A project to halt erosion along a stretch of beach at Ōmāpere is in its final stages, with Freese Park Reserve now open to the public.
Far North District Council began work in March to build a 120-metre-long seawall along the beachfront to fill a gap between two existing seawalls. The new wall consists of large boulders placed on geo-technical fabric designed to stop vulnerable land from being lost to the Hokianga Harbour. Works also included drainage installed in parts of the reserve and beach access from the playground developed, consisting of a gravel pathway to the wharf path and a new ramp down to the beach.
The remaining works include removing site fencing and completing landscaping, which will be done next year. Ngati Korokoro hapū, as tangata whenua, plans to involve the local community and schools with the landscaping but is delaying planting until autumn 2024 due to predictions of a dry summer.
The beachfront at Freese Park has been eroding steadily over the years and risked impacting council-owned facilities and nearby private properties.
With more than nine metres of land lost in the area in the past decade, halting erosion was crucial to preventing a council wastewater pipeline, public playground, toilets, and a carpark from being claimed by the sea.
As well as the council-owned Freese Park Reserve, the new seawall protects private land at 7 Freese Park Road and 308 Hokianga Drive. The property owners made financial contributions to the project.