Stone the freaking crows #SurfsUp #SeawallNightmares #Dunedin

Otago Daily Times Published on Jan 10, 2016
Surfer rescued at St Clair
Scott James took this video of a surfer being rescued after getting into trouble at St Clair beach this afternoon.

st clair mayor

“It would have only taken one wave and he could have been dead, so he was really lucky.”

### ODT Online Mon, 11 Jan 2016
Rescuing surfer hailed ‘heroic’
By Vaughan Elder
A surfer who carried out a dramatic rescue at St Clair Beach yesterday afternoon says someone will be killed unless the Dunedin City Council acts to make beach access safer. […] The man was warned before entering the water it was too dangerous. Mr James filmed the rescue so he could show the council and others just how bad it had got at the beach.
Read more


### ODT Online Tue, 12 Jan 2016
Surfers ordered away from rocks
By Craig Borley
The waves were big and so were the boulders, forcing lifeguards to order surfers away from the St Clair Beach access steps during day one of the National Surfing Championships yesterday. […] Dunedin City Council parks, recreation and aquatics group manager Richard Saunders said council staff were working with the life saving club and the South Coast Boardriders Association to resolve the issues.
Read more


“You can’t defeat mother nature so we have just got to try to provide a safe place for the public to swim….” –Cam Burrow, St Clair Surf Life Saving Club

### ODT Online Tue, 29 Dec 2015
St Clair unsafe, guards forced down beach
By Chris Morris
St Clair surf life savers are operating from a temporary pop-up tent as sand – and swimmers – are forced further down the beach. […] The western end of St Clair Beach had become “a no-swim zone, really”, as erosion stripping the beach of sand left behind only large rocks protecting the Esplanade’s sea wall, [Cam Burrow] said.
Read more


### ODT Online Thu, 29 Oct 2015
Injury fears over Esplanade rocks
Surf lifesavers fear more people will be injured on rocks piled at the base of the St Clair Beach sea wall. Two people have been rescued from the rocks in the space of nine days. Lifesavers sprang into action on Monday when a young surfer got stuck trying to climb the rocks near the shark bell.
Read more

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr


Filed under Business, Construction, DCC, Democracy, Design, Dunedin, Economics, Events, Geography, Infrastructure, Media, Name, New Zealand, People, Politics, Pools, Project management, Property, Site, Structural engineering, Tourism, Travesty, What stadium

22 responses to “Stone the freaking crows #SurfsUp #SeawallNightmares #Dunedin

  1. Gurglars

    Global Warming, nothing to do with the Clyde dam or normal ebb and flow.

    Just another cop out– let’s build an unused unusable cycleway instead of working on saving a beach so iconic it holds the national surfing championship despite the surfers being unable to leave the beach safely.

    As to the other f..d up bureaucrats OSH what are they doing, only doing stuff when they are not needed–


    • Diane Yeldon

      Gurglars: I think the DCC doesn’t know how to say NO. Someone comes to them with a proposition or a request for money and they try to be ‘nice’ and possibly popular to get votes as individuals, don’t take into account their own extensive planning which should set priorities and just say YES to everyone for everything. So Yes, to Mr Epere (when public forum should NOT be used to seek personal advantage whether for an individual or a group); Yes to cricket lights, Yes to pool, oops, no, massive overkill aquatic centre, in Mosgeil. Yes, to cycleways. Yes, yes, yes, yes, But NOT community centre and library in South Dunedin, NOT remedy St Clair beach, NOT maintain water infrastructure, NOT improve public transport.
      So how could a person categorise the yeses and compare them to the noes? Well, obviously SPORT gets a big yes – and has done in Dunedin at local government level for decades.

      • Diane Yeldon

        About the council’s public forum not being used to seek personal advantage for either a group or an individual, I must check whether DCC has a ‘small local improvements’ fund and/ or a community funding budget (and I’d like to see them to separate sport from ‘charitable purposes’ because the idea that supporting sport is a ‘charitable purpose’ is just the result of cunning lobbying by those in the know and their cronies in power). Then if every community group who wants something puts in a funding application once a year and the fund is capped, there really would be a ‘level playing field’ for all the community groups seeking financial support. The decision making body about who gets what and how much could be delegated to community representatives so there no concern on the part of council elected reps about losing votes in retaliation for not supporting a particular project. This method was used for community funding from Dept of Internal Affirs I think. Worked well. There’s never enough money – never is. But the whole process is fair and transparent.

      • John P.Evans

        Diane, it’s not necessarily sport, the council own a centre for sport the Chisholm Links, they have underfunded this world class potential attraction for the last 25 years. Requiring continuous summer watering to develop the fine turf that greens’ superintendents created in the 1980s they did not even plan to utilise the waste and washwater from the adjacent poorly planned and conceived Tahuna sewage treatment plant. Whilst promoting and even building second and third class attractions they have failed to promote a first class attraction BECAUSE they own it.

        There are no jollies for the staff and planners to build on their precedents.

        It has to be new to get their attention. Unused cycleways and unprofitable stadiums and white elephant swimming pools are votecatchers.

        Sensible maintenance and improving what we have already paid for do not seem to be votecatchers for the votehopefuls.

  2. See ‘The Manchurian Candidate’ (1964). In it, Laurence Harvey is in a bar. A man says ‘I told him to Go Jump In The Lake!’. Harvey leaves and jumps in the nearest lake. It’s similar with ‘Stone the Crows!’. It would be terrible to go round stoning a First Nations tribe of North America. Here at home, there are no crows, but magpies to stone.

  3. Lyndon Weggery

    While I have every sympathy for surfers trying to clamber over solid rocks to get to and fro from the surf, it is sadly ironic that this is the same group that was allegedly thwarting plans some years ago to fix this area in the first place.

  4. Mike

    Yeah the problem here may be that there is no good solution, want to bring the sand back? you’ll have to trash the surf break, want to protect the surf, no sand – no one’s going to be happy here – all the DCC can do to please people is to look like it’s doing something.

    • Peter

      Trouble is they are pleasing no one concerning the St Clair sea wall and other localised erosion problems. They have chosen to wait and see until a solution can be found for the long term. Fair enough, to a point, but the problem has quickly moved up to the urgent category. In the meantime we are witnessing a blame game for this mini disaster. A sign the DCC doesn’t actually know what to do by providing solutions. Fair enough. What can one do when one doesn’t know what to do?
      Worse still when the ‘experts’…. people in the know, presumably, and the armchair variety…can’t agree on solutions.
      Stiffen the defences or have a managed
      retreat? The expert outfit who rejigged the seawall at the Esplanade got it all horribly wrong. Who do you trust if you are the DCC?

      • Elizabeth

        DCC can’t trust itself on very many fronts….. and in this case, because there is no senior in-house City Engineer (civil).

      • Mike

        My point was more that there may not be a solution that will please anyone at all – a difficult place for the DCC to be – hopefully they will realise when they’re at that point rather than flailing around trying to please everyone.

        One day it might be time to take a very big step back, perhaps they’ll have to abandon the esplanade, turn that vertical wall into a slope of tetrapods, install groynes all along the beach.

        • JimmyJones

          Mike, most of St Clair/Middle/St Kilda beaches have good sand – so there is no problem at the moment apart from the odd reckless surfer. As for the future, the new wall when it is fully repaired, should be fine. If it isn’t, then we still have the old wall right behind it. The old wall kept us safe and dry for 100 years. My point is that properly designed sea-walls are durable and long lasting. This has been proven world-wide and right here at St Clair: this seems like a very obvious point, but I will keep repeating it for as long as it takes.
          You can fight mother nature and you don’t need tetrapods, groynes, or managed retreats. In the days when the DCC had engineers and no policy analysts, we fought mother nature, and our concrete and steel wall prevailed.

    • JimmyJones

      Mike, the main problem is that Dave Cull and the DCC have been promoting the idea of a generalized erosion problem. This is misleading.
      There has been erosion of the dunes at Middle Beach – this is to be expected and it only became a problem when the DCC failed to replace the sand and fix the damage. The DCC’s failure to respond was/is the only problem.
      Erosion was the DCC’s excuse for the failure of the new sea-wall. It seems like they were trying to save on concrete, so they only built half a sea wall. The bottom half that stops the wall being undermined when sand levels are low wasn’t built. The DCC has a gradual and expensive solution to fix this, but where it hasn’t been fixed, they need a dangerous and ugly pile of boulders. The boulders can now be removed in some places.
      The other type of erosion isn’t really, it is just the movement of sand. Sand comes, sand goes. You should see that the sand is much improved in recent months. It is only at the end near the pool where the sand is lacking. Avoid the temptation to think that the sand will never return, it always has before.
      There is no general erosion problem. There are some particular erosion problems, but these are easily fixed. The sand will return in due course. My sympathies to the surfers who have to walk over boulders or travel an extra 100 metres to use the other stairway.

  5. Gurglars

    That’s the real problem Mike, there is a great deal of emphasis on “looking good” as in not prosecuting crooks, promoting dodgy hotels on DCC owned land and citing “climate change” as the cause of every disaster, rather than getting the collective hands dirty and solving the real problems inherent in this city.

    Three Waters!

    Ought to be called Three Monkeys as in

    See no Evil
    Hear no Evil
    Speak no Evil ( just b..s..t)

  6. Calvin Oaten

    The “REAL” problem is money! $600m odd of debt spread over some 54,000 ratepayer accounts is a median of some $11,000 per unit. Staggering by any count. Add to this around 6% pa interest on this debt and the cash flow required is around $22m pa.
    So all Cull, Thomson and co. do is talk the flashy stuff, scare the ‘bejesus’ out of the ‘plebs’ over sea rise and promise new five star hotels, talk up the myth of population growth by immigration and enticement of Aucklanders to migrate from their particular hell hole to share in ours.
    When it comes to actually addressing the real problems, like the administration of critical infrastructure, it is front man Cull again, who concocts the reasons and excuses for the abject failure of his and previous councils; through the whole of this century to provide the basics, over the ‘vanity’ projects, promoted and demanded by various pressure groups not in the least interested in anyone but themselves and their own greed. Just think, stadium, conference centres, museums, aquatic centres, cycle ways, cricket ground lights, games and circuses financial subsidies, to name just a few. All debt funded while as Lyndon quotes, promising in consecutive annual plans for capital expenditure on renewing, extending and maintaining essential infrastructure, knowing all the time that they have no intention of honouring those commitments, and when you look at the finances of the city is there any wonder?

  7. Pb

    Darwin missed out there. That guy, whilst foolish, knew he was taking a risk going on in that surf. Govt can’t protect you once the wave snatches you and pins you to the sea floor. Can’t protect you if you climb Mt Cook and slip and plummet 700m. I bet he goes out again, but a little wiser. God forbid we should ever be responsible for our own choices. Imagine a world where we weren’t being encouraged to jump at shadows, and demand someone save us. Good on him. I bet he buys another board and gives it a crack. Those waves were hitting like Thor’s hammer. I’d love to bring that hammer down on all power grabbing wowsers.

  8. Lyndon Weggery

    Well said Calvin. That’s why the crunch comes in 12 days time (Monday 25 January) when our elected Councillors reconvene to make some recommendations as part of the annual exercise to start setting the 2016/17 Budget. This three-day Budget Workshop is a “litmus test” for voters. Notwithstanding the financial constraints that you rightly point out, the Electoral expectation is that top priority will be given to addressing the potential flooding issues of South Dunedin. Everything else is not that important and a re-allocation of financial resources will have to be made starting with ensuring the long awaited Surrey St Stormwater Diversion Scheme is started. As I said to JimmyJones the ORC are telling the DCC that Groundwater levels are manageable and the sea level issue (irrespective of whether or not one believes in climate change effects) is also something that can be planned around in the long term. Bill Brown was on TVNZ ONE News the other night warning the DCC again about the sand-dune erosion at Middle Beach and the current National Surf Life Saving Championships have highlighted the access problems with no sand at St Clair and the relevant problems with the Seawall. We are watching our Councillors carefully who in November have asked for a Staff Report on the situation and what measures can be taken to address the situation and this is in addition to the request for a report on how the Mudtanks went on 3 June 2015 which is now inexpicably 7 months delayed.

  9. Gurglars

    Great Rant PB, a definite PB (Personal Best) that is.

  10. Elizabeth

    ### Wed, 20 Jan 2016
    Group formed over St Clair erosion
    Debate is continuing to rage over what should be done about erosion at St Clair beach. Concerned residents are taking matters into their own hands, forming an action group with close to one thousand members. They’re hoping local authorities take notice and start working on a permanent solution.
    Ch39 + Video

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