Lookout tower teetering on brink

Ngarunui Beach’s lookout tower may have just had a spruce-up but remained a forlorn sight this week despite efforts to rescue it from the encroaching sea.

The tower still teeters close to the edge of a big drop, with security fencing alongside keeping the public away from the washed out main access point to the popular beach.

Authorities are understood to have been busy shoring up the area with the maximum quantity of sand they’re allowed to move without resource consent. 

They’ve also now put a protective metal sleeve over and reburied the fibre optic telecommunications cable exposed by the stormy seas.

Raglan Surf Life Saving Club spokesperson Bruce MacKinnon said he understood the Waikato District Council was meantime seeking consent to push another 1000 cu m of sand up the beach.

While this was all “sacrificial” sand – as the tides would keep washing it away – the aim was to delay the speed of erosion in the area.

It was hoped the work would “get us through the last of the winter weather” and into seasons when the tides were less threatening.

Meantime a back-up access track that ran north behind the foredunes had been widened to allow ATVs towing inflatable rescue boats to get on to the beach.

The public was also urged to use this track for beach access and to keep off any dunes. 

Bruce said the surf club hoped – as a result of the work – that it might get through the upcoming summer season. 

However it was also looking at longer-term options such as putting the lookout tower on a new structure or building an observation deck/tower on to the clubhouse itself. This add-on could be in radio contact with a mobile portable tower on the beach.