More care need for sea­wall says res­i­dent

Auckland City Harbour News - - NEWS - By JESS ETHERIDGE

‘‘I don’t know if you call that ‘good main­te­nance’,’’ Ross Duder says.

The Mis­sion Bay res­i­dent sticks his arm inside one of sev­eral gap­ing holes in the Ta­maki Drive sea­wall.

He can fit his en­tire limb – from fin­ger­tip to col­lar bone – inside one hole lo­cated along the Okahu Bay sec­tion of the sea­wall.

The 7.5-kilo­me­tre wall stretches from Me­chan­ics Bay to St Heliers and is filled with boul­ders and rocks that prop up the busy sea­side route.

Duder is a mem­ber of the Ta­maki Drive Preser­va­tion So­ci­ety and has be­come con­cerned at the lack of care given to the sea­wall.

The sea­wall was built in the late 1920s and Ta­maki Drive was laid on top of it in the early 1930s.

Duder took the

Auck­land City Har­bour News for a tour of the sea­wall, high­light­ing some of the most dam­aged spots. There are a hand­ful of prom­i­nent holes be­tween Me­chan­ics and Okahu bays, where boul­ders have de­graded or been washed away. The miss­ing boul­ders re­veal the sea­wall’s hol­low­ness. Some sec­tions of Ta­maki Drive’s foot­path are sag­ging into the sea­wall. Two pot­holes are vis­i­ble along a five-me­tre sec­tion of the board­walk. Grout­ing is loose and miss­ing in some places. Drift­wood and rub- bish has been washed into one of the holes.

Duder says he is dis­ap­pointed at the lack of main­te­nance.

It’s im­por­tant in­fra­struc­ture, he says. Giv­ing the sea­wall her­itage sta­tus may en­sure it is bet­ter looked after, he be­lieves.

And it’s not just Duder who is dis­ap­pointed.

‘‘It’s re­ally hard to agree the stone wall is well­main­tained with huge chunks miss­ing,’’ Des­ley Simp­son says.

The Orakei Lo­cal Board chair­woman says the com­mu­nity has been let down by Auck­land Trans­port’s lack of care.

‘‘It’s just a shame they can’t do one job and do it prop­erly.’’

Auck­land Trans­port says the wall is ac­tu­ally in good con­di­tion.

‘‘The wall is sound, how­ever there is some tidy­ing up to do after some storms and this year has been no ex­cep­tion – but the work is su­per­fi­cial,’’ spokesman Dai Bindoff says.

‘‘It doesn’t need re­place­ment and so no es­ti­mates have been made.’’

The sea­wall is main­tained on an on­go­ing ba­sis, Auck­land Trans­port says.

A sec­tion of the wall at Okahu Bay was re-grouted and pro­tec­tive boul­ders at the base of the wall were re­aligned last year. ‘‘Based on the wall’s cur­rent con­di­tion, with on-go­ing in­spec­tions and sub­se­quent main­te­nance, the wall is ex­pected to last well into the fu­ture.’’

The sea­wall’s struc­ture is re­viewed ev­ery two years.

All sea walls are at risk in any seis­mic event, Auck­land Trans­port says, and a seis­mic screen­ing of the sea­wall is un­der way.

The re­sults are ex­pected in the next three months.

Care needed: Mis­sion Bay res­i­dent Ross Duder says the Ta­maki Dr sea­wall needs more care from its own­ers, Auck­land Trans­port.

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