A summary of events from the 1932 earthquake onwards.
1970s: Numerous appeals made to Hawke’s Bay Catchment Board, County Council, Government ministers and the Ministry of Works for assistance with erosion protection.
May 1970: Another 2.1m lost from Te Awanga Beach but warnings of erosion had “fallen on deaf ears” according to TAPA president Mr H.N. (Nelson) Bawden. A petition was sent to HB Country Council who finally inspected the beach but said they had no budget.
August 1970: TAPA fears up to 30 homes are under threat from erosion along with the site of the proposed Te Awanga Community Hall with concerns that site will be lost.
March 1972: Frustrated at council inaction, 13 truckloads of clay delivered to build up a bank in front of the houses at East Rd (Cape View Corner/ Te Awanga extension); hundreds of man hours and private investment creating protective concrete and timber walls.
December 1972: Soil Conservation and River Control Council asked to investigate Clifton-Te Awanga- Haumoana coastal erosion including the operation of shingle works in the area. Catchment Board chairman E.A Batson says there’s no money for a groyne at Haumoana.
9 August 1973: Heavy swells pound the shore halving the 4 metre clay buffer zone at Cape View Corner
1973 – 1974: Te Awanga residents using tractor and fencepost boring equipment place a hundred steel railway irons topped with a tyres and strapped in with steel rope to protect shoreline and coast from further erosion. This was before resource consent was required; today consent would be required to remove them.
1974: Around eight storm, flooding, overtopping and erosion events devastate the Cape Coast. Many metres of foreshore are lost, houses are severely damaged and land lost at Te Awanga and Clifton. A row of Norfolk Pine trees lining the coastal edge along the Clifton Reserve free camping area is toppled.
March 1974, Nelson Bawden, president of TAPA, wants local authorities to place groynes in front of houses threatened by inundation. If government won’t help it should shift about 20 houses in the Haumoana extension and 30 in Te Awanga.
March 1974: In 1972 the Clifton No2 Domain Board asks local authorities and the Government to help protect Clifton Beach from eroding. There’s no response so it installed a series of four groynes that restored shingle in front of the Clifton Motor Camp. Haumoana and Te Awanga residents are anxious for a similar scheme.
April 1974: Haumoana and Te Awanga residents shocked when HB Catchment Board recommends closure of both the Haumoana and Te Awanga camp grounds to allow Maraetotara stream to cut through the Te Awanga camp in the hope it will stop erosion at Haumoana. The four recently positioned groynes at Clifton Domain were to be removed immediately
17-19 August 1974: Several storm events, seawater floods 300 hectares of horticultural and urban land in East Clive. Clive, Haumoana and Te Awanga areas; 30 homes evacuated. Two Cape View Corner homeowners who have been battling for protection for years finally concede and move their homes across the road to safer ground.
Sept-Oct 1974: Old power poles, tyres and concrete are being used by the Hawke’s Bay County Council to build up the road leading to the No 1 Domain at Clifton Beach which had been washed away by heavy seas in August.
November 19974: Catchment Board engineer Peter Simons reiterates the commonly heard statement more expert knowledge is needed. The board and the Ministry of Works are undertaking research. One ‘expert’ suggested the cost might be $600,000 per kilometre or about $5 million to protect the coast from Te Awanga to Haumoana. If that wasn’t practical the question of shifting the residents would have to be considered, some in East Rd should be shifted immediately.
1976-77: A sea wall (aka sea exclusion bank) was built at East Clive but the beach continued to recede. Erosion is accelerated by the construction of the Hastings sewer outfall.
September 1978: TAPA expresses further concern at continuous erosion, mainly at the centre of Wellwood Terrace Domain. No help is forthcoming from local councils so truckloads of ‘spoil’ and cooch grass were bought in to build a buffer zone.
1978: Three groynes built at East Clive prevent some northern drift and the sanitation plant.