Remedial Work at St Clair Beach - 11th May 2016

The Dunedin City Council via the St Clair Action Group have provided an update on the planned remedial work at St Clair Beach over the next two months.


  • The geobags used to complete the sand sausages have been constructed and are currently being shipped from Australia. These are due to start arriving at the end of next week which is in line with the original timeframe. We are expecting two shipments. Every effort is being made to speed delivery up however it is reliant of shipping dates
  • The first delivery of sand is on site. This sand is being procured from Port Otago and we will receive a shipment a week for the next 6-8 weeks. The amount of sand is far more than what is required for the project which gives us the ability to use it for remedial works should there be a weather event before or during the project. 
  • The contract for the physical works has been awarded to Downers. The contract documents will be signed early next week with site establishment occurring later in the week
  • Tonkin and Taylor are engaged to provide technical advice throughout construction. They will have a presence in Dunedin for large parts of the physical works<
  • OCTA have been engaged to provide project management support for the project and ensure that there are no unnecessary delays.


  • There have been a number of questions about the length of the reinstatement. The 200m length has been recommended by the subject matter experts as the appropriate distance to continue with the holding pattern. A 120m structure would have replicated the existing protection however a decision was made to extend the structure further down the beach to provide additional protection. It will provide protection for the properties which back on to the dunes on Victoria Road. There will be some end effect however the area of dune at the end of the proposed reinstatement is wide enough that there is very minimal risk posed to properties 
  • The alignment of the reinstatement has been recommended by Tonkin and Taylor to ensure there is maximum protection for the existing sand dunes. Flaring the end of the structure away from the dunes creates more risk for the dunes behind. The view from Tonkin and Taylor on this matter is ‘to reduce end effects it is best to return the sea wall land ward rather than seaward. We have effectively done a landward return by angling away from the high tide line at this location’

Responding to a storm event

  • With the sand already delivered to the site we are in a position to respond quickly to any potential storm events. Sand can be placed on the beach to provide additional protection if there are high seas forecast. We will continue to monitor this closely until the completion of the project
  • Additionally we have investigated and are planning to secure a large number of concrete blocks which could be placed at the bottom of the dunes to reduce wave energy and provide a small amount of protection to the toe of the dunes. It is likely that Downers will be using a number of these blocks during the physical works and we will have access to them should they be required
  • The advice from Tonkin and Taylor remains that the risk to properties from a single storm event remains low however we will be vigilant in monitoring this


  • The timeline for the project has works commencing in mid May with a target date of mid June for completion. We are on track to establish on site in the next fortnight and the installation of the bags will commence at this point. The completion of all physical works will likely be the end of June however this will be dependent on the weather conditions encountered during the work. As we will have contractors and significant sand stockpiles on site there will be the ability to respond to any events during this period. The contractors will continue to update us on progress once they are underway and we will be able to keep the community informed. Downers are aware of the importance of this project to the community and will be endeavouring to complete the works as quickly as possible without compromising the quality of the structure.

Reno Blankets at Middle Beach

  • During last years storm event the reno blankets at middle beach were exposed. These were installed to provide Moanarua Road with protection from erosion. It was identified in the December report from Tonkin and Taylor that these blankets were at the end of their useful life and a decision will need to be made on reinstatement. Over summer the blankets have been covered in sand. The advice we have received is not to expose them to carry out works while there is a good amount of sand present. Should the become exposed during winter we will be able to make a decision about reinstatement.
  • The end of Moanarua road that is above the blankets is closed to traffic. We are continuing to monitor this and remove any asphalt that is at risk of falling onto the beach.


  • Information Boards will be produced to be erected at each end of the works. There will be no access to the beach from the ramp at the end of the sea wall for periods of the construction. Contractors will endeavour to provide access when they can but health and safety will be the priority and will result in the closure of the ramp for long periods. 
  • The DCC website will be updated to combine all of the St Clair sea wall and Ocean Beach information. We will make available copies of all of the plans and reports and include the designs for the remedial works. There will also be a space for regular updates on the project.

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