Wainui Beach Coast Care Group

Wainui Beach Coast Care Group

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Wainui Beach Coast Care Group

Location of main site: Wainui Beach, Tairawhiti East Coast

Date started: July 2011

Purpose of group: The Wainui Beach Coast Care Group’s members are Wainui residents who care about their coastal environment and want to actively participate in protecting and managing that environment along the length of Wainui Beach. The Group’s primary aim is to combat coastal erosion by encouraging the physical restoration and protection of the coastline’s natural dunes eco-systems. Our secondary aim is to educate and raise awareness within the community of the importance of dunes and their vital role in providing an erosion buffer between the beach and the land.

The Coast Care concept is based on a collaborative approach between the Group, the District Council and Department of Conservation where we work together to carry out tasks relating to restoring and protecting the dunes eco-systems. The Council supports the volunteer efforts of the Group with access to advice on reducing erosion and dune restoration and with assistance in providing resources like native plants, fertiliser, signage and fencing etc. DoC has assisted with loaning planting equipment and related support, and Wainui School has participated in some planting and related activities.

The Wainui Beach Coast Care Group also takes a holistic approach to erosion control at Wainui and thus is active in making other recommendations to the GDC that we believe are integral to the overall success of our project.

About the group:

Wainui Coast Care Group - Ten Year Work Plan

Informed by Dr Amber Dunn (local coastal scientist whose Masters and PhD research was about Wainui Beach) and what has been learnt in the Bay of Plenty (through Wayne O’Keefe and also Chris Dohrman, Ohope-Waterford Coast Care Group), the Wainui Beach Coast Care group formulated a ten year work plan. This was submitted to the Gisborne District Council in April 2012 as part of its Ten Year Plan process. We are currently implementing the first stages of that plan.

The Group is also actively participating with other community stakeholders and the Gisborne District Council in the current 2012/13 review of the Wainui Beach Management Strategy. The first stage of the ten year work plan aims to achieve dunes stabilisation and accretion with dunes planting and maintenance, with an initial focus along the length of the beach from the Wairere Road playground reserve in the south to the end of the beach at the Makorori Headland in the north. Whilst the current profile of the beach south of the Wairere Road ‘Schools Access’ reserve precludes an equivalent achievable outcome, a favourable change in beach profile sometime in the future may make it possible.

The full length of the beach has been divided into workable strips and each member assigned as ‘group kaitiaki’ for a strip near their home. The strips are being worked on progressively, extending each year in incremental steps both north and south from the Hamanatua Stream mouth by the Surf Club around the middle of the beach.

The work plan involves planting native sand binding grasses on the front dunes, native flaxes and shrubs higher up the dunes and minimising damage to the plants by human traffic with fencing, flax barriers, signage designed by a local beach artist, and general education. We are also using the signage to measure sand accretion in newly planted areas. So far newly planted spinifex and pingao is flourishing and accretion becoming visible in some strips, especially where plants are being regularly fertilised.

In strips where there is no sloping fore dune on the beach we wish to create one by taking sand up the beach from the low water line. The dimensions of this dune will be 2m wide by 1m high, sloping to zero, and will require 1 cubic m of sand for each lineal metre.

Also included in the plan are explanatory signs and information brochures to help educate the public on the importance of dunes to erosion protection of the beach and its environment.

To carry out our plans, we have requested support from the GDC with:

  • Plants, fertiliser, sprays, and signage.
  • Moving sand to establish the starter dunes where required.
  • Some permanent timber fencing along the top of some sections of the dunes north from the surf club.
  • Temporary warratah, wire and shelter cloth fencing along some other sections of the top of the dunes. We plan to plant flaxes behind this fence so that it can be removed when the flaxes have become large enough to provide a natural barrier.
  • Temporary wooden battens and tape fencing along the beach, 2m up the face of the dunes for a strip from the surf club north to the Chalet access steps. This fencing will be removed when the new spinifex and pingao planted over the past two winters are established.
  • Funds to educate the public on the importance of sand dunes with brochures, posters, books, displays, etc.
Wainui Coast Care Group - Holistic Wainui Beach Management

In keeping with our holistic approach, we have also made other recommendations to the GDC that we believe are integral to the overall success of our project. Details are being worked on through the current 2012/13 Review of the Wainui Beach Management Strategy. These recommendations include:

  • Improved control of the exit of Wainui Steam across the beach.
  • Improved control of the exit of Hamanatua Stream across the beach.
  • The reinstatement of the stairway in Lysnar Reserve below the playground opposite Okitu Store which was removed in 2011.
  • The removal of the macracarpa trees from the dunes face behind the surf club, and replace with native grasses, flaxes and shrubs.
  • The control of storm water flowing on to the beach from the Pines car park.
  • The addition to the GDC website of Wainui Coast Care Group information.

Contact: Jennie Harre Hindmarsh


Phone: 06 863 2996