Our Beach

November 21, 2009

As reported in the Eastbourne Herald (Nov) the DBRA Committee recently held its first meeting since the AGM when a motion was passed to have a Special Meeting to discuss the beach issues & options.The date of the Special Meeting has yet to be decided but will be in the New Year, allowing residents to research & learn more about the changing Bay and offer their views. Below is some more information regarding official reports about the beach with links to download these, plus a summary of the 2 latest reports this year. We encourage concerned residents of the Bay to do their own research & discuss these issues.

A recently published book Castles in the Sand (Craig Potton Publishing) tells the story of the New Zealand coast–what it means to New Zealanders and what we need to do to care for it for future generations. It describes the natural processes that have sculpted the coast, the flora and fauna that inhabit it, and the ways it was utilised by early Maori and European settlers . . . Author Raewyn Peart, a senior policy analyst for the NZ Environmental Defence Society, sets out the social, political and economic factors that have fuelled the development of the coastline . . . . She concludes that it is not too late to change our management of the coast to ensure continued access for all New Zealanders, protection of our natural heritage, and responsible, sustainable development.

The DBRA welcomes all comments, to this Blog or directly to info@daysbay.org.nz or any of the DBRA Committee members.

Blair Treadwell has written a synopsis of the perceived problems, outlining 2 separate issues – Gravel Accretion & Sand Erosion –

There has been misunderstanding regarding the proposals of the Residents Committee in relation to the beach at Days Bay.

There are two quite separate problems,

1. Erosion of the beach and road verge.

2. The accretion of gravel.

Following repeated representation to the HCC, a seawall has been built to protect the road, with suitable planting between wall and road. No action has as yet been taken concerning the build up of gravel, despite frequent requests of the HCC.

However, as a result of widespread concern two scientific reports have been obtained, one from the department of geography of Victoria University, and one from Jim Dahm, Eco Nomos Ltd, Thames. Both reports were concerned primarily with the beach erosion. Neither tackled the problem of gravel accretion. The seawall north of the wharf has for the present, dealt with erosion, but the scientific opinion is that the benefit will probably be temporary. It is thought that the seawall is likely to be undermined and become redundant. Both reports advocate the re-establishment of dunes destroyed when the road was built, as the only long-term measure of erosion protection.

To achieve this, the road would have to be moved. It is this opinion which has lead to the Committee’s proposals concerning re-routing the road north of the wharf. Clearly there are various possible routes, which might or might not affect the Wellesley College driveway and / or the Pavilion. Some of the Committee, and presumably others, think that the Pavilion should be replaced anyway, but it could be altered.

Considerable work has been done on the reasons for gravel accretion on the beach. This is a sequel of massive rock falls in the Orongorongo area caused by the 1842 earthquake. A “pulse” of water-worn gravel has formed, comprising some 200,000 cubic metres, which has gradually crept around the southern coast and into the harbour. For many years it has been clearly apparent south of Burdan’s gate, and more recently has affected the southern end of Eastbourne, covering the sand and obstructing storm water drainage. It has now reached Days Bay. The movement of the pulse has been assessed with brick markers introduced at Pencarrow, now apparent in Days Bay. Considering the volume of the pulse, it is conjectured that it is likely to cover the whole beach and fill the Bay to the end of the wharf.

Suggestions advanced by committee members to relieve gravel accretion include removing the beach gravel annually, depositing sand over it (expensive and likely to wash seawards) and building a groyne.

It should be clear from the foregoing, why the Committee has been concerned. Indeed all residents of Days Bay should be concerned, as well as residents of Eastbourne as a whole, and the thousands from elsewhere who regularly use the Bay. As the Committee has stressed to the HCC, Days Bay is the premier beach in the harbour area, and a major recreation facility for the greater Wellington region.

I hope these comments will clarify the reasons behind the Committee’s proposals. We are trying to save a major Wellington regional feature, especially for the residents of Days Bay. Constructive ideas and comments would be welcome.

Blair Treadwell, September 2009

The Reports

Two recent reports were published this year. A short summary of relevant parts of both reports follows. Hutt City contracted a coastal expert, Jim Dahm, Eco Nomos Ltd. of Thames, to consult & write a report pertaining to the Petone & Eastbourne beaches. The HCC Coastal Care group had various public meetings over the past 18 months, when Jim presented & discussed his work.  At the same time David Olson & Dr. David Kennedy of Victoria University’s  School of Geography & Earth Sciences wrote a report for HCC on the Estuarine Sediment Monitoring Programme for Days Bay. These full reports may be downloaded at http://www.southlight.co.nz/DBreports2009.zip

A summary of some relevant findings from these two reports follows:

Report Prepared for Hutt City Council, Estuarine Sediment Monitoring Programme for Days Bay, Wellington Harbour

Prepared by April 2009 by David Olson and Dr. David Kennedy, School of Geography, Environment & Earth Sciences, Victoria University

(extracted pages 28 & 29 of the 30 page report)

6. Conclusions and Recommendations

(1) Days Bay currently represents the northward limit of the littoral drift system that transports gravel along the entire Eastbourne coastline, from the harbour mouth. This gravel front has been migrating progressively northward since the 1855 earthquake and has now only just reached the Days Bay embayment.

(2) The recent occurrence of significant quantity of gravel clasts on Days Beach beach is most likely directly related to this littoral drift finally reaching Days Bay

(3) Gravels are transported primarily in the intertidal zone, while sand can move subtidally, down to the limit of wave action on the sea bed. This means that sand-sized sediment was able to bypass the rocky headlands and therefore accumulate in Days Bay, while gravel-size material had to infill the various embayment to the south before it could be transported into the next bay. This likely explains the initial presence of sand in Days Bay, being deposited before the gravels.

(4) Localised erosion of material from the slopes above Days Bay and the rocky outcrops in the intertidal zone are also a source of sediment. This source is likely to have been significantly reduced as a result of extensive development that has occurred in the area. This development has cut-off sediment to the beach.

(5) Problems with erosion on the beach, noted in the past decades, indicates the system is highly susceptible to interruptions in sediment supply. Any interference with the sediment system (such as removal of material) may tip it back into an erosional phase. The current lack of erosion at the southern end of the beach can be attributed its recent connection to the littoral supply of gravel material from the south.

(6) If the system is left in its natural state, it is highly probably that a gravel beach will prograde seaward, similar to what has occurred in Eastbourne in the next decade or so.

(7) Any interruption to the sediment supply, such as groin construction to block the gravels or removal of the gravels from the beach, will likely return it to an erosional phase. Such activities will (i) directly starve the beach of sediment, and (ii) remove a source of sand, as gravel movement in the swash zone causes a breakdown of the clasts and is an important source of additional sand material to the beach.

(8) Proposed nourishment of the beach with sand would be very expensive and would be an ongoing expense. Sand is likely to be transported seaward, especially as the beach was suffering from erosion when it was sand dominated. In addition continued longshore movement of gravel will quickly intermix with any artificially placed sand material.


(9) Applying “let the system be” management approach would be ideal for the beach. Days Bay is likely to become more gravel-dominated in the future, and this will provide protection for the infrastructure present near the beach, and likely extend the beaches width, though the precise change in dimensions is impossible to predict from the data this report is based on.


EASTBOURNE BEACHES – COASTAL PROCESSES SUMMARY REPORT prepared for Hutt City Council by Jim Dahm, Eco Nomos Ltd, Thames. May 2009

(extracted pages 19 & 20 of the 37 page report)


In its natural state, Days Bay Beach was backed by coastal lowlands up to 100 m wide (Carter and Gibb,1985), particularly behind the central and northern areas of the beach. The beach is mixed sand and gravel towards the southern end and predominantly sandy (with patches of gravel) towards the northern end; though locals advise that gravels are commonly transported to the northern end by southerly swell (Mr. John Butt, comments on draft report, June 2009). Photographs of Days Bay in the early 1900’s show 20-30 m of sand dune seaward of the (then narrow) foreshore road.The beach was already exceedingly popular at that time and uncontrolled use was already severely damaging the original dune vegetation

– with the dune only partially vegetated.

Over time, further seaward encroachment of human development associated variously with road straightening and widening, provision of parking, and footpath construction has gradually reduced and now largely eliminated the dunes at the northern end of the beach. Over the last 2-3 decades, the lack of a naturally vegetated dune in this area has resulted in windblown sand losses from the beach. Sand loss from this beach is undesirable given the limited sediment supply evident over the last century and the popularity of the beach. There is now insufficient beach width between high tide and the road to maintain a natural vegetated dune. Seaward encroachment of the road and parking over the former dune and onto the active beach has also led to the need for seawalls to be constructed in this area to protect the encroaching development. Dune vegetation has been planted in recent years but this is landscaping in clay soils rather than a functioning natural dune and the plantings are protected by the recently constructed wooden seawall. There has been community and professional concern with progressive loss of the dune in this area since at least the early 1980’s (Carter and Gibb, 1985).

Restoration of a naturally vegetated and functioning dune is highly desirable in this area as the present situation results in permanent windblown sand losses to landward areas. As noted in the earlier Petone report, a sandy beach without a dune is like a bucket with a hole in it. It is recommended that consideration be given to restoration of a natural dune along the central and northern areas of the beach. This would require either landward relocation/retreat of encroaching development or widening of the beach by nourishment.

Nourishment involves widening a beach by importing suitable sediment from outside of the beach system. Locals advise that suitable sediments exist offshore from the beach – but investigation would need to be conducted to ensure these sediments were not actually within the existing beach system. The seaward edge of the active beach at Days Bay, a location known as the closure depth, may be some distance offshore – possibly 3-5m depth below low tide. No long term benefits can be achieved simply by moving existing sediment reserves around within the beach system. If suitable sediments do not occur offshore beyond the existing active beach, others sources would need to be found. Nourishment should be investigated but as a rule it is expensive. It can also be difficult to match the sediment characteristics of the beach – especially with mixed sand and gravel beaches such as Days Bay.

Dune restoration by landward relocation of encroachment may be the more appropriate option at this site in the short to medium term. However, this would reduce existing parking opportunities, which are at a premium during peak use periods. Any works to restore a vegetated dune will probably also have to address parking and related matters.

Older reports by Carter & Lewis 1995 & Carter & Gibb 1985 can be downloaded at http://www.southlight.co.nz/DBreports1985&1995.zip


DBRA AGM 25 August 2010

September 25, 2010

Minutes of the Days Bay Residents Association AGM 25 August 2010 – Cobar Restaurant, Days Bay. AGM started 7pm. with a short historical av presentation

Chairman John Martin welcomed everyone. The DBRA recognises residents who have made a significant contribution to the community, in particular Jan & Arnold Heine – a formal thank you for all they have done for Days Bay, planting & general community spirit. Invited as DBRA guests to this AGM Dinner.

Difibrillator presentation – Fire Chief Ross Carroll showed a lifepack unit as carried in their trucks. This is the same unit that has been offered to Days Bay by Wal Louden of the Eastbourne First Response Trust. Shelf life of 2 years – pads & batteries need to be replaced. Suggestions & discussion for where to place such a unit. Diane Cheyne suggested Boat Shed, Di Asher – outside of building (cf BoatShed) could be subject to vandalism & should be inside a building, perhaps in Southlight Gallery by Choc Dayz Cafe which is open every day. This discussion will be continued with new DBRA committee & those volunteering to be trained – John Rainey Smith, Joan Martin, Janet Andrews, Simon Hoyle, Hayley Crawford, Rebecca Chevalier, Roger Cooper, Chris Sliper, Diane Seward, Ian Sliper, Jan Heine, Claire Schmidt, Tamsin Mason, Brian Nightingale. NB The Eastbourne First Response Trust have assured that any training costs will be covered by the Trust.

Present – Hayley & Gary Crawford, Simon Hoyle & Janet Andrews, John & Joan Martin, Maggie & John Rainey Smith + Tom & Jude, Diane & Terry Seward, Arnold & Jan Heine, John Butt, Rebecca & Neil Chevalier, Liz & Brian Nightingale, Robyn & Roger, Cooper, Ron & June Cambie, Gerry Thyne & Steph Middleton, Malcolm & Mary Sanderson + son, Chris & Ian Sliper, Mark & Mandy Grenfell, Tamsin Mason, Shona & Trevor Taylor, Valerie Blennerhassett, Ginny Horrocks, Margaret Press, Owen & Jenny Symmans, Clair Schmidt & Hamish Morison, Anthony Walton, Alan, Diane Cheyne, Adele Broadbent, David Woodnorth

Apologies – Mary Greig & Barry Clayton, Annette Begg, Blair & Judith Treadwell, Ian & Lynne Miller, Bev & John Austad, Tony & Mandy McMaster, Steve & Annette Waring, Helen Bremner, Noel & Louise Smith, John Horrocks, Christine Reuhman, Graham Thomson, John Sladden – moved Chris Sliper, sec Brian Nightingale

Minutes from AGM 2009 – mentioned these have been online & copies available at AGM. Moved as read John Rainey Smith, sec. Robyn Cooper, all aye.

Correspondence – none

Financial – Annette Begg not present but copies of the Financial Statements presented. The committee had read & approved these at recent committee meeting. Moved as audited by John Sladden – Roger Cooper, sec. Diane Cheyne

Chairman’s Report – notes from John Martin

Election of Officers – nb a motion was presented by Simon Hoyle “that the committee shall be made up of approx 10 volunteers or nominated at the AGM & the incumbent chairman should organise a meeting within 2 months from the AGM when the committee members will choose new chairperson, secretary & treasurer” seconded by John Butt, motion carried unanimously. Nomiknation – Amelia Manson – not present but willing to be nominated by Diane Cheyne, sec by Justin Bloomfield?. Trevor Taylor moved that existing members of committee be re-nominated. Motion carried & committee duly elected – first meeting is planned for October. Committee will comprise John Martin, Blair Treadwell, Diane Cheyne, Ian  Miller, Roger Cooper, John Butt, Annette Begg, Tony McMaster, Cameron Sanders, Stephanie Middleton, Amelia Manson & John Rainey-Smith. NB Simon Hoyle had resigned as secretary & committee member.

Proposed development concerns – Dave Woodnorth brought attention to the proposed development above Waerenga Road – new house(s) which will affect the ridge line. There are 2 issues of contention before the Council – extensive excavation proposed & removal of extensive vegetation from the ridge line. The resource consent application is in notification stage – large visual impact not seen as important enough to be publically notified. Dave will call a residents meeting for those interested – letterbox drop. Anyone can apply for a copy of the resource consent application. Comment from Adele Broadbent who notes that this development will have a huge visual impact as there are only 2 spurs still wooded & other is in Williams Park. Maybe we have to look at getting Wellington Regional Council to buy some more land.

Tsunami warnings – Di Asher – reporting on Hutt Valley Emergency Management Office – discussion on parameters of the maps to come from this meeting – Red zone 1 metre Tsunami, Orange zone 2 metre, Yellow zone 3 metre

General Business – comments re Annual Picnic after poor attendance last year – put banner on park or community noticeboard. John Martin asked for show of hands to continue the Picnic – all favourtable. Date did clash with Phoenix soccer game in town. Friday evening instead of Sunday?

John Martin thanked everyone for their attendance. Meeting adjourned 8pm.

Excellent Cobar dinner followed (44 tickets sold) then guest Speaker Bob Maysmor gave a superb presentation “The Alphabet of Travel” – photos illustrating his & wife Alison’s world travels.
Simon Hoyle, sec.

Minutes of DBRA Public Meeting Tue 20 April 2010 7.30pm at Wellesley College, Days Bay

Present 57 (+ a few?) Apologies Bev & John Austad, Graham Thomson, Elliot Barnes, Peter & Elizabeth Driessen

Introduction by chairperson John Martin – three issues: 1 Gravel accretion, 2 Dunes & sand erosion, 3 Moana Rd storm water pond. DBRA committee has no authority to act to solve these issues but is concerned & is providing information to Days Bay residents. The meeting will present some of the committee’s findings about the issues of the beach degradation and will ask for a vote – Is there a problem & are you concerned? If so we will plan to meet again in June & hope to have sought further advice from coast care experts.

7.40pm John Butt presented his PowerPoint show on his findings about the gravel pulse, tracer studies, examples of historical & modern photos showing the gravel movement.

8.20pm John Martin opened the meeting for discussion

Krista Huber – 14 year resident & doesn’t consider gravel a problem in the Bay – suggested remedies not necessary apart from the aesthetic aspect . . . ?

John Martin? – Days Bay is one of the few sandy beaches left in Wellington Harbour & some feel it should be saved as such

Warren Owen – showed a number of photos taken during summer, of sunny sandy beach north of the wharf – doesn’t want to change the dynamic of the beach by moving the Park. He has seen no changes in the past 20 years.

Diane Seward – geologist at VUW has recently returned to Days Bay and has noticed the problem with the gravel. Don’t be too hurried to find a solution to a problem that may or not exist.

John Butt – gravel is already 3 metres deep (at Robinson’s Bay?) – yes, still a lot of sand. Some gravel has already arrived in Days Bay.

Susan Guthrie – why is the road solution being proposed & what comes next? John Martin answered – DBRA has no authority & no mandate to do anything but pass on information & residents’ views to Council, etc.

Ian Miller – we should assess whether there was something we can do – monitoring, close watch – this is an appropriate place for thoughts & brief discussion – planting sand dunes – what do people want?

John Martin – next step – approach authorities

Ginny Horrocks – want more information about options

Jan Heine – Coast Care planting in the north end of the Bay – seems successful so far

Tony Hutchins – if there is to be a vote on the problem we need to be clear on what is the problem – gravel is a monster

John Butt – gravel is sure to come & sand is sure to go

Warren – questions “expertise” of presentation

Owen Symmonds – 1 is there a problem or not? Is this the important question/ Must discuss this before any process

Di Asher – has walked the beach for 15 years & noticed changes from one extreme to another during any season – stony beach in summer, sand in winter – we are fighting a natural process

John Butt – new sea wall encourages sand loss

John Horrocks – questions “inevitable force of nature – that’s a contradiction since we have a wall built, etc. We can’t just let nature take its course. We do have a problem and the DBRA committee should be empowered to go further

Blair Treadwell – important that people understand there are 2 separate problems – gravel & sand erosion. We can see the gravle is a problem. Sand erosion requires dune building & that is why the road moving was suggested, to allow more room to let the dunes work

Valerie Blennerhasset – 40 year resident & encourages us to attend the Coast Care group, meetings, etc. (this Thursday) to learn about the value of dunes

Diane Cheyne – long time resident – no problem with beach & hasn’t noticed change – why is the DBRA discussing this when not qualified?

Judy Treadwell – sad there has been so much distress with the issues – has produced a lot discomfort with residents – was the road proposal just an idea DBRA proposed to challenge us?

Noel Smith – was the Wahine storm of 1968 responsible for the increase in gravel?

John Butt – outlined the 4 options proposed in the mail out last year – the “road option” simply required more information to present

John Martin asks for a vote – if you believe that Days Bay beaches face a problem – 37 yes, 16 no

Moira – established 2 problems – gravel & sand – fair comment

John Martin asks for a vote – should the DBRA proceed with gathering information & making contact with authorities about beach issues & solutions – 37 yes, 16 no

Warren – asks for transparency in all proceedings

John Martin asks that the Wellesley board are welcome to write & ask this & the committee will respond

A big thank you to Wellesley for allowing use of the school hall for this meeting.

Finish 9.30pm approx.

AGM 2009 Minutes

August 26, 2009

Minutes of Days Bay Residents Association AGM Wed 26 August 2009 – Cobar Restaurant, 612 Marine Drive, Days Bay – opening 7.00pm

Present – Bev & John Austed, Don Barrett & Brenda Smith, Ray Walters & Carla Bently, Valerie Blennerhassett, Helen Bremner, John Butt & Annette Begg, Rebecca & Neil Chevalier, Diane Cheyne, Robyn & Roger Cooper, Hayley & Gary Crawford, Sarah Crawford, Andrew & Jaqueline Dearle, Charles Gordon, Mary Greig & Barry Clayton, Mark Grenfell, Simon Hoyle & Janet Andrews, Don & Michelle Long, Amelia Manson, Belinda Martin, John & Joan Martin, John & Juliet Mills, Liz & Brian Nightingale, Eve & Warren Owen, Ian & Lynne Miller, Malcolm & Mary Sanderson, Maggie & John Rainey Smith, Chris & Ian Sliper, Tamsin Mason, Claire Schmidt & Hamish Morrison, John Sladden, Jenny Symmans, Blair & Judith Treadwell, Lucy Treadwell, Ginny Horrocks, Noel Smith, Steve & Annette Waring ( any missing, please email info@daysbay.org.nz with names )

Apologies – Grace Dawson, Jorgensen Family, Tony & Amanda McMaster, John Horrocks, Owen Symmans

Minutes of last AGM read – motion to be taken as read & approved – moved by John Rainey Smith. Seconded by Don Long

Financial report – DBRA Treasurer Annette Begg circulated statement of accounts, audited by John Sladden. Currently DBRA has approx $10,000 in savings.

Chairman’s Report by John Martin – The committee has met on 7 occasions throughout the 12 months period that has elapsed since our last AGM. A highlight of the year was the completion and opening of the upgraded changing facility on the beach, followed by the removal of the old toilet block. Another successful picnic was held in February this year. For the second successive year the north team prevailed in the Tug o War competition. The Association has retained its contact with Hutt City Council and the Eastbourne Community Board. Last November the Association wrote to HCC requesting prior notification of any further telecommunication box installations after noting complaints from Eastbourne residents who were concerned by the installation of a substantial steel box adjacent to the 4 Square in Eastbourne Village apparently without prior notification. After initially receiving a negative from HCC the Association was subsequently invited to comment on the proposed installation of a further telecommunications box at the lower end of Moana Road. Association Committee members visited the site and agreed that there appeared to be no impediment to installation.

The Eastbourne Community Board conducted its walkabout on 28 February 2009 and met with committee representatives to discuss local events and concerns. In recent years we have commented on the changing appearance of the beach. A number of reports have been completed by experts over a considerable period of time but without any apparent response from the Councils. On 15 November 2008 committee representatives were briefed by Lionel Carter one of the co authors of the Carter Gibb report completed in 1985. In January we pointed out to HCC that beach sanding problems are not unique to days Bay and environs. The new Zealand Herald reported on 14 January that ACC had spent money on re-sanding the Point Chevalier beach.

The Association has been governed by a constitution that has fortunately not had to be used with any regularity. It does seem that the Association was incorporated in July 1979. Although there was a reprint of the document in 1997, the constitution is in need of overhaul if for no other reason than it still refers to The Eastbourne Borough Council. Updating of the Constitution is a task to be considered by the incoming committee. Obviously any change to the constitution will require to be ratified by a vote at a general meeting.

At our AGM last year we referred to the various concerns voiced by residents particularly the gravel accretion on the beach as well as the ponding of stormwater an the beach at the stormwater drain outlet at the beach end of Moana Road. Local newspapers have also reported on local problems another of which is the erosion of sand from the Council installed retaining walls and the potential undermining of the road in front of Wellesley College. Expert opinion suggest hat the best way to retain sand on the beach is to re-establish sand dunes along the beach with suitable beach grasses being planted to help stabilise the dunes.

Although less of a problem last Summer, the use of the pedestrian crossing in front of Williams Park on fine weekends during Summer and the resultant traffic build up has been a cause of frustration to residents in recent years. All these things have prompted the committee to consider whether there is a better and composite way to address these issues that cause concern to at least some residents. The alternative is for Council to apply “sticking plaster” to problems as they reach a level that requires an urgent response.

Residents will have now seen the concept released by the Association in a recent mail box drop. I do not propose to enter into discussion on the subject at this meeting. As we have previously indicated, the subject of possible change to our Days Bay waterfront is of a level of importance that requires it its own meeting. Tonight you will elect a new committee for the Days Bay Residents Association. If the incoming committee shares the view of the outgoing committee as regards the prospect of changing our waterfront then I anticipate that the new committee will call a general meting of residents to discuss the concept to date and hear the views of residents as regards the support for change. Please remember that any concept agreed by residents will then need to be submitted to the Eastbourne Community Board and ultimately the Hutt City Council for approval and adoption.

Finally I would like to acknowledge again the support of our committee members – a group that I believe is genuinely committed to making Days Bay a great place to live. In particular we thank the outgoing committee members Rebecca Chevalier, Hayley Crawford & Robyn Cooper for their contribution & energy.

Tamsin Mason of Harcourts has kindly offered to sponsor a DBRA news column in the Eastbourne Herald on bi-monthly basis.

John Sladden has offered to audit the DBRA financial accounts.

Warren Owen spoke from the floor – suggested we should reconsider whether there is a problem at all & not waste further time on the “road concept”. Brief discussion from the floor ensued. Judith Treadwell moved – since many interested parties were not present tonight, we should plan a Special General Meeting to discuss the issues raised in the recent newlsetter. Discussion – Valerie Blennerhasset spoke to the motion – encouraging everyone to study the beach & science regarding erosion – mentioned the number of recent local meetings on this subject. Animated discussion ensued – Diane Cheyne attempted to read her letter but stopped by Chair. Ian Miller voiced his objection to the plan. John Martin (chairman) reminded all that the AGM was not to be a decision making meeting & closed further discussion. Motion above was voted & carried.

Election of Officers – all committee positions vacated at AGM. Nominations for 11 positions – current committee members Annette Begg, John Butt, Simon Hoyle, John Martin, Tony McMaster, John Rainey Smith, Cam Sanders, Blair Treadwell plus nominations Roger Cooper (nominated by Robyn Cooper), Ian Miller (Mary Greig) & Diane Cheyne (Warren Owen) – all nominations carried by acclamation.

General business – Sarah Crawford, ECB raised the issue of the current protection status of the 9 Norfolk Pine trees in Days Bay,  – motion that
DBRA make a submission to list the 9 Norfolk Pines as protected in the Urban Forest Plan. Discussion – Ian Miller noted that more information was require to make an informed submission from the DBRA. Voting – motion passed.

Meeting closed 8.05pm. followed by dinner & an entertaining presentation from local author Maggie Rainey Smith “Chasing the Muse”


The urban forest provides a wide range of benefits which are essential to the health and function of the City today and into the future.  It is our pleasure to present the Draft version of Council’s first Urban Forest Plan. It’s now time for people to let Council know whether the document is going to provide the right direction for Council’s Urban Forest. The City’s Urban Forest is a great responsibility and if we manage it well will bring us and future residents tremendous benefits. As it exists today, the urban forest provides a wonderful foundation which can be enhanced over time in a strategic way.

Our urban forest is attractive in its own right BUT it also provides us with vital services – climate control, habitat, biodiversity, soil conservation, water quality conservation, carbon sequestration, gas and nutrient cycling. Overseas studies also point out the importance of urban forests in terms of improved property values, community well being and recreation opportunities. The urban forest provides a seasonal indicator. Elements of our urban forest have important historical and cultural associations.

“Trees are a symbol of endurance and are paramount in our lives. They must be planted and handed over intact from generation to generation.” Ron Flook, 1932 – 2006

The document outlines the components of our urban forest and proposes methods for maintaining and improving the forest in order to offer the city more benefits. Let’s aim for a sustainable forest where, even though our urban forest depends on human intervention, outputs far exceed inputs. Let’s manage the naturally occurring and planted trees to provide the City and Region with enhanced ecological, environmental, community and amenity benefits.

HCC looks forward to receiving your comments, which will be used to improve this draft.

footDews Construction have completed the work on the footpath & crossing at Moana Road. Hit with some miserable weather over the past 6 weeks, the crew of Stuart, Adrian, Matt and Tipi did a superb job whilst being mindful of allowing access to the Cafes & shops with a minimum of disruption. This “initiative” came from the Eastbourne Community Board when visiting the site with HCC staff.  The ECB asked for a solution to the crossing problem. HCC suggested a new crossing would be safer and faster and an extended footpath could help the retailers.  HCC approached the local businesses with a very generous “cost sharing” proposal allowing the benefit of superb dining space in front of the Cafes.

wc demoEnd of an era? The final chapter in the refurbishment of the Changing Sheds – the removal of the old toilet block.

Planting at Windy Point

July 22, 2009

planting“In June two community work bees were held at Windy Point to weed the area and replant with native backdune species.  Over the two days a handful of hardy volunteers filled half a jumbo bin with Climbing Dock, a scrambling vine with many tubers. Where lots of tubers were dug out the new coastal shrubs have no natural cover to help them get established.

It’s an opportunity to experiment and measure success or failure. Three sites were planted to determine how the natives would cope in a totally cleared area, an uncleared area which is free of climbing doc, and an uncleared area where climbing doc is present. Dr David  Bergin, a coastal plant expert, oversaw the planting and will monitor the trial site.
Another  community planting will be held in the coming months to fill the remaining gaps. Here’s hoping the plants grow well and the area becomes another showcase spot for coastal restoration in the Eastern Bays!”

plantingDr David  Bergin (coastal planting expert), Rosie Doole (HCC) & local Days Bay resident Claire Schmidt

Hutt City “volunteer planting coordinator” Rosie Doole & her assistant Carolyn Cowie have been working with groups along the Petone & Eastbourne beaches. Rosie writes:

“In June two community work bees were held at Windy Point to weed the area and replant with native backdune species.  Over the two days a handful of hardy volunteers filled half a jumbo bin with Climbing Dock, a scrambling vine with many tubers. Where lots of tubers were dug out the new coastal shrubs have no natural cover to help them get established.

It’s an opportunity to experiment and measure success or failure. Three sites were planted to determine how the natives would cope in a totally cleared area, an uncleared area which is free of climbing doc, and an uncleared area where climbing doc is present. Dr David  Bergin, a coastal plant expert, oversaw the planting and will monitor the trial site.

Another  community planting will be held in the coming months to fill the remaining gaps. Here’s hoping the plants grow well and the area becomes another showcase spot for coastal restoration in the Eastern Bays!”

seawallOne day with 12 workers & the job was done – the sea wall north of the wharf is now seriously native!

Let’s save our Bay

July 9, 2009

Don’t miss out – Days Bay AGM & superb dinner at the Cobar Wed 26 August featuring author Maggie Rainey Smith. NB all residents are invited to the AGM part of the evening 6.30pm for 7.00pm AGM. Dinner at 8pm. Dinner and entertainment tickets $55 ($60 after 12 August). Ticket sales may be limited. Book now at info@daysbay.org.nz or call 562 7200.

Newsletter 9 July 2009 (distributed to all Days Bay mailboxes) – Recent media releases (Hutt News, 30 June and the June Eastbourne Herald) report on expert opinions that suggest our inner harbour beaches are being overrun with gravel. Are we concerned? Should we try to save/restore the sandy beach that Days Bay has always been known for? If we want to try to keep sand on our beach, changes are necessary. The Days Bay Residents Association (DBRA) welcomes your views. Recent media releases (Hutt News, 30 June and the June Eastbourne Herald) report on expert opinions that suggest our inner harbour beaches are being overrun with gravel. Are we concerned? Should we try to save/restore the sandy beach that Days Bay has always been known for? If we want to try to keep sand on our beach, changes are necessary. The Days Bay Residents Association (DBRA) welcomes your views.

The story so far The article on page 5 of the June 30 edition of the Hutt News has very accurately summarised concerns held by the committee of the Days Bays Residents Association (DBRA) for a number of years. Experts appear to be unanimous in predicting that our once sandy playground and beach will soon become a thing of the past.

350 road

For some time DBRA has been conducting research into the causes of sand erosion and the build up of gravel at the beach. DBRA believes, that left unchecked, the current pattern of beach deterioration will have a negative impact on our future quality of life as residents. DBRA research to date prompts the following comment: –

• Five reports prepared for Councils since 1980, yet no action. download reports

• Gravel pulse reached Days Bay in 2007. 10 more years could see the bay filled with gravel.

• Main Road erosion has accelerated in the last two years. Council needs to use rocks/walls to protect road – the use of rocks/walls causes sand erosion.

• Council has acknowledged the difficulties associated with the lack of natural dune protection and the encroachment of gravel.

350 Eastbourne 1957 & 2008

The Gravel Pulse (nb also see Blog further down – Gravel moving into the Bay by John Butt. Aug 2008) Photos above are of Eastbourne’s southern beach – showing the changes over the past few decades. These images demonstrate the Gravel Pulse moving in a north direction. The Gravel Pulse reached Days Bay in 2007. Within 10 years, Days Bay could be filled with gravel. In recent years the beach at Days Bay has become thickly covered in small gravel at the south end. Because of the erosion of sand at the north end, the road is threatened. Council has constructed a retaining wall in an attempt to stop the undermining of the road. Expert opinion indicates that the presence of retaining walls will hasten the disappearance of sand from the beach. The solution to the problem proposed by the experts is a return to the cultivation of sand dunes. The development of dunes is only possible if the road is moved from its present position adjacent to the beach. If the road is to be relocated an opportunity is created to make a natural connection from the beach to the park area by reintroduction of a sand dune area.

If both these events occur it then becomes necessary to re-design the current Williams Park landscape and upgrade amenities where appropriate.

DBRA has considered the following options:
1 – do nothing
2 – plant dunes
3 – replenish sand from offshore or elsewhere
4 – re-locate the road to rear of Williams Park
Options 2-4 could be considered simultaneously. Option 4 represents major change. As announced at last year’s AGM the DBRA has been giving consideration to a “what if ” concept that would see re-routing of the road together with a revamp for Williams Park and the beach. To aid the in visualisation of a “what if ” concept, DBRA submits a sketch plan for residents to consider.
350 scheme

1 – no change to road, some sense of “gateway” into Days Bay. Keep existing parking
2 – extend dune/native planting area to encompass existing Wellesley driveway
3 – move Wellesley entrance to align with . . . 5
4 – replace bus parking lost in 2 for access to Wellesley
5 – seaside park opens onto Days Bay . . . parking to road and offers unimpeded access to the beach
6 – “soccer field” – same as existing, “moved” to be by the sea
7 – retain existing bush and move footpath to inland side of road – access to 12
8 – “new” Pavilion building directly opposite wharf
9 – family picnic area, trees and grass, children able to run straight onto beach
10 – remove duck pond, possible replaced by “water play” area for small children nearer beach
11 – possible position for pedestrian crossing (underpass). Macrocarpa trees stay with planting around as Kereru Road lower area closed to traffic – just pedestrian access parking to tennis courts, etc.
12 – no change to this park but may have to move pumping station?
13 – existing changing rooms/wc back onto Pavilion park
14 – north Days Bay links to park and beach via overbridge (think “city to sea” but smaller) – big steps on park side to sit and watch soccer – main access for Wellesley to park & wharf.

DBRA is concerned about these issues and has a vision for the future of Days Bay. Local residents may not share some of these views but DBRA welcomes comment & encourages discussion from all residents and any other interested parties. Comments may be made below or sent to info@daysbay.org.nz or c/o DBRA Secretary, 614 Marine Drive, Days Bay.

duneLocal volunteers continue to try and rebuild the dunes north of the wharf. Over the past year, we have learned more about coastal care from a number of meetings, talks & workshops coordinated by the Hutt City. The left photo shows the encouraging results from planting sessions last year.

A coast care meeting will be held at Muritai school library on June the 17th at 7.30pm. The meeting will include a short film by Quinnovic about dune restoration called “Every Grain of Sand”, a talk by Dave Olson an MSc student on his study of the Eastbourne gravel pulse, hopefully a discussion of Jim Dahm’s report on the Eastbourne coast – if a draft has been completed, and discussion regarding local coastal issues and events.