Auckland Council: Tackling Erosion at Shelly Beach

New groynes and a seawall will help fight erosion at Shelly Beach in Kaipara Harbor, Auckland Council said in its latest release. 

Image source: Auckland Council

Groynes are structures that modify sea currents and wave energy to help trap sand on the beach.

At the beach’s northern end is a mangrove colony that developed after a seawall was built in the late 1950s. Some mangroves and part of the seawall were successfully removed in 2012 as a trial. The rest of that seawall and a further 3200 square meters of mangroves will be removed, returning the beach to a more natural state.

The project will also ‘legalize’ the southern end of the backshore platform that is part of the reserve and was formed by a historic land reclamation, the council said.

Rodney Local Board Chair, Beth Houlbrooke, said that extensive public consultation and feedback has helped shape the project: “The foreshore is a popular recreation spot. Removing the old seawall and clearing more mangroves north of the wharf, will open up the beach and restore harbor views.” 

The project features:

  • five new groynes and a seawall that will be constructed of natural beach sediment mixed with cement to mimic the local sandstone;
  • improvements to 450 meters of beachfront by placing additional sand from the Kaipara Harbor between the groynes;
  • a new walkway along the shore to connect the playground and parking areas.

The work is expected to take about six months and be completed before the busy summer months.