These concrete steps on a Kapiti beach once connected a seaside backyard with the beach, but now connect only with thin air. They are a poignant (and somewhat whimsical) reminder of the very real effects of coastal erosion.
This coastline, on the west of the North Island of New Zealand, is subject to ceaseless erosion; many properties are literally being “eaten away” by the effects of waves and weather.
It was this very reality that created intense controversy and antagonism in the district when the local council attempted to place coastal hazard lines on properties as a warning to current and future property owners. However, affected
property owners, concerned that this would devalue their properties, were vociferous in their opposition. Their sustained protests eventually led to the council backing down from its stance.
However, neither the sea nor the weather will “back down”, and with the compounding effect of climate change, coastal erosion is an issue that will need to be confronted sooner or later.