By Roger Childs
The Kapiti Coast District Council (KCDC) does its best work in developing shared pathways, cycle ways and walkways, and in supporting conservation groups.
As the coordinator of the Friends of the Wharemauku Stream group, I can vouch for the latter. Former Biodiversity Officer Rob Cross, and latterly John Tesoreiro and his colleague Lawrence, have been very supportive in providing shrubs, seedlings and flaxes, and preparing areas for planting. The other 20+ restoration groups in the Kapiti area have been similarly assisted.
Providing safe access for exercise
One of the great attractions of living in the Kapiti area is the availability of a large number of walkways, cycle-ways and bridal ways for people to walk, run and ride in safety.
KCDC insistence that Transit NZ provide sealed tracks along the McKays – Peka Peka expressway and now on beyond to Otaki, has resulted in a huge amount use by walkers, runners, cyclists and horse riders.
It has probably resulted in more people getting out and improving their health and fitness.
The progressive development of “shared pathways” along Kapiti Road, Mazengarb Road, Raumati Road and now the work in progress along the old State Highway from the “eel bridge” over the expressway in Raumati South to Coastlands, has also increased safety for walkers, runners and cyclists.
Protecting the Kapiti coastline
In the early 2000s two areas on the coast were under threat, with roads likely to be undermined. King tides and storms meant that waves close to Marine Parade in Paraparaumu were eating into the dunes. Sand replenishment and the planting of marram grass and other dune binding plants helped, however this was not enough and rocks also needed to be added.
At Raumati South, debris was washed onto the road during a major storm and there was a real chance that The Esplanade above the beach might be put out of action. The decision was made to build a continuous seawall and ultimately a revetment with a concrete path supported by a large piles of rocks to dissipate the energy of large waves. This followed the technique used in New Plymouth along the hugely popular 8km+ Coastal Walkway, albeit for just 200m in Raumati South!
South of the revetment the path above the seawall was just randomly patched, and inevitably the surface became steadily more eroded by waves regularly crashing over the wall during high tides and storms, meaning that some walkers and runners tripped over on the uneven ground.
KCDC has recently completed the job as the photos illustrate. People using the new surface can now safety negotiate the pathway and get to the beach south of the wall. Unquestionably it’s a job well done to the benefit of the community.