's to lose?

    Sincerely David Bosley

  6. Darcy Jones says:

    It is interesting to read how two City Leaders are struggling with the Westshore Beach problem when it is an absolute disgrace and a disaster in the making. Surely the knowledge, background and support for Mr Dallimore are good cause for some sort of review of how the NCC are handling the problem. All I have seen from local Councils is dire incompetence and utter arrogance from the Mayor and all her obedient followers to a real and obviously out of control problem. I too remember how the beach was before a sudden change in the 1980’s so without reading reports by so called experts, Mr Dallimore’s ideas make total sense. I cannot understand the arrogance of both Councils towards a caring resident who has nothing to gain and more to lose from the extravagant use of my rate payments. Our family appreciate his efforts and hope the egos and posturing will give way to knowledge and history.

  7. Sandra Bostock says:

    I don’t need to join the battles of Mr Harrison and Mr Bosley on who agrees with whom on matters relating to Westshore. One thing is for certain, all talk of offshore breakwaters, submerged reefs, moles or groynes to direct the movement of sand on a beach in a constant state of erosion is absolute nonsense. The sooner intelligent people like Mr Harrison who has a reputation of doing his homework realise this, the sooner we will get rational debate or a final solution for Westshore. We appreciate the tenacity of Larry Dallimore who has wasted so much energy on behalf of Napier citizens and many others who once enjoyed a beautiful sandy Westshore Beach.

    Sandra Bostock

  8. John J Harrison says:

    Sandra, thank you for your compliments. However I respectfully disagree with your conclusions. I am not an engineer and have therefore relied on highly qualified experts, such as ASR for my information. Their conclusion after spending 6 weeks scientifically surveying the bay was that a reef would indeed counter the adverse effects of the port breakwater. Their report is available on the NCC web site but even this is not guaranteed as the council has been known to take it down– such is their paranoia about a report they commissioned and pointed the blame squarely at the breakwater as the cause of the erosion problem. This is unsurprising as all 83 previous reports from the port company, HBRC and the NCC over the last 100years all said the same. The issue is to address the cause and not merely the symptoms!

    ASR concluded that, yes for the first 2 years sand would have to be trucked in but that after that period it would be naturally replenished. As a lay person it is not up to me to 2nd guess world class experts. The sad fact is that the NCC who are supposed to represent our best interests have prostituted themselves to the port and have zero interest in addressing the cause– simply the symptoms, thus the shingle pit that Arnott's et al state as being a success.

    Whenever questioned as to the justification for such vandalism they always point to the Komar report which was a desk top study of all 84 previous reports, which he concluded were all wrong. He was the only one right!

    Thankfully he made this ridiculous statement in front of a public meeting which was also accurately reported in the local paper, complete with photo's.

    This is what the gutless NCC hang their hats on so they do not have to confront the port and the resultant financial damages that would go a long way to achieve a permanent solution at no cost to the ratepayer.

    What people note is the absolute desecration of a once pristine beach. What they do not see is the on- going gouging out of the sea bed which is accelerating at such a rate that Westshore Beach will, in not too distant future be as dangerous as the town beach.

    But Arnott's et al simply do not care for either the residents or tourists who once enjoyed this amenity.

    Proof, if needed was displayed only 2 weeks ago when the NCC CEO stated in the Napier Mail that he had " no idea"" where the multi- million dollar project he was overseeing ( the off- shore structure to deflect erosion at the south end) was at, even though it was promised 3 years ago.

    A letter to the Mail and asking Arnott's if she knew it's current status, and if not why not, was unanswered.

    And these are the people who promise to represent us in our best interests every 3 years!

    I am writing this from NYC and as a result do not have all the relevant documents at hand. Maybe that's a good thing, otherwise I could go on for hours.

    Absolutely nothing, but nothing will happen until we have elected representatives who will truly represent the residents and not the port company on this issue.

  9. Larry Dallimore says:

    John Harrison does not agree with Sandra’s conclusions and as noted earlier, he does not agree with everything I say. Differing opinions are fine and sharing them is even better. I totally agree will Sandra’s conclusion which is supported by ASR Consultants in part and by Beca Consultants entirely. Both are highly qualified experts however the ASR Report was an accurate comprehensive document and relevant at a point in time. When the breakwater extended out to Auckland Rock around the late 1970’s, coastal sediment was able to transport around the structure and deposit at Perfume Point and Westshore Beach. During this time, Marine Parade shingle deposits were abundant which allowed gravel and sand to continue replenishing northern beaches. The major breakwater extensions and the 6m deep trench to provide access for larger ships had not been considered by any report. This Port development during the last 30 odd years impedes the natural movement of coastal sediment and the resultant starvation of beach replenishment is the principle cause of the more recent aggressive erosion.

    John’s support for a reef and how it would counter the adverse effects of the Port breakwater was valid during the time when erosion was inadvertently assessed as being cyclical and most engineers were agreed on the structure being responsible. The task for engineers was to find a way to have sand return to the beach however I have always believed offshore or submerged structures were problematic and the solution had too many risks. The ASR reef idea, which relies on seabed movement of sand, had support until aggressive inshore erosion was recognised and up until engineers finally conceded, in April 2010, that erosion was permanent. This significant change from accretion to irreversible erosion for less than 3km of beach means there is no beach replenishment, gravel or sand, to divert or redirect, by any reef or groyne, now or later at Westshore Beach. The exception is, sand carried in suspension settles on the beach as a thin layer when the swells reside. The next period of wave energy uplifts the residual fine sand and the natural longshore drift deposits material to the inshore and northern beaches.

    The 10 year old ASR Report did not consider the five major impediments that interrupt the natural flow of gravels because they were not part of any study or report that ASR used as reference. The breakwater extensions deflected sand into deeper water which directed coastal sand towards Bayview and Tangoio. The navigational channel completely trapped sand that would otherwise flow north on the seabed. Having a viable modern Port is absolutely vital to HB industry, so turning the clock back is not an option. The ASR theory and John’s remedy cannot be proved or disproved without removing the breakwater extensions and allow the shipping channel to fill up therefore hard engineering remains the only option to save Westshore beach and the reserve.

    I feel the recent exposure of evidence would have Shaw Mead from ASR, review his recommendations. He may tend to agree with Dr John White who critiqued the Komar Report (Journal of Coastal Research – Nov 2010) and stated “The ideal is a seawall” and he agreed with Gavin Ide’s claim, “seawalls may be required”. My interest is engineering so there is little point in having a head to head with John and his strong views. Also, the antics of the NCC have left nothing but time for Napier to see how the problem was mismanaged and how the opportunity for a proper remedy was lost.

  10. Sandra Bostock says:

    Mr Dallimore’s explanation makes the struggles within the Council easier to understand. This takes the NCC response to Keith Newmans story from interesting to genuinely frightening. I remember most of Mayor Arnotts very confusing press statements. Where has she been and where has she been looking.


    I read the part of Napier City CEO response where he says the solution is not simple. He says he’s convinced replenishment has stopped the beach retreating the way it was before. Where has he been and where has he been looking.


    For him to say that – he is either admitting he has not bothered to actually visit the beach or he is well beyond his use by date and near $0.5M salary. When we desperately need natural attractions for tourism, this Council is sitting back allowing wanton destruction of Napier’s only safe swimming beach.


    Funding a grandiose museum for backpackers, making City streets pretty to benefit retailers, an expensive cricket park far less than ideal for rugby, buying plastic art deco buses to help the cafes and pouring money into the Marine Parade for budget tourists is an extravagant use of my rates.


    Why not try affordable City wide rates to stimulate industry and jobs which eventually attracts new residents to increase consumer spending and City wealth. When will business persons who have been successful at risking their own capital step up and help manage this City’s assets. Larry Dallimore seems to be doing it alone. I am an ex school teacher so I do not qualify.


    When you read what the Mayor says about Westshore and how the Napier City Council is treating a ratepayer prepared to speak up and share his knowledge – we are in trouble. A big clean out of this Council must start at the top.

  11. Collin Blackman says:

    With all due respect to the previous correspondents and the preceding 80 odd reports, perhaps it is time to look a bit wider at the potential cause rather than belaboring the detail.

    It is our very own Parliamentarians that set the stupor in place with the Local Body Act;

    Consider – councillors are elected by the people to represent the people;

    Council meetings are in place to find the will of the meeting; viz a representative view of the people.

    Current Mayors get to select who are on committees and the Chairs of committees

    Chairs of committees get paid more;

    so that ensures that few will put their heads above the parapet in fear of missing out on the dollars,

    and conveniently, Standing Orders are put in place to make sure Mayors get a smooth trip.

    So meetings are not about the people but a bureaucratic process that emasculates the ratepayer.

    Expecting quality community focussed decisions from our current inept system is akin to expecting the Tongans to launch a Satellite. (With apologies to the Tongans, in case i have slighted them in some way)

  12. Larry Dallimore says:

    Mayor Arnott and Neil Taylor are convinced the beach is in a satisfactory state and believe NCC solutions are highly successful. Sandra Bostock is one of many who ask if they are actually referring to Westshore Beach. The long list of ad-lib comments made by Decision Makers show an understanding for the issues is limited which means this Council is unlikely to solve erosion problems at Westshore. The comments range from regrettably naive to incredibly ignorant and the most recent one by a HBRC Councillor is unbelievably arrogant and obnoxious to long time residents.

    Neil says “he’s convinced replenishment has stopped the beach retreating the way it was in the 1990s”. The HBRC who undertake the annual beach nourishment stated in October 2009 quote – “the beach is retreating over time, that’s why we do the nourishment”. Neil should visit the beach when the beachhead is not buried during the long period before nourishment however the damage at the Surf Club has just been covered with a $20,000 patch of mud and shingle however the beachhead will be exposed before the end of winter.

    Councils maintenance of the HBRC 1986 line of erosion by using unstable pebbles from Pacific Beach to somehow reinstate this line is simply not working, regardless of random “snap shot” data that rarely matches reality. The evidence of permanent irreparable damage to the decaying beachhead is irrefutable. Houses in North Tce are seriously vulnerable to extreme swells just 0.5m higher than recent events and 1m less than severest swells on record. NCC should officially warn residents of the dangers.

    Neil states “he has read the reports and doesn’t see any evidence for Dallimore’s solution”. The NIWA Report 1998 promoted the hard engineering rock seawall solution even during a time when erosion was assumed to be natural and controllable by nourishment. I unwillingly included a suggested seawall design as a solution which is really the task for paid experts. There are various designs with a range of building costs for this proven remedy if saving land is actually the objective.

    A rock seawall was considered too expensive at an absurd $69M (in 1998) plus huge annual maintenance costs. If NCC staff were alert or informed on local resources, they would have disputed the outside consultants ridiculous cost estimate to import rock from Tauranga or New Plymouth. It is absolutely unbelievable that engineers have not estimated the cost of a permanent seawall constructed with local materials and local labour. This remedy works at Waimarama Beach where property and infrastructure values are considerably less and this project qualifies for the “$1 spent – $10 saved” formula. Rock seawalls also protect Hardinge Road, the Inner Harbour entrances and cargo storage areas at the Port of Napier.

    The NCC has budgeted $2.47M for beach re-profiling which, according to Beca Consultants 2003, is to increase the performance of beach nourishment. The Council intends to backfill the swale of the backshore with 73,000m3 of earthworks to act as a backstop for the programmed failure of the nourishment seaward face. Rather than allocate the $2.47M towards a durable permanent solution, the NCC is reprofiling the backshore to slow the inevitable loss of land by managed retreat. They say it is to improve the view of the sea from the backshore because the shingle seawall is being built higher and wider each year to cope with the increased damage. The new Cycleway is well back from the shoreline within the Coastal Erosion Zone however the Mayor prefers the “improved view” purpose eventhough $2.47M will enrage ratepayers when they realise so few pedestrians will get a better but limited look at the sea.

    HB has prolific deposits of limestone rock that is working well on the outer arm of the Napier Port breakwater so why not use it to make a seawall at Westshore. Neil could read the Beca Report 2003 which also wrongly discards this option because of the high capital cost but never the less, Becas promote a rock seawall as a viable remedy. The other revelation from Beca Consultants is contained in their answer to Question 13 from the NCC Seminar on Dallimore’s Assessment in 2010 quote – “Beca has not investigated rock from local quarry deposits”. The bogus cost estimates have been used to thwart the permanent capital cost rock seawall to add favour for the high maintenance high risk and very cheap shingle nourishment scheme.

    Neil says “Dallimore’s dismissal of Paul Komar is unfortunate”. The Komar Report was jointly commissioned by the HBRC, NCC and the Port to review all previous reports without further study of the HB coastline. What’s unfortunate is Paul Komar accounted for irrelevant history rather than focus on all major events affecting the coastline during the last 30 years. Contrary to the accusation by Garth Cowie, the Port CEO that I discredited Mr Komar, I simply questioned his review that omitted and/or disregarded significant impediments to the natural flow of coastal sediments.

    Komar’s report included more than 40 mentions that greywacke stone eroded from the cliffs at Cape Kidnappers and annually supplies 18,000 m3 of gravel to the beaches. This simply does not happen and the error is acknowledged by local engineers. The report stated that shingle has never moved north around the headland of Bluff Hill from the Marine Parade which leaves the formation of Ahuriri Spit without an explanation. Also, he concluded shingle has not passed along the breakwater during any stage of construction. The idea that sand and shingle at Perfume Point, Westshore, Bayview and Tangoio were deposited on the beach via the Esk River is nonsense. The HB Harbour Board records show silt was the predominant material from the Ahuriri Lagoon and this fine sediment occasionally blocked the Inner Harbour entrance. The Meeanee Spit (Westshore to Bayview) was made up of gravel and coarse sand and the flood deposits of silt from the Lagoon did not stay on any beach.

    The Komar Report failed to consider the affect of major man-made impediments to the flow of shingle by the groyne, rock apron and breakwater extensions. Admittedly at the time of the earlier reports reviewed by Paul Komar, most major Port structures that interrupted the flow of beach replenishment were not in place. A crucial factor disregarded by Paul Komar and ignored by Neil Taylor is the interruption to the path for coastal sediment caused by the shipping channel. The seabed was 8m deep but after dredging it is over 13m deep (70% deeper). This causes sand, transported in the natural northerly drift, to be trapped in a trench, 250m wide by 6m deep. Neil’s suggestion that my assessment of the Komar Report is “unfortunate” clearly shows a lack of research and/or a scant understanding of the engineering.

    What the CEO should find as “unfortunate” is Paul Komars lack of consideration for the obvious interruption to the natural northerly drift of coastal sediment by the constant deepening of the shipping channel and the need to regularly dredge built up sand. The material that gets trapped in this channel is significant and would otherwise transport to replenish the inshore loss caused by the natural longshore drift of sediment to beaches to the north. I do not believe the pointing out of these significant omissions in Paul Komars Review has discredited the solid reputation of a renowned expert.

    Neil says “it’s hard to talk to people who have already formed the end view”. Firstly, the engineers were unable to explain a single issue and after my one and only meeting with Council staff, I was referred to the NCC website which had a long list of Consultants Reports. My concerns were simple but disagreed with the Komar Report that cost over $100,000 making it a major obstacle. A 32 page easy read assessment with supporting photos was prepared so any non engineering minded Councillor could readily understand. The Discussion Notes were presented to the NCC however the Mayor decided that only Councillors, who put their hand up, will get a copy. After directing her Councillors accordingly and receiving her letter that she was not interested, I invited each Councillor to visit the beach to see the potential for disaster from a severe swell, similar to the worst high seas on record. Crs Cocking, Cr Pipe, Cr Lutter from NCC and Cr Scott from HBRC declined the invitation. Mayor Arnott later advised the City Engineer was not a specialist and there was a limit to the advice he can give. In desperation, I established dialogue with Mr Stephen Priestley of Beca Consultants however this opportunity was quashed on the third phone call after he was directed to stop speaking to me. As a last resort, I presented a 5 page submission to the NCC Plan 2011/12 covering 28 serious issues but the Council response did not address a single issue.

    The irony of Neil’s comment, “I’m hard to talk to” is clear when he refuses to answer two simple questions without intervention and direction from the Ombudsman on each occasion. As clearly shown above, the NCC will not or cannot not discuss or explain the issues. When the NCC Consultant made himself available for informed discussion, Mayor Arnott gagged him and gave the reason that it was an unacceptable cost to ratepayers. His further comment that “I have already formed the end view” refers to my opinion in the form of “Discussion Notes” and never presented as a qualified “Erosion Report”. I gave the NCC an undertaking that an informed explanation will put my concerns aside.

    Neil says “he’s open to hearing from Dallimore when there’s a hearing on the breakwater issue”. This is the ultimate insult. Beach nourishment and the adoption as the long term solution has absolutely nothing to do with a proposed breakwater. Neil is well aware that a submission relating to beach nourishment will be deemed as “out of order” and would not be heard. I am content the breakwater will not proceed, it has wasted an enormous amount of time and it has been a huge cost burden to ratepayers. A comprehensive engineering submission called “Discussion Notes” with maps, diagrams, photos and anecdotal evidence on the cause and problem has already been presented to the NCC. I have no interest in making a presentation to more disinterested politicians at a HBRC hearing where I am unable to engage in an informed discussion on engineering issues. The environmental and recreational groups will at least get a hearing and ensure this intrusive offshore structure will never get built.

    After offering the NCC $10,000 to fund an engineer’s evaluation of my Discussion Notes and having it declined by the Mayor because it was privately funded, I am looking forward to the overdue Cowell Report. If Professor Cowell endorses the Komar Report and confirms an offshore breakwater should be built along with continued nourishment as the long term solution, I have to be realistic and put my concerns aside. Councils are obliged to follow Prof Cowells expert advice so any further contribution from me is a poor investment of time and resources.

    The NCC breakwater solution will include a man-made sandy beach opposite our property however the concept is totally impractical. The huge quantity of seabed rubble to be removed and replaced with micro fine sand from the Inner Harbour was a blatant sweetener. The NCC was overwhelmed with the ready acceptance of new breakwater to be built on a natural reef which is necessary to counter the effects of an ill conceived breakwater built by NCC in 1994. We have nothing to lose from a second breakwater being built or shingle used as nourishment because our property is without realistic risk of erosion. The sooner the Consent Application for the Proposed Breakwater gets to the HBRC Hearing, the sooner it gets thrown out and that would allow engineers to get on with an affordable durable solution.

    After my experience, when all protocols and the correct channels were followed to have serious concerns addressed by Council, there is some advice and fair warning for others contemplating such a venture – don’t bother. I acknowledge the honesty and openness of three City Leaders. Councillor Bill Dalton, NCC lawyer Mathew Lawson and HBRC Engineer Mike Adye who have been very helpful and absolutely decent.

    A short video of the NCC nourishment solution in action against a moderate swell causing irreparable damage to the beachhead is available on You Tube. The unnecessary destruction of the foundation required to build a better solution is my greatest concern. I would be very interested in any comment. Search YouTube for Westshore Beach Erosion or click here:

    A website is under construction where documents and photos can be downloaded. Consultants Reports, Erosion Assessments, Council Submissions, Timeline Accretion vs Erosion, Correspondence with NCC, HBRC Port of Napier, Ombudsmen, Govt Depts, Media, etc. Search Google for Westshore Beach Erosion or click here:

  13. Kelvin R says:

    OMG….. I now get it. Westshore beach is in a disgusting mess and NCC should be ashamed how they have handled the whole debacle. I thought Sandras comment about NCC needing a cleanup was a bit harsh but now I think it doesn’t go far enough. Why is MP Chris Tremain so quiet on an issue that directly affects the people he represents? Why is the Port shying away when they are obviously responsible? Why is the HBRC not involved as the authority to protect the coastline? Could someone get a list showing what each Councillor has done to restore a sandy beach at Westshore? This would tell us which ones should hold onto the job. Hope Larry Dallimore keeps going and gets much needed support because he seems to be standing alone for Westshore against formidable bureaucracy. Lets start with Chris Tremain – what say you?

  14. David Bosley says:

    I have lived in Napier for 45 years. Before that I was a Merchant Seaman, foreign going. And I am very familiar with what's been going on with Westshore Beach – owning 2 Esplanade apartments ther; being employed by the then Napier Harbour Board, on their bucket dredge Whakariri and their tug, J R Harland; conversant with the modeling of the surrounding Port's sea bed and the breakwater (and Wallingford's report) and the wave machine installed in E Shed @ the Port, where a whole a mountain of data and photos were collected, as to the breakwater's (Moles) effects – on the erosion of Westshore Beach! And being employed by McConell Dowell on their suction dredge in the inner harbour and the entrance to Port Ahuriri.

    It is as plain as the nose on your face, that they (the Port) know full well what caused it. No use carrying on blaming the Rivers Board of the early 1900s for diverting the Tutae Kuri River or Dr Jeremy Gibb throwing more red bricks into the sea to monitor where they end up? Therefore, instead of repeatedly being in denial, they, the Port Company should be made to pay to remedy it.

    There have already been untold costly reports and Council behind closed doors seminars (there was when I was on Council over a decade ago, now being again regurgitated ) paid by Napier City ratepayers.

    For something "positive" to actually "happen", it appears the NCC has No option but to instigate court proceedings against the Port Company.

    Knowing what the NCC is "unlikely" to try to deal with this honestly and sensibly and reasonably, I applaud and thank Mr Dallimore for all his excellent (unpaid) good, hard work – more especially his tenacity of keeping on against the Kremlin's CEO Taylor and our compliant rubber stamp (supposed people's) representatives.

    The only reason why CEO Neil Taylor finds you hard to deal with Larry, is simply because you know what you're talking about. Same as when you were running and operating "hands on" your own heavy plant contracting business (think it was Mc Alister & Dallimore? Matter of interest your late father kindly seconded my RSA membership). And you won't be fobbed off or suckered in.

    Next year being the Local Body elections -I along with others….. hope you will avail yourself?


    David Bosley

  15. Kelvin R says:

    Thanks to the Baybuzz article, we have a better understanding why Westshore Beach is in dire straits. We always figured the problem was in the capable hands of NCC staff and believed the Mayor and Councillors were taking good care of our interests. One look at the beach shows how terribly wrong and poorly served we have been plus it highlights the deception that NCC were protecting Napiers only safe swimming beach. The article about a ratepayer with credentials doing battle with incredibly arrogant Councils is intensely interesting and may give hope for future generations. We agree with the Dallimore seawall because the current fix is a disaster and the idea of natural erosion by ‘Mother Nature’ is just a convenient excuse to do little at minimal cost. The subject around the table at a weekend function posed a few questions for Larry Dallimore. We all follow Baybuzz Blog so posting any answer here would be ideal and taking the time would be appreciated.

    No.1 … The Submission to HBRC requesting a sample of sand from recent Port dredging to help establish erosion by nature or erosion caused by the Port works is critical …. what was the outcome of the submission?

    No.2 … The Mayor accepts beach renourishment has been a huge success … which Councillors disagree and what have they done?

    No.3 … Napier representatives on the HBRC are considered important for getting a solution …. how have they supported Westshore issues?

    No.4 … MP Chris Tremain has a property in the Erosion Zone at Westshore which will be protected by the new breakwater …. why is he not interested in a better solution for the entire beach?

    No.5 … Disregarding Billy Suttons earlier gross misunderstanding of the problem …. what is Stuart Nash’s position on behalf of the Labour Party.  

    No.6 … The Peter Cowell Report is mentioned as being vital for a successful solution at Westshore …. what was the outcome of his report?

  16. terry exeter says:

    Heads up people they dont want to know or listen.there is only one way there will be any action concerning the beach at westshore…………..a new council and especially a new mayor, and for the CEO to front up about the state of the beach and answer relevent quetions. This mayor is a law unto herself and its well known that along with the CEO they run the council.TOO long in the job and they dont want to loose their cushy numbers.I just hope that the ratepayers vote with their boots next election and boot them out.In a nutshell no action will be forthcoming with this current council, I look forward to the truth coming out about the inaction of current council.

    They have wasted enough of my rates on half arsed remedies.

  17. Michelle Pyke says:

    As the last and only new person elected to NCC in 2010 I can say these few things about the destruction of Westshore beach;

    (1) I've arrived too late to do anything about the current situation – 1 vote alone does nothing, especially after years and years of it being on the Council agenda & the current decisions being made;

    (2) long before I got voted onto Council and since I've been there I've said that HBRC and the Port of Napier Ltd are the two organisations liable/responsible for 'fixing' the problem they've created, especially as HBRC are 100% owners of the Port!;

    (3) I believe HBRC & PONL haven't/won't 'fix' Westshore because if they stick their hands up for Westshore Beach, and thereby create a precedent, then HBRC must be absolutely fair and also 'fix' every beach on the HB coastline, ie, Haumoana, Te Awanga, Clifton etc. which they clearly don't want to do;

    (4) I sincerely do appreciate all the efforts that Larry has made and I fully understand how he feels – I've had very similar dealings with HBRC and NCC on Napier's residential leasehold land issues for the past 17 years!;

    (5) In 2002 when the leasehold legislation was changed I also made the submission that any proceeds from the leases (rent and freeholding) could/should be spent on fixing Westshore Beach's erosion problem and/or building sustainable sewerage plants for both Napier and Hastings. The then Minister of Local Govt and Conservation, Sandra Lee, very much liked the idea of just such a prescription – which would've been in keeping with the original intentions of the leasehold endowments that HBRC and NCC inheritied from the HB Harbour Board in 1989 – but it was not included in the final bill that became the operative legislation;

    (6) I find it ironic that former Councillors Bosley and Harrison are both so hellbent on 'playing the people not the ball' with obviously short memories – they were each on the Council when this issue was before them therefore the accusation could be flung right back at them that THEY didn't do a good enough job of fighting back then!;

    (7) It is blindingly obvious that JJ Harrison is grasping onto any local issue to make the patently ridiculous case for ABHB..and in so doing, cheapens the real debate on either subject.

  18. John J Harrison says:

    As I predicted another NCC councillor has stuck up her head to defend the indefencable at the behest of her collegues.

    As expected there is no evidence whatsoever that she has even done a modicum of research on this issue, all of which is available at the NCC.

    1) Michelle states that she is unable to represent the the Napier ratepayers on this long running and hugely expensive case because she was only elected in 2010.

    What a joke!

    As a councillor she would be indubitably be aware that it is her job to ensure that the ratepayers are protected for past and future expense by perusing the exasabator ie the PONL to financially and structurally effect a long term solution.

    If she had done 10 minutes of research she would have noted that the board of PONL have admitted that the extended breakwater is the cause of the man made destruction. She would also have found that ALL the PONL own reports and studies from both their engineers and outside consultants concur with the admission from the board, as evidenced by their minutes.

    2) as a councillor, what specifically has she done to follow up on her assertion that the PONL is responsible. Has she presented a submission, backed up with the relevant reports and studies as I did on 3 occasions ? The answer is NO, she has done nothing except knash teeth and cave in to her collegues.

    3) to mention the beaches in the same breath clearly demonstrates how out of touch she is with the whole sorry affair. For Michelle's benefit the beaches north of the port are irrelevant and have no bearing of the man made, on-going destruction at Westshore.

    4) while it is encouraging that she notes and appreciates the efforts of Larry Delimore on this issue ( as I do ) what exactly has she done to ensure that some, or all his proposals are addressed since being elected 2 years ago ?

    5) this is irrelevant to the issue, and nothing but a case of grandstanding .

    6) as Michelle is aware it was I, together with a majority of councillors who ensured a comprehensive study was made of the issue by contracting ASR to undertake a scientific report as to the causes and suggested remedies. This was done after I had made my own submission as a councillor on the issue to the full council. Other submissions prepared by me were also presented after the report was made public both as a councillor and later, due to my " retirement" as a concerned ratepayer. All of this information is available to any councillor who chooses to study files and reports prior to rushing into print and making a fool of themselves. Even though Komar completed a glowing peer review on the ASR report, backing both it's professionalism and recommendations the majority of council were swayed by a compliant mayor to delay any action subject to a review of all 84 reports covering the destruction of Westshore beach over the years.

    After the largest fee ever was paid, in the main by the PONL the same peer reviewer wrote a review , which Walt Disney would have been proud of stating that all previous reports and scientific studies were wrong, he was the only one right and the PONL was not liable for the destruction caused by the breakwater extension. As Michelle will recall the dumping of shingle commenced one year after the extension was completed. Michelle is that simply a coincidence ?

    Additionally I was a committee member of many years of the Westshore Residents Association and, I might add a generous contributor both then and more recently to assist their cause.

    The only reason they, and others continue with this crusade is that the councillors who were elected to ensure our best interests were looked after are totally impudent and afraid of upsetting the mayor and her " tin ear" on this and other issues.

    7) in a piqué , Michelle then blames it all on ABHB and it's over 1,000 members who are dedicated to ensure accountability on regional issues.

    It is untenable that individuals such as Michelle and her gullible collegues do not do a modicum of research on this issue and ensure, as is their duty, that the PONL is required under law to make good the destruction they have wrought on a once pristine beach.

    Instead they have cost ratepayers millions on treating a long term problem with a short term solution, and are continuing to do so.

    Michelle, it is not true that "mother knows best". You were elected to have an independent view on issues, not meekly following what you are told to do and say.

    Only recently the CEO admitted that he had no idea as to the status of a proposed multi- million dollar structure at the north end of the beach. If that alone was not jaw- dropping enough the mayor has refused to confirm if she or her compliant councillors have a clue !

    Do you Michelle ? After all you are now claiming support for the efforts of some individuals on this issue.Maybe you can enlighten us as to it's status, costs originally budged for 4 years ago and the costs in 2012 due to the continuing dysfunctional relationship between the HBRC and the NCC who have both publicly threatened legal action against each other on the structure proposed.

    Perhaps too, you could enlighten the ratepayers as to the speed and quantum that the breakwater is causing to the ongoing gouging out of the seabed at Westshore.

    It appears that while you and your erstwhile collegues sit on your collective hands that it is your intent to see Westshore Beach become as dangerous as the Town Beach with the resultant tragedies that this will entail.

    As the PONL board papers, their own engineering studies, supported by outside consultants acknowledge their culpability on this issue, how hard is it for you and your collegues to bring this before the courts.

    Or is that too hard ? Instead you are happy for your ratepayers to throw further millions at an issue while the beach is destroyed because of your blatant inaction.

    People like Michelle who profess to represent our best interests to gain office, then do the opposite when in office are one of the best reasons why there will be a move in the very near future to streamline local government in Hawkes Bay.

    At least it will stop councils threatening legal action against each other and ensure projects are undertaken in an expeditious manner, saving millions in the process and maybe a few lives.

  19. David Bosley says:

    For Michelle's information, I as part of the Napier City Council made several submissions regards the problem of erosion of Westshore Beach.

    Maybe Michelle can tell us what she's managed to achieve since being on Council for the leaseholders she so often claims to represent, where Michelle firmly believes leaseholders have a 87% interest in the land and are therefore are entitled to a 87% discount off the land's valued price to freehold?

    Had such high hopes for you Michelle, with you saying you were going to stand for the mayoralty again. Clearly Barbara wishes to protect her chances and must have somehow suckered you in to make you go along with the rest of your cohorts – such compliant "nodding head stooges".

    One thing you can never say about me.

    Sincerely David Bosley

  20. Larry Dallimore says:

    Kelvin’s questions will be answered after brief comment on Michelle Pyke’s seven points and John Harrison’s response. Michelle has shown genuine interest in current problems at Westshore and being less conversant with ancient history could be an advantage. The Mayor is at a disadvantage by grasping onto irrelevant history of the 1890’s when the man-made Western Mole and a timber crib wall, built for the old Freezing Works, caused erosion at the southern end. Mayor Arnotts translation that Westshore has suffered natural erosion for 130 years and recent erosion is nothing new, is absolute rubbish. The relevant history for Westshore Beach is the last 30 -35 years which, as John points out, is the period when major breakwater extensions started along with regular deepening of the shipping channel. The engineers don’t believe the sudden change from accretion to erosion was a coincidence but Mayor Arnott does. The Timeline is clear evidence – click here:

    John’s diligent research and experience as a Councillor is absolutely vital to this debate. The many Councillors who have balked responsibility in the past will soon be able to hang their heads in shame. John should go easy on Michelle because so far, she has contributed more for Westshore than most current Councillors.

    (1) Michelle must feel frustrated when she sees how the value of her single vote is minimised against the 12 others who are in favour of the current beach nourishment scheme and who readily adopted it as the long term solution. John is aware how this Council operates under current leadership so he should not be too surprised with the Mayor proclaiming the decision was unanimous. In order to appreciate process, a current senior Councillor who declined to discuss the condition of the beach, told me he would attend the Council meeting, listen to the arguments for and against then vote with the majority. That is an example of the hurdles encountered when dealing with this Council on a very basic issue.

    (2) Michelle has every right to feel handicapped by the actions of the previous Council because her current colleagues assumed full responsibility for a beach which was severely weakened by others. The potential for overnight devastation by an inevitable severe swell is very real and the resultant damage and property losses approaching $30M will be inexcusable. Without doom casting, this exposure to such high risk is due to drastic changes to the shape and steepness of the inshore, the increasing weakness of the beachhead and the unstable seawall of pebbles. The current condition of the beach will not cope with a swell similar to that experienced in 1974. There is no effective protection against such an event and the recent inaction by this Council could burden ratepayers with a huge debt for decades. This contingent liability should be at the top of the expenditure list on the 10 Year Plan or is this being kept secret from Hastings District Council until after talks on amalgamation. Consent for the breakwater has been held up for 3 years which is 6 months before Michelle entered office. The ongoing delay over legal issues between Councils is pathetic and well beyond Michelle’s control. Brief comment on the other 5 points will follow.

  21. Larry Dallimore says:

    Here is further comment on Michelle Pyke’s seven points and John Harrison’s response.

    (3) The Port of Napier will not admit responsibility so they have to be found to have caused erosion at Westshore Beach before the issues will be resolved. In the meantime, the most disgusting but cheapest form of beach nourishment known to Engineers will continue until Napier ratepayers have no option but to accept the substantial financial burden of building a solid seawall. My interest is the engineering and as to who should pay is up to the Politicians. We have to remember, a so called expert has exonerated the Port of Napier from blame and that has to be readdressed before any Councillor can ask another party for a dime. Unless of course the Port, or their owner the HBRC, does the decent thing for the HB community, accepts the compelling evidence, and takes responsibility for unforeseen consequences of corporate development. This process will be for the Politicians to sort out and hopefully the Courts will not need to be involved.

    The lack of assistance from the Port will be addressed in my answer to Kelvin but it will be with due care because the Port CEO, Garth Cowie has threatened legal action if I share my opinion in public. The Courthouse would be an ideal forum for exposing the inept management of Westshore Beach however finances for such a fine venue could be stretched. We are aware that the success and competitiveness of the Port is absolutely vital for HB industry and the prosperity of the province. However reluctantly, we may have to consider an injunction to halt all harbour dredging until the Port provides conclusive evidence that the Ports regular deepening of the seabed is not responsible for the uncontrolled demise of Westshore Beach.

    If nothing else, this desperate action will give the public an opportunity to read the independent report “Causal Factors of Westshore Erosion” and the “Peer Review of the Komar Report”. The Port of Napier has denied access to these reports because the contents are understood to be seriously damning to Paul Komars conclusion that the Port of Napier has not contributed to permanent erosion at Hardinge Road and Westshore Beach. The HBRC has also denied access to these damning reports because their company is a private company and therefore, the public do not have access.

    I cannot accept Michelle’s suggestion that the HBRC must be fair and fix Haumoana, Te Awanga and Clifton if they accept liability for Westshore Beach. Without doubt, John meant all HB beaches SOUTH of the Port are irrelevant. I have my own theories and solution for these beaches but their problems are in good hands with WOW, a dedicated residents group. The engineers are certain that any problems at beaches to the south, including shingle extraction at Awatoto plus the developing problem at Mahia, have nothing to do with man-made interruption to the natural northerly drift of coastal sediment. The erosion problems at Westshore and future problems at Bayview are not related or similar in any way to other beaches on the east coast.

    With the exception of the flawed Komar Report, engineers are absolutely certain that the breakwater and harbour development is responsible for erosion at Hardinge Road and Westshore Beach. Paul Komar cannot explain why Harding Road beach is the only beach in the lee of Port development that is successfully protected by a hard engineering type of “Rip Rap“ rock seawall. This is the well proven land saving solution. Brief comment on the other 4 points will follow.

  22. Kelvin R says:

    OMG …… thanks to the various comments posted here we are so much better informed how Councillors are representing or more like not representing us. Larry Dallimores comment to Ms Pyke has caused a lot of debate around the table tonight. We are a group of friends who get together often and its nice to have a change from chatting golf and politics. We understand Larry talks to schools and business groups and we are all keen on tagging along or joining the next meet. Contact Kel on 0212586764. The big question tonight was ….. what the hell is MP Chris Tremain doing? A couple in our group know him pretty well and are happy to stir him up. We are fascinated how you have stuck in with such little support from westshore residents … Well done and we hope ggod sense prevails.

  23. Larry Dallimore says:

    Here is further comment on Cr Pyke’s seven points and John Harrison’s response.

    (4) Michelle’s comment and Johns response on past contributions by Councillors is interesting. All ratepayers should congratulate Michelle for engaging in this discussion when others will not or are not allowed. During 2009 when I was stonewalled by the engineers, insulted by the Mayor and had Councillors pretending to understand the issues, a senior Councillor gave me an insight. The first being “the best way forward is to have people go with you rather than against you so it’s best not to upset them”. The second, foreign to my business world “if you question this Councils agenda or routine, you’ll find nothing will get done”. Apparently, Councillors generally rely and comply with recommendations made by NCC staff at Council meetings. Unfortunately, this advice was prophetic because officially Westshore erosion has not been mentioned at any Council meeting this year and meeting records show Westshore has never been on the agenda of the Major Projects Committee since being formed after the last election. It is impossible to gauge Councillor support for Westshore Beach erosion when nobody at NCC is showing the slightest interest.

    The following video shows beachhead destruction which engineers and Councillors has never seen in real time. The first moderate winter swells from southern ocean storms are forecast from this Tuesday, 17th July. Fortunately, they will be around 1m and during neap tides and from the due east direction. Brief comment on the other 3 points will follow but in the meantime click this link showing a NE swell over just two high tides.

  24. John J Harrison says:

    Larry, good stuff and thanks for correcting my self inflicted mistake by noting beaches north when I meant south.

    You, however have made a minor error in noting a possible amalgamation with the HDC. That is incorrect. What is proposed is an amalgamation of all FIVE councils not just one which the lightweights at the NCC keep pushing– all for their own selfish reasons.

    With five councils this problem will NEVER be resolved by the current politicians. The NCC ones are clearly doing the bidding of the PONL and have thrown their own ratepayers under the proverbial bus together with their own officers and consultants who unanimously agreed that the PONL was the exasabator .

    Garth Cowie and his board have done a superb job in protecting their own interests and threatening individuals with expensive legal action if they disagree. He knows that the truth is the ultimate defense. I would relish the opportunity of receiving such a threat from their lawyers when I have only quoted public reports to back up the assertion that they are culpable in addressing this issue.

    Meanwhile our flaccid and impotent " representatives" at the NCC continue to kowtow to both the mayor and the board of the PONL. They continue to rape the ratepayers while destroying the beach at an increasing rate, knowing that they are only addressing the symptoms and not the cause.

  25. John J Harrison says:

    Larry, the prospect of court action is encouraging. As you state ALL the reports to both the PONL and the HBRC would be thrown open to the public under " discovery". They would both be petrified to have themselves shown up as to how we have all been deliberately mislead. How much is required to get this underway, as I would be an enthusiastic supporter ?

    While our employees at the NCC have shown themselves to be representing the PONL to the detriment of their ratepayers, so too have the councillors for the Napier ward in the HBRC. Both are equally culpable and an unmitigated disgrace to the people they were charged to represent.

  26. David Bosley says:

    As the late, wise, gentlemanly councillor, Tony Reid, once told me when I was on the Napier Council, "Bos if you want to keep on getting yourself re-elected on Council "Keep your mouth shut and breath through your ears!" Unfortunately and sadly for us (iratepayers) -it's apparent at least 10 have done just that!

  27. Larry Dallimore says:

    Further comment on Michelle Pyke’s seven points and John Harrison’s response.

    (5) Michelle’s efforts re NCC inheritance of funds from the leasehold land and property rents could be relevant to the debate but from another angle. I don’t see it as “grandstanding” as suggested by John. Michelle could rightly claim her input helped relieve ratepayers of being burdened with the $1.4M allocated for building the proposed Whakarire Ave Breakwater. This project will not go ahead but the funds can be reallocated to other seriously overdue rock protection in the same area without the need for consent from HBRC. The engineering for the Whakarire Ave breakwater is flawed however there is little doubt the environment and recreation groups will scuttle this project. The NCC has rejected my engineering argument eventhough Beca Consultants totally agree with my practical and far cheaper option to simply strengthen existing shoreline protection.

    The Leasehold Endowment funds mentioned by Michelle are already allocated to the project however this stimulated two ill-informed comments from two senior Councillors. The first statement that appeared in the press was “a seawall is a last recourse and we’re not there yet”. A serious lack of research however, the other incongruous comment on whether the proposed offshore breakwater should proceed because Leasehold funding was available at no direct cost to the ratepayer was “the proposal needs to be implemented even if a seawall is needed later”. In this situation there is no place for both and to do so is grossly expedient.

    A “Rip Rap” seawall was needed years ago however if this logical option was built after the Whakarire Ave Breakwater was constructed, then the breakwater would become a forsaken monument and a lasting legacy of Mayor Arnotts reign. Councillors who think building the Whakarire Ave breakwater will be at no cost ratepayers have undermined Michelle’s courageous attempt to fund protection of an entire beach that is in desperate need of maintenance. They are oblivious to conclusive proof the old Whakarire breakwater, built by NCC in 1994, is the principle cause of current erosion at Kiwi Beach. This ill-conceived breakwater was changed into a seawall after they pumped sand and sludge from the Inner Harbour into the backwater/pond. The proposed remedy will redirect wave energy and simply transfer erosion to a point further north along the beach. We do not need a third offshore structure after two prior attempts were found to be problematic and are now on record as dismal failures.

    Yes John. I take your point about 5 Councils for a better performance for the region. My point was probably unclear. This week, a glossy lift-out was delivered to Napier households espousing Napier City’s grand financial performance. This is just another Council that has a mandate to determine a wish list of expenses then simply establish the income to match. Imagine having a business where you can decide your needs, wants and wishes, cost them out, and set your rates and fees to suit and roughly balance with a surplus. The Courier Lift-out does not even mention Westshore after years of promotion as Napier’s safest swimming beach. The NCC use every opportunity to boast their debt level is more manageable compared to the Hastings District Councils debt. My reference was, if the HDC ratepayers got a whiff of how NCC ratepayers are exposed to a huge contingent liability for losses from inadequate beach protection, they wouldn’t want a bar of the NCC Balance Sheet. If the liability was placed with the culpable party then the NCC just may be an attractive partner for a “Better Performing HB”.

    Getting traction for amalgamation will be very difficult. I cannot imagine so many people letting go of the empire built gravy train. Making economies and cutting the cloth in an organisation where growth is determined by the number of departments, managers, personal assistants, and hangers on will be very difficult. Grandiose museums and sports facilities which will have to be maintained by a reducing low wage workforce will not survive. Case of comparison under pressure is the Forsyth Barr Stadium in Dunedin. Getting involved in ventures such as a crass fake art deco bus service with two items of foreign equipment for the benefit of cafe owners would not entice private investment. Well known NCC businesses that compete unfairly with the accommodation sector and need to have asset book values regularly lowered until the investment shows a return should have been discarded years ago. Napier Mayors and Councillors have never made a profit by investing in non essential services unless the investment and profits were their own. Imagine a Council announcing, we have removed the deadwood and closed non essential operations so household rates can be reduced or kept in balance with ratepayers current incomes.

    I was at a rugby match and sat beside a retired Councillor who confessed to me that his time on Council was a good reason to occasionally put on a tie. He added, getting paid to rubberstamp real boring stuff is better than staying home and helping the missus in the garden. Just last week, a colourful local business leader spelt out his take on amalgamation after seeing the Mayor and Councillors scrambling for longevity in the job. He pointed out, most are bottom feeders but smart enough to figure out that so many egos cannot be supported by so few and soon enough the 5 troughs will reduce to one. And that means many will have to take at least one foot out of the trough and the rest will have to take both out – unquote. Brief comment on Michelle’s other 2 points will follow.

  28. Larry Dallimore says:

    My interest is engineering so comment on Michelle Pyke’s items (6) and (7) is best left to others. However, there are a few unresolved issues but I will not lower the debate to a level where the Mayor is comfortable. Mayor Arnott discredited, insulted and then defamed me by wrongly accusing me of being responsible for holding up the Proposed Breakwater Consent process. She knowingly lied to the Napier Mail with a statement that I was to blame for a situation that would be to the detriment of many people which caused a lot of concern within the Westshore community.

    An unwarranted attack on my integrity from a position requiring high principles is unacceptable so some background is offered. A cordial meeting at the beach to discuss erosion had resulted in four senior Councillors taking their concerns directly to the Mayors Office. This resulted in a “Peer Review” which the engineers needlessly held up because they found the review was somehow, too technical. The official actions of those Councillors did not influence or interfere with the Consent Application which at the time, was on hold over “definition issues”. The current ongoing hold up is over “legal issues” between two Councils which unbelievably, will require a ruling by the Environment Court. At no point was I involved in definition or legal issues and the Mayor was fully aware of that, then and since.

    Mayor Arnott refused to withdraw the defamatory remarks and the Councillors were content to have the blatant lie left on record. I advised the Mayor that I had no interest in pursuing the matter if the false statement was retracted and/or corrected. The assistance of the Ombudsman was necessary to get a response which eventually came from the NCC lawyer. To remain focused on the issues, I chose to put the matter aside. This event and the attitude of a few Councillors made it clear, all lies had to be challenged and any deceit had to be accountable.

    From the outset, my only request to the NCC and HBRC was an informed discussion with engineers on erosion however egos and arrogance shut down virtually all communication so any progress was limited to the press or the internet. Letters to the Editor and the requirement for brevity is not ideal for my concerns where facts need to be qualified and opinions supported.

    Very recently, a major player shared his view that my position will be “rejected and ignored” if I keep “slagging people off” and “firing nasty pot shots”. I have given references for every quote, support for every opinion, evidence for every assessment, and qualified every comment stated as fact. I take exception to baseless cheap shots which are obviously a diversion for the real issues.

    The NCC will not recognise the increasing rate of beach erosion and have stayed absolutely committed and satisfied that their Beach Nourishment Scheme is a huge success. It is blatantly obvious, the adopted solution is not maintaining the gradient of the inshore and the solid beachhead is eroding at an alarming rate. Mayor Arnott has been directly responsible for the steadfast and compliant position taken by Councillors and her staff. The unyielding position remains consistent with the NCC article published in the Dominion Post in April, 2008. The following extracts indicate the distance the Mayor and Councillors are away from reality and as a Westshore resident, I have difficulty living with such fantasy supported by our City Leaders.

    quote “Napier could soon get a new beach with NCC spending $3.2M to bring the sand back to Westshore. The badly eroded area will be transformed back into an attractive sandy beach that could become a jewel in Napier’s summer holiday destination crown”.

    quote “Developments for Westshore Beach are very exciting for locals and visitors to the region”.

    quote “The addition of a sandy, safe swimming and easily accessible beach would create another reason for people to visit our region and stay longer”.

    quote “Mayor Barbara Arnott said the project would make the beach more aesthetically appealing”.

    quote “As well as encouraging the build up of sand, the plan will re-profile the steep wall of loose stones to a much more gradual slope”.

    quote “A breakwater will be built and should encourage a build up of sand at the rocky southern end of Westshore Beach”.

    Unfortunately on behalf of all Napier ratepayers, the NCC accepted the problem at Westshore Beach as natural erosion and adopted a long term solution that entirely suited the Port of Napier and its owner, the HBRC. Even a written concession from the Consultants stating they now agree the beach is in a state of permanent erosion, has not discouraged Napier representatives, on both Councils, from accepting “managed retreat” to an unknown point closer to private property and a city road.

    During the next few days (17th to 21st July, 2012) significant storm damage peaking on Friday, could expose the Councils dereliction of duty. As forecast earlier, the swells will not be extreme, severe or extra ordinary so damage will not be major during this event. Both Councils and the Port have closed down all dialogue so my concerns can only be validated by devastation and a huge repair bill for ratepayers. The cost will be astronomical if the proper remedy is left too late.

    I have been asked to share the result of my request for dredging information from the Port as well as the outcome to my submission to the HBRC 10 Year Plan. In the meantime, take the kids to Westshore between now and Saturday to see a beach being destroyed at the hands of two disinterested Councils. Child memories will be remnants of a popular recreational asset that was once enjoyed by many citizens of HB.

  29. John J Harrison says:

    Larry, it's a sad state of affairs when our mayor can get away, without censure from her collegues the litany of lies and outright character assassination of her constituents who offer a contrary view on Westshore.

    Although you claim 1 or 2 councillors privately accept your argument, unless they come out publicly and say so then their " whispered" support is not worth the time of day.

    Every one of them is terrified of actually stating their personal view on any issue at odds with the view of the mayor.

    Thank god the last election was the last for the dysfunctional NCC.

  30. Sandra Bostock says:

    Comment and such indepth information on Council issues cannot be found in local newspapers. It's such a positive thing to know about the negative things going on behind closed doors -oxymoron! Also extremely satisfying to find what we see and hear is being noticed by astute people and talked about here – well done BayBuzz. We note Larry Dallimore has made a big effort to address Michelles list of comments and look forward to her agreement or otherwise. We trust she is still free to speak.

  31. Larry Dallimore says:

    There have been a couple of questions put to me, so here is more opinion and some good news. The swells forecast were downgraded because the anticyclone kept the storm in the southern ocean so damage to HB beaches this weekend will be minimal.

    Kelvin 9th July –The Port of Napier Ltd, the HBRC as the regulatory body, and the NCC accept erosion problems at Westshore are the result of natural erosion. Managed retreat has been adopted as the solution and annual nourishment will merely slow down the process. Regular “top-ups” of pebbles will be trucked in to repair breaches of the shingle seawall. As predicted on 2nd July, the $20,000 shingle and mud “patch” installed on 12th June, adjacent to the Surf Club, has been eroded. The 2,000m3 of imported material was washed towards Bayview by the northerly coastal drift. Another dose of ratepayer funds has been wasted and is no longer protecting the beach.

    Kelvin 15th July – MP Chris Tremain accepts the NCC version of the problem. Chris does not live at Westshore however his brother does. The proposed breakwater is designed to remove 12 Whakarire Ave properties from the Erosion Zone. This zoning has reduced land values by approx 80% however the upside for owners and downside for NCC is rates for these properties are below the City average. These properties have more elevation than those in the six suburbs that rely on Pumping Stations to control the water table. Simple strengthening of existing shoreline protection will remove all risk from hazards. Understandably, Whakarire Ave residents favour a breakwater because NCC convinced them that an offshore breakwater was the only option to restore LV’s and remove CHZ limitations. Regarding interest shown by Stuart Nash. Stuart and the LP Conservation Spokesperson requested a meeting at the beach and both are conversant with actual erosion and remedial options. On the Peter Cowell Report, the NCC is still waiting.

    Sandra 18th July – Michelle has made her contribution which is great and appreciated by many. I am sure Michelle will bat to resolve Westshore Beach problems behind closed doors and serve Napier well for many years.

    Since the NCC Seminar in April 2010 when Beca Consultants substantially agreed with my assessment, the Council has rejected and ignored my correspondence. The recent warning from inside Council that people who question NCC process will be rejected and ignored is disappointing. This is sadly ironic after how the NCC has treated those with genuine concerns for City assets. Could it be a wise observation by Darcy Jones – “egos and posturing will not give way to local knowledge and history”.

    Support for an injunction has been overwhelming but other less onerous options should be considered.

    1. The HBRC has offered to release dredging information within the Resource Consent which could provide answers. This option is subject to an affordable estimate of HBRC charges which is due any day.

    2. The Ombudsman could direct HBRC to release the two reports being withheld by the Port which contain damning information on causal erosion effects of the breakwater. These reports are accessible to the HBRC as owner of the company.

    3. A petition presented to the NCC to take action to ensure a third party is not inflicting expensive damage to a City asset and unnecessary cost to ratepayers.

    4. The desperate option would be an injunction on the Port to halt all further dredging of the shipping channel until they prove dredging work is not a causal effect of erosion at Westshore Beach.

    5. The last option for Napier ratepayers is to take their chances with the new Councillors in 2013.

  32. David Bosley says:

    Oh,No. No disrespect to Larry D, and all is good intentions…………. but me fears this lot is going the same way as ALL previous talkfests on the matter of the neglect / disgrace of Westshore beach- have ended up. No where! That, is Unless there is a seismic change in the "peoples" representives on NCC come next years elections. And, if any one person knows anything about that JJ does.

  33. John J Harrison says:

    Dave and Larry, you are both under a misapprehension .

    If the LGC do it's job the last NCC elections will indeed be the last for our dysfunctional council. The next election will be for a unitary authority.

    To ensure this occurs ABHB needs all the support it can get.

    That support is growing by the day and I for one believe we will prevail.

  34. David Bosley says:

    One unitary authority for the overall benefit of ALL the peoples of Hawke's Bay has been a long time in the making. Then again, they say good things are worth waiting for. I sincerely trust you are right JJ.

  35. Larry Dallimore says:

    John Harrison has been at the coal face as a Councillor but my recent dealings with the NCC suggest his vision of having a unitary authority in place before the next election is unrealistic. Even if the LGC does its job as suggested by John, I do not accept that Dave and I are under any sort of misapprehension. The majority of Councillors did not question advice or research the issues on Westshore erosion so it’s extremely unlikely any Councillor will take a position on amalgamation which is inconsistent with the Mayor and the CEO. The grip on power with a healthy stipend attached will most likely ensure any type of new governance system does not get an easy passage.

    We have been bombarded with self promotion and a list of grand achievements but no mention of looming problems at Westshore Beach which has been akin to “rearranging the deckchairs on the Titanic”. Last week we had a Letter to the Editor from a senior Councillor listing just the negatives of amalgamation which appeared like “puffing up the cushions” on the same chairs on the same ship. I’m not convinced on amalgamation because there is no detail to make a fair judgement. As an example, I for one, have absolute faith in Jim Scotland who lives in Havelock North but ably represents the entire HB community at Port of Napier Ltd, the HB Airport and soon the HBRC Investment Co. Jim is just one of many persons involved in successful organisations and companies who can be fully accountable and represent Napier, no matter where he resides.

    The Napier Council has produced a compelling case for an improved system and can claim responsibility for the increasing momentum for change. NCC can be proud of the maintenance of essential services and development of amenities. However, besides the destruction of Napier’s best natural asset at Westshore, there are several projects with long term negative outcomes for a community with a stagnant population and a growing dependency ratio. The burden for future generations will be the upkeep of a grandiose museum, loss making enterprises, an art deco bus service, and the extra $33M debt for a single city scheme to dump raw sewerage into our bay and fishery. The positives are there but they are outweighed by monument costs.

    We have a Council that has grown exponentially in spite of community needs and wishes. Ratepayers ability to pay the Councils ever increasing appetite for revenue has not been given due consideration. Rates and NCC charges as a percentage of average wage compared to 10, 20, 30 years ago is frightening as are our rates charged at 16% of my wife’s pension. Making a comparison with another city is no justification to keep pumping up rates. Our family made a significant donation to the Christchurch Quake then found Councillors pondering over whether to send $50,000 or $500,000 out of my rates. Whatever the final outcome, it will reflect their past performances.

    A major player stated a seawall solution at Westshore will be “doomed” if amalgamation went ahead. Do I really deserve all this negative crap from people who have been told since 1998 that aggressive erosion needs an urgent solution? Hastings District Councillors have embraced Westshore Beach as a treasured regional recreational asset and favour a durable solution even though the HBRC insist on and will only approve “managed retreat”. Napier ratepayers can be heartened by knowing District Councillors have a greater interest to fix Westshore Beach than Mayor Arnott and her Councillors. When you have elected representatives like Cr Pyke being told to keep her head down on Baybuzz, what are the chances of having an open debate?

    I believe John has miscalculated the speed of change and the “white knuckle” grip on self preservation will overlap ABHB’s timetable. The wager for charity is – there will be no change to the NCC format until after the 2013 election. In the meantime go to Enter: “Westshore Beach Erosion” in the search box. There are 3 videos of a series to understand what all the fuss is about.

  36. John J Harrison says:

    Larry, how about a $1,000 bet to a charity of my chosing that the next local government election in Napier will be not for the NCC as we know it but for a regional authority. If the next election is for the NCC as we know it today then the the money is yours.

    I realize the 13 elected members are petrified of any possible change to their status and generous stipends BUT they are not the final arbiter on this issue– the regions residents are.

  37. Larry Dallimore says:

    I admire John’s positivity and gladly accept the $1,000 bet but let’s remove the added proviso that the elections will be for a regional authority. I understand the residents will decide any change however I am betting on current Councillors hindering a timely outcome.

    Napier has a lot of elderly residents who are struggling and most have had a gutful of local politics and will not take particular interest. Also, getting Westshore residents to better understand beach erosion has been met with unbelievable apathy so expect many to recall experiences like “Councils don’t listen anyway” and not take part. The extra time taken to counter the propaganda and an extended opportunity to have the disinterested Napier residents better informed could work in favour of “A Better Hawkes Bay”.

    Subject to your approval, my wish is to vest my $1,000 in a fund set up to finance two opportunities to resolve Westshore Beach problems and remove Napier ratepayer’s ongoing liability to pick up a bill for damage created by another party.

    The first is, the HBRC offered to supply information on various issues which were not addressed in my submission to the Long Term Plan. Andrew Newman, the CEO has offered to provide full explanation for continued beach nourishment and why it is the best option to mitigate erosion at Westshore Beach. Unfortunately, he advised HBRC Policy that allows for only 30 minutes of staff time at no cost and all extra labour charges and fees must be paid in advance. Our fund does not have an open chequebook so we need to wait for the estimate of costs as requested on the 10th of July, 2012.

    The second funding requirement will be legal fees for an Interim Junction on the Port of Napier. The injunction will seek to have the Port of Napier cease all dredging operations until they prove, with existing or new evidence, that any excavation work on the seabed is not causing erosion or any detrimental effects, to any beach which Napier Ratepayers are made to be financially responsible.

    I am hopeful, the Cowell Report will remove the need to file an expensive injunction but that hope is becoming slender. The NCC commissioned this report over one year ago and the time taken is working against us. Also, in 2005 Professor Peter Cowell indicated a bias to the Paul Komar view that shingle did not move from the south to northern Hawke Bay beaches. Plus, he acknowledges the 1931 Earthquake influenced erosion of an isolated beach in the lee of the Port in 1980. This agrees with the flawed Komar Report which found major Port development that commenced in the same year was a sheer coincidence. Prof. Peter Cowell is a highly principled expert but we are mindful there are few precedents where engineers have disputed findings made by other experts. Like many professionals acting for the same clients, the norm is to endorse and acknowledge all prior opinion.

  38. Kelvin R says:

    I have to say this thread or blog has been the most interesting informative and sometimes entertaining of all websites. Is it John Harrison or John Wayne …. doesn’t matter … both always draw two guns and shoot from the hip to keep those desperados on the run. I would have to go with Larry on the bet and I’d take on a piece of the wager but I’ve just got my rate bill with a most unwelcome increase …….. for what. The Mayor and her obedient flock have to be put out to pasture … cant wait. How can we have people running such a large operation when only 2 or 3 are capable of running a bath.

  39. Bruce Bisset says:

    I haven't investigated the Westshore issue in depth – and clearly, judging by the screeds written here, "depth" is almost a misnomer – but having been lambasted in HBT recently by Mr Dallimore for my column on Haumoana etc, I'll just make two points:

    1) isn't it ironic that the man responsible (as head contractor) for reclaiming the port now wants to blame the port for the erosion? surely you should include yourself in the "blame game", Larry? (and yes, on the face of it i believe PONL is responsible.)

    2) and to quote Mr Dallimore: "The engineers are certain that any problems at beaches to the south, including shingle extraction at Awatoto plus the developing problem at Mahia, have nothing to do with man-made interruption to the natural northerly drift of coastal sediment. The erosion problems at Westshore and future problems at Bayview are not related or similar in any way to other beaches on the east coast."

    My point exactly. For all I know your solution may be right for Westshore, Larry, but not for Awatoto-Clifton. I don't then confuse the two; why did you?

  40. Bruce Bisset says:

    my apologies; i don't usually play the man and i withdraw that insinuation, Larry. guess i was having a bad day yesterday.

  41. John J Harrison says:

    I was exited, for about 30 seconds when I read the Mr Dalton now acknowledges that the PONL is responsible for the destruction of Westshore beach. Better still he rightly confirms that the beach was once a wonderful, wide sandy one and of course Napier' s premier tourist attraction.

    Acknowledging the ports liability goes against the continuing mantra from the Mayor and her compliant councillors that we never enjoyed a wide sandy beach and that the port is definatly not to blame for the current situation.

    So Mr Dalton's admission is not in line with the NCC stance on this issue.

    For that he should be congratulated.

    But, he then states that the port would be " crippled" if they were required to address their culpility.

    I mean what the f—.

    Here we have a senior councillor acknowledging the 84 reports, studies and peer reviews are all correct in their claims that the port is responsible but now wants to absolve the exasabator from any claims to address the issue.

    More discussion appears to be his objective.

    There has been unproductive " discussion" over 3 decades.

    Meanwhile the beach is further destroyed on a daily basis. Not, only with the erosion above water level but more importantly with the gauging out of the seabed underwater.

    Mr Dalton well remembers when you could walk out 75-100 meters and the water would still be at chest level. Now after 15 meters it is well over your head.

    In a few years the beach will be as dangerous as the town beach due to the NCC not addressing the cause but merely the symptoms.

    The greatest insult to the ratepayers is that the the PONL would be " crippled" by having to address their vandalism.

    A 5 year old completing year 1 at primary school would know that the cost would equate to 3-4 months profit of the port.

    It would reduce their tax liability while gaining them unparalleled public support for acknowledging their culpility.

    Instead, Mr Dalton is happy for the Napier ratepayers to continue to pour millions of dollars addressing an issue that is not of their making.

    It is time for Mr Dalton et al to visit the moteliers and those involved in the hospitality industry in Westshore and learn how their buisnesses have been crippled by the huge reduction in tourist night numbers ( as confirmed in the NCC latest NRB survey)

    As Mr Dalton knows, families booked 12 months in advance to get the motel of their choice to spend on Westshore beach.But that was when we had a broad sandy and safe beach.

    Now we only have an unsafe gravel pit to enjoy !

    The current incumbents only want to jaw, jaw , continue to waste ratepayers money on a tempory band aid and watch from the sidelines as local buisnesses are crippled.

    Acknowledging who is responsible for this destruction and doing nothing about it is reprehensible .l

  42. Pat Magill says:

    Firstly having once lived for over 44 years (opposite Larry Dallimore at Whakarare Avenue, in front of the sea) the public of Napier are grateful to you Larry for your experience and passion in finding 'a cure' to prevent erosion at Westshore Beach. I ask: who other than Larry? –

    This Morning I wrote a letter to the Whanganui Chronicle to express my concern about the predicament of sex predator Stewart John Wilson, and the public drive for retribution under the professional guidance of former mayor Michael Laws.

    I pointed out that a generation ago, mental illness was a stigma of sin, with sick patients caged and covered in their own feces. But thankfully for all of us, there are always a few good people looking for and finding cures.

    It was pleasing for me to share with the Whanganui Chronicle that I had attended a meeting at the Quaker Settlement in Whanganui where a Clinical Psychologist shared with his audience that given time there were 'cures' in the offering for Pedophiles.

    Perhaps a prison environment was not the place for Wilson to acknowledge his sickness, but as long as a few good people keep looking for 'cures', a community can live in hope, as without any hope the people perish.

  43. Larry Dallimore says:

    Bruce Bisset’s early comment was interesting, his bounce back apology is accepted and a future in depth investigation into Councils handling Westshore issues would be much appreciated. When wrestling over differences of opinion, a change to boxing is a smart choice if the other puts in a low blow. Bruce’s initial comments are pillow talk compared to the abuse, lies and slander dished out by Mayor Arnott after my courteous efforts to get an informed discussion on Westshore Beach erosion since 2009.

    A response to Bruce’s first comment was drafted for posting but I was distracted by a commentary on Cr Bill Dalton’s website which needed attention. My response is still relevant and I wish to clear up any aspersions or slight to my integrity.

    I had no problem with Bruce Bisset’s contribution in the HB Today because it was quite clearly under the heading of “Opinion” and we are all entitled to that. However, I found fiction being quoted as hard facts which is unhelpful to owners of affected properties. This fabrication peeved me enough to write to the Editor.

    The intention of my response in the HB Today was not to lambast the author but correct the story. It’s bad enough having Councillors shuffling the facts to justify “slow action” or “no action”. Cr Neil Kirton said “anybody who lives at the beach should expect erosion” and “purchasers of shoreline property have to be ‘buyer beware’ and that was his reason for living on the hill at Poraite”. This sort nonsense explains the lack of urgency and disinterest in the wanton destruction of a natural regional asset.

    Bruce refers to me as “the man responsible now wants to blame the Port” and “he should be included in the blame game”. Firstly, I worked at the Port during times of stiff competition and kept my place because I was very capable, gave excellent service and was always the cheapest. I worked for highly skilled engineers who called on specialists to develop an exceptional shipping harbour. However during this era, there was not a single expert who envisaged problems on adjacent beaches as a result of vital development to service larger ships.

    Also, I do not recall any engineer giving a second thought as to why extraction of gravel from the traditional shingle pit at Perfume Point during the 1980’s had to cease. This beach was constantly replenished because the interruption to shingle passing the breakwater and crossing the shipping channel was minimal at that time.

    Sure I got involved because I provided “hands on” service, but I could say my job was to operate quarries and supply rock, keep the heavy plant up to scratch and ensure my men were content to work 12 hour days. I could claim how and why the Port worked my earthmoving plant on hourly rate was never my concern. Could Bruce Bisset be made responsible for fixing the HB Today printer if it had a major break down while churning out the page which included his story?

    Bruce concedes the seawall solution could be right for Westshore but what is certain is the current solution is unsuccessful because it is inadequate and inappropriate. Westshore is in a permanent state of erosion which means if sand was available it would have to be placed within the wave system in such quantities as to produce a surplus. This solution is not practical or affordable so the only solution, if saving land is the objective, is a durable seawall designed to retain some form of recreational beach.

    On the other hand, Haumoana/Clifton appears to be similar to Waimarama Beach where erosion is cyclical. This situation lends itself to beach shingle retaining groynes but with unknown amounts of replenishing sediment from the Cape and being on the southern side of the Tuki Tuki River, a seawall may have merit at some point, providing the objective is to save land. The only people who are saying a seawall is not affordable are the “butt savers” who want to over design everything. So for Bruce, the solution could be the same or similar for both beaches – it’s dependent on the cause being clearly identified and established and that is not rocket science.

  44. Brenda Anderson-Coley says:

    I am not a geologist or rocket scientist but.. I have stood at the exact same spot on my Westshore balcony, with a Norfolk tree being my “marker” as to the length of the port. I have noticed the length extend from my unusual marker, and without a doubt, every time the port is extended, which is obviously on-going all the time, the beach erosion worsens, trees, which once stood on the grass, are undermined and dying. I have drawn my own conclusions and I request that the port provide a proper sea-wall for Westshore. It clearly is not a debt Napier rate-payers should shoulder. Either that, or pay for Westshore properties that are left with more threat of flooding to be removed and located to a safer place.

  45. Larry Dallimore says:

    Brenda. Many others share your concern and hope that one day the Port shoulders responsibility for damage they have caused. We all agree the Port is vital to the HB region but that doesn’t absolve them.

    The Port is hiding behind their sponsored Komar Report which was simply a review of other reports. These reports omitted to consider known impediments to the natural movement of sand and they overlooked the regularly deepened shipping channel. As acknowledged in the Komar Report, Port engineers had major input but failed to share crucial information. Coastal engineers agree coastal sediment accumulates in this deep trench which impedes the natural northerly flow of sand. This sand would otherwise replenish Westshore Beach.

    The beach was in a constant state of accretion until late 1970’s when suction dredges started excavating the sand at the Port and dumping it at offshore sites where it cannot benefit the beach. Deprivation and erosion started in the early 1980’s. Progress on a solution has been appalling however last Thursday (17/07/14) five years after the initial Consent application for an offshore breakwater, the project finally got to a pre-hearing.

    The Chairperson of the Hearing called on all parties for confidentiality as to outcomes from the hearing. NCC dominated the hearing with their position however submitters were given time to ask questions but not present written presentations. A copy of my submission prepared for the pre-hearing is attached.

    It is safe to say our concerns have been heard and there is renewed hope for a better cheaper solution. If Napier people vote for me in the NCC By-election at the end of this month, I could get closer to Decision Makers and be in a better position to advance the solutions. Other issues that will get my attention can be viewed on Facebook “Larry Dallimore for Council”.

  46. Larry Dallimore says:

    Napier City Council Consent Application 16 July 2014

    Proposed Whakarire Avenue Breakwater

    Presentation to Pre-hearing Meeting – HB Regional Council
    Council Chambers Thursday 17 July 2014 10:00am

    Coastal Engineering Issues

    I totally agree with Tonkin & Taylors Review (November 2013) however a solution for Westshore could be a reality if their assessment included wider coastal engineering issues. T&T have considered the breakwater in isolation to beach nourishment when both are integral components of the NCC solution. In my opinion, neither remedy is “stand alone”. Other than the HBRC “do nothing” option, the solutions are a breakwater with nourishment or shoreline revetment (hard engineering) with strengthening to existing rock protection.

    The T&T Review shares my view which is contrary to Beca Consultants – quote “the change in the location of wave concentration could result in greater rates of erosion”. This refers to the breakwater angled to dominant swells redirecting wave energy to another part of the beach where the only protection is a weak seawall of pebbles (called a Nourishment Scheme). Properties in this area are excluded from the Coastal Erosion Zone but are exposed to unreasonable risk when the NCC shingle seawall is inevitably breached.

    T&T could consider obvious affects on the area between Tareha Street and Nott Street and “worse case scenario” from James Street to the Surf Club. Many residents in North Terrace are concerned with the “obvious risks” and should be provided informed opinion and fair warning of those risks, if any.

    T&T also disagree with Becas views on two other pivotal issues – the new beach is not practical and surf breaks will be adversely affected. It is gratifying to find T&T have validated my 5 year old assessment by confirming the less intrusive and cheaper option will adequately protect property without redirecting erosion. Adopting the T&T assessment would ensure the precious Rangitira Reef will stay intact and natural surf breaks will be kept for recreational use.

    Removing the erosion causing seawall, built by the NCC in 1994, is an obvious remedy however the task of completely removing coastal obstructions and impediments below water level are difficult or impractical. Ratepayers could be relieved of huge expense if T&T considered the “land saving” option of strengthening existing shoreline protection and/or shoring up protection near an earlier alignment west of Whakarire Ave properties. This defence was adequate for many years until lack of maintenance caused erosion and before a regularly deepened shipping channel trapped 20,000 m3 of traditional sand replenishment each year (Port of Napier data).

    If saving land becomes the objective at a beach with permanent erosion, then the solution is limited to hard engineering, similar to Hardinge Road. Any form of recreational beach will continue to be totally dependent on imported material but if or when a rock seawall is finally built, the breakwater will be unnecessary. The T&T review could also consider the horrendous expense and the HBRC liability to remove a redundant breakwater resting on the seabed.

    Becas designed the breakwater in 2003 with 0.5m sea level rise and maintained this rise in 2013 when Dr Komar and other scientists had adopted 1.1m. This revised sea level should alter the height and width of the proposed structure. T&T could consider the need to redesign the breakwater, involving a myriad of associated reports and another Resource Consent application.

    Dr Komar confirmed extraction of gravel from Pacific Beach is unsustainable and warned ‘it is imperative’ the removal of shingle from the foreshore must cease. This expert advice has validated my submissions to NCC since 2010 and HBRC in 2011. HBRC suggested an alternative source was a trench in the barrier ridge north of Awatoto. This solution would compromise the barrier ridge and include issues with backfilling.

    NCC suggested river shingle from the Dartmoor area however, adequate sand content, suitable gravel, HBRC consent and transport costs could preclude this option. Alternative sources of nourishment for Westshore Beach are scarce but the need is just as urgent as Councils responsibility to stop extraction on the Marine Parade.

    Without a supply of sand, the Nourishment Scheme should be canned however this will allow the HBRC preferred solution of uncontrolled erosion or “managed retreat” to accelerate. If Councils honour their commitment to save land, the solution is limited to hard engineering.

    A “rip rap” rock seawall can be built in accordance with Policy 27 cl 1.(c) of the NZCPS. Stage I – 900m south end seawall, Stage II – strengthening existing rock protection and Stage III – extending the seawall north to where erosion meets accretion. This uncomplicated engineering solution is affordable providing HBRC can be convinced the abundant local supplies of limestone rock are suitable for constructing seawalls.

    T&T could give consideration to the long term stability of the proposed breakwater where it’s built in shallow water on a sandy sea bed. The base will be exposed to severe swells approaching at a 45o angle on a beach in a state of permanent erosion. T&T could consider potential erosion on the sandy seabed where embedded armour rocks will dislodge at the toe on the seaward face.

    Moderate swells can overtop the shingle bank however erosion from NE swells is minimal but significant from the SE when the coastal sediment drift is more active. T&T review could include how a significantly weaker beach will cope with extreme swells over 1.5m and severe swells over 2.0m. Extraordinary swells over 2.5m were last seen in 1974. This event involved cleaning up a huge mess and repairing the Port Breakwater due to 7.2m waves. Councils must provide protection that withstood past events or condone residents living in fear waiting for similar swells.

    Becas reports need a major review because they were adopted by NCC:
    • before permanent erosion was conceded and accepted by all engineers.
    • before a sea level rise of 0.5 meter was re-calculated to 1.1 meters.
    • before severe inshore erosion and dumping waves made swimming unsafe.
    • when the beach was accessible without steps or a vertical bank to negotiate.
    • when residents accepted a breakwater was vital to save their properties.
    • when destruction of City Reef was absolutely necessary to save Kiwi Beach.
    • when NCC insisted the new breakwater will bring back beach sand.
    • when Councillors got elected on promises Westshore Beach will be restored.
    • when locals accepted a new sandy beach at the south end was possible.
    • when engineers failed to recognise erosion was a man-made problem.
    • when the Marine Parade was considered an endless source of cheap filling.

    The Port Company advises the shipping channel traps an average 20,000m3 of sand each year. Engineers agree this material, moving in the sediment drift, would otherwise replenish Westshore Beach. As owner of the Port, the HBRC should consider transferring the sand from the suction dredge to a barge so material can be dumped west of the Inner Channel. Sand would then deposit on the beach, just as it did prior to regular deepening of the shipping channel. Because 30,000m3 of sand leaves Westshore each year, and just 15,000m3 is imported as nourishment, there is a huge inshore deficit. The Westshore community will soon forgive a vital industry if they at least fess up and make a start at fixing a once treasured beach with little appeal and limited access.

    NCC has abdicated all responsibility to HBRC who have controlled and managed the Nourishment Scheme for 28 years. HBRC contend Westshore is natural erosion and not man-made because as owner of the Port, they are the culpable party with the privilege of being the regulator and administrator of erosion solutions. HBRC has formed a joint committee to formulate a Coastal Strategy under their complete control. This committee of Councillors will facilitate slow progress or aid and abet a disaster. A timely outcome is unlikely when HBRC engineers predict several years to formulate and many more before implementation. Confidence to have erosion attended to is very low when two Councils take five years between a simple Consent Application (August 2009) and this mid stage Pre-hearing (July 2014). Deemed urgent work in 1998, Westshore Beach has endured 16 years without adequate protection.

    The content of this Presentation for Discussion was sent to Cr Beaven because he is the HBRC member on the Coastal Strategy committee. Understandably, he had no idea the Coastal Strategy resulted from a directive from the Ombudsman to the HBRC to answer my question “why is beach nourishment the best long term solution for Westshore Beach?”. My complaint was upheld because HBRC simply refused to answer this basic question for a project the HBRC has been in full control since 1985. Cr Beaven further added, in an email on the 11 June 2014, “there are arguably more urgent matters to deal with at Clifton and Haumoana”. I was staggered and disappointed with his comment.

    Larry Dallimore

Leave a Reply

'Pure' Water ... Really?

30 November 2015

What is an EOC? Many of these contaminants are not new or ‘emerging’ at all. Indeed they have been part…

WINZ: The Last Place You Want To Be

30 November 2015

But Work and Income New Zealand (WINZ) is no longer just the domain of the archetypal beneficiary: long-term, multi-generational and…