Step­ping out

Taranaki Daily News - - Opinion -

The Back Beach steps had a land slip ages ago and most beach go­ers ei­ther used them or were wait­ing for the coun­cil to re­pair them.

We are shocked that half of them have been de­stroyed. This is ab­so­lute van­dal­ism.

In talk­ing to a coun­cil em­ployee, he said they had an en­gi­neer look at it and the cost was too high (es­pe­cially for what an en­gi­neer would want). En­gi­neers for steps? How far does it go?

One won­ders what test he did. If they were dan­ger­ous, why did they leave them there for so long? Many times we tested them as one would see kids go­ing to use them.

Any handy­man-type per­son could see that dis­pos­ing of the pre­car­i­ous-look­ing land­ing (that was not needed any­way) and join­ing the two sta­ble land­ings that were each on the sta­ble ground with di­ag­o­nal steps could have lasted for many years.

But no, they de­cided to cre­ate a land­ing half way up and de­stroy half the steps. De­stroy­ing them, the coun­cil em­ployee said, was to stop peo­ple go­ing down and stop fur­ther sand ero­sion. Any com­mon­sense per­son can see it will not stop any­one go­ing down that way and will cre­ate more ero­sion.

Many beach walk­ers would do the round trip along the beach us­ing the steps. Ob­vi­ously no coun­cil­lors do this, but many of your val­ued tourists and lo­cals did and were ex­pect­ing re­paired steps. Why could not the pub­lic be con­sulted be­fore this ac­tion? I am an ex-builder and other handy­men-type blokes could see there was an easy way to re­pair these steps. We thought they must be go­ing to reroute them or some­thing. We couldn’t imag­ine that they would de­stroy them with no other steps to re­place them. We could have eas­ily re­paired them. Their ex­cuse of ex­tra heavy seas with global warm­ing is pa­thetic.

Coastal ero­sion comes and goes. These steps could have lasted an­other 10 years or more. And a lit­tle re­pair is all that was needed.

Kevin A Har­vey, New Ply­mouth

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