The dubious blessing of councils

Written by John Mills

Who are taking our property rights? – International politics at the local level.

Have you ever wondered why it becomes ever more energy sapping in an activity which requires the consent of a council? Try building a seawall to protect your coastal home which represents your life’s work and retirement property. New Zealand’s coastline is packed with exhausted sleepless property owners who would have constructed walls or other means to protect their land from being devoured by the sea but for the finicky rule enforcers at the council. Concerns of sea level rise, environmental issues, building regulations, resource consents, traffic management, and a host of other blockages make it easier to put off the expenditure of about the same price as a car for the protection of their half million dollar property. And they live on for years in the hope that the next storm does not take out the ground cover of grasses and trees still tenuously holding the shoreline together.

In 1954 a group of top international bankers held an inaugural meeting to establish what is now known as the Bilderbergs. This gathering was conducted with the goal to initiate a slow advance of slave like control over the whole human race under those prognosticators of globalism.

You may now ask ‘why I should introduce this topic of economic thuggery into the a discussion on the building of seawalls?’  At that meeting it was decided to privately wage a quiet war utilising ‘silent weapons’ with the ultimate objective of permanently shifting the natural and social wealth of the undisciplined and irresponsible many into the hands of the self-disciplined, responsible and worthy few. The documented plan has been authenticated by writers for US military intelligence. A careful observer can recognise this proverbial tree by some of its repressive fruits, which manifest in part by massive regulatory increase over the better part of the last century.

Instead of shooting bullets a silent weapon(s) fires processed data containing hard to criticize ever changing disruptions and manipulations of the target communities. And the orders are handed down via central government on to local governments by remote controllers from the highest levels, who also happen to hold the purse strings.

The general public cannot comprehend this debilitating harassment and therefore struggle to believe that they are being attacked and subdued by a carefully constructed subtle and sophisticated system of control. They instinctively feel that something is wrong but cannot express it or know how to acquire a deeper understanding of what is behind it. But they don’t even know where to turn for help or how to defend themselves against it.

Applied gradually the public adjusts and adapts to its presence and learns to tolerate it’s encroachment in their lives until the pressure becomes too great and they crack up in defeat, disappointment and unfulfilled expectations.

On a local level before all that happens, along the way, many of those affected develop a distain for the council, risking a heavy handed official response and doing their own thing which is best in their own eyes.

Although most council bureaucrats try hard to be accommodating, they often work in a state of anxiety as their job tasks include the imposition of unwieldy blanket ruler-ship on to angry and perplexed property owners. Mostly they are too young to remember what life was like before regulations constricted the people’s rights to govern their own actions. For their entire careers those officials have been herded and trained into thinking and acting as if the rules are more important than the goals.

Perhaps we need to be looking for some radical leadership to allow us to start over again.

Info quoted from the (TOP SECRET) “Silent weapons for quiet war” Operations Research Technical Manual May 1979

Vertical wall versus Stepped wall more comment.

John Mills 24/11/17

Vertical wall versus Stepped wall

A focus on wave energy dissipation and the need to limit sand loss to the beach.

The Paekakariki foreshore has suffered many damaging breaches in recent and living memory especially since the large storms in mid nineteen seventies. Technology borrowed from the Netherlands was chosen as being the most appropriate at the time for the Kapiti Coastal Protection program. It consisted of water jetted vertical timbers tied back at the top to prevent forward rotation activated through vibration and settlement of the supporting backfill all a consequence of wave impact.

Effects of the Vertical Timber Wall:
As I have said previously the vertical wall causes predictably dynamic wave turbulence. This turbulence causes sand scour which leads to random lowering of the sea bed level during a certain chain of events and loss of sand in difficult to predict places. The observer can easily conclude that when violent wave motion is stopped abruptly with a solid vertical barrier the forces are deflected up, and down. Waves are also reflected seaward which sometimes incidentally crashes into and reduces the force of the next incoming wave. The vertical wall is an excellent example of the “unstoppable force charging against the immovable object”. All this action is the cause of vibration, further turbulence, and disturbance creating water borne sand. The sand loss occurs by the downward rush of highly pressured deflected water in the lower part of the wave scours at the toe of the wall and carries sand seaward. This sand loss is also randomly affected by occasionally observable cross currents which result in accumulation of sand in some places and loss in other adjacent places.
See the photographic evidence of Bride Coe’s vertical wall under strong wave attack.

The vertical timber wall is a good model to observe the forces applied by the violence of waves and the kinetic energy of the water. Bolt heads are pulled into the timber and strong stainless steel washers cup as the timbers flex and move. Sand is washed in between the structural timbers while under pressure which forces them apart. The supporting material behind the wall does not resist the force of the wave as would be expected and vibrations have been felt more than 100 meters landward.

The case to consider for Stepped Concrete:
It is entirely probable that the large variance in beach levels experienced in Paekakariki would be moderated by the alternative stepped shape which does not deal with the whole wave at once as at present. Also on the homepage site compare the Auzcon stepped wall immediately adjacent to a vertical wall. Both systems are shown dealing with the same wave during storm conditions. At the point where a stepped wall adjoins a vertical wall the wave collides with both wall shapes. At the vertical wall the water is sprayed high in the air while right next to it the same wave is suppressed by the stepped wall with no dramatic consequence.

The stepped wall maximizes energy dissipation. It breaks the kinetic energy of the wave down by whatever number of steps is showing at the wall/water interface. The sand bed disturbance and scouring by deflected water is reduced accordingly.
(That logical sequence of events would not be so measureable with a rock revetment – a very different action entirely randomly unpredictable with the scouring water funneled at pressured force deep between the rocks similar to a fire hose or water blaster).

What can we be sure of:
It is easy to quantify from experience gained over 35 years the negative effects of the Paekakariki vertical wall and the sand loss leading to many wall breaches and high maintenance costs, not to mention the threat to the road as well. The vertical wall causes loss of sand and if it wasn’t for the concrete toe extension shown in the photos the devastation would be even greater.
The effects of scour reduction with the stepped option are difficult to quantify from local experience as we have no examples of stepped walls on the Kapiti Coast. Therefore we are forced to closely study all the sources of information we can get on this issue.

The Foxton Beach Surf Lifesaving car park was threatened by sand erosion which was protected by a stepped concrete wall. With little other information at this point I have observed the steps to be completely buried beneath the naturally restored sand bank.

Photos and information on this wall can be checked on the following links.

Documented discussion:
I have assembled five studies of erosion control and protection methods. One of them is from the US Army Corps of Engineers which states that stepped walls reduce the amount of wave run-up that can be expected. There is a drawing of an identically shaped stepped concrete option to the Auzcon design on page 8 which I believe might allay concerns engineers have of the construction principles of the system. That document suggests multiple times that toe scour is caused by wave reflection which undercuts foundations, and “the nearer to vertical the face of a seawall is the greater the height of run-up”. Also ‘the steeper the face, the more apt the foundation is to be undercut by wave scour at the toe”. We have experienced this phenomenon in Paekakariki and it has been the bane of our life since the original wall was built.

From my reading of other overseas reports the 3 most important issues to consider for seawalls aside from the obvious erosion which may apply to us in Paekakariki.
• Beach accessibility.
• Public use.
• To take whatever measures are affordable within the budget to limit the known and experienced loss of sand from the beach.
The four other studies also which generally support these statements one of which can be downloaded for $35 Euros. I only read the available summary, but the gist is clear.

Making the right call:
• Although the expense is greater, the longer life expectancy of concrete speaks forcefully of benefit to the generations of Paekakariki residents that follow us.
• Much consideration needs to be given to the negative effects of the known deflective and reflective performance of vertical seawalls.
• The positive effects of the stepped concrete wall are compelling. It would be a travesty not to explore the verifiable certainty of managed, scaled back, and dissipated wave energy of the stepped shape at the wave impact zone.
• The Rock revetment option is so fraught with negative effects it should not be considered whatsoever. These negative effects are listed elsewhere except to say that the only beneficiaries of this depopulation of the Paekakariki foreshore as a public playground will be The Parade property owners, who will be able to enjoy their own seaside view without those pesky families messing up the place.

Whatever option is finally adopted overtopping will be experienced. But if it ever became a problem, if the sea level does rise whether man made or other, a curved reflective wall at the curb side would be a not too expensive solution to the inundation/erosion of the road.

As always it is impossible to completely eliminate risk and unknown effects from anything as dynamic as the sea.

More of Paekakariki seawall destroyed

Another section of the seawall undermined and lost.

Paekakariki beach is known for its volatility and overnight change in beach sand levels. When a large amount of sand is shifted by unusual tides from one area to another inevitably the depth of wall foundations become critical. If the sand level erodes lower than the wall then the material behind the wall is washed out by the inherent volatile wave action. This causes a cavity to form behind the wall as the backing material falls into the turbulence. From that time on the wall’s survival is dependent on the strength of the timbers which take the full force and weight of the waves. Loud cracking of beams and snapping of poles can be heard above the sound of the incoming surf.

One may ask – why don’t the workers pour a bit of course, fast drying, concrete between tides into the cavity at the bottom behind the threatened wall when it is undermined by the sea. And THEN replace the lost backfill. The concrete would block off the bottom penetration of the surf and stop replacement fill being lost to the next tide. The wall is destroyed when there is no back fill to support it.

Boulders stockpiled by the council in the event of storm caused wall failure are poured by contractors into the gap left by the destroyed wall. Never mind, one might say, – Some of the boulders may be used for building the second tier of the proposed new wall which will offset a bit of the cost. But maybe not so because those proposed boulders are designed to be of larger size in order not to be dislodged by future wave violence.

When large earthmoving trucks and excavators are employed in a seemingly desperate environment, the potential for large waste of council funds escalates.

Some years ago during a situation I gained council permission to pour concrete into that opened up space. I decided to nip away for a couple of minutes to get a length of reinforcing steel to place in the concrete yet to be poured. And during that time a truck tipped replacement material into the hole spoiling the fix. And of course the wall was destroyed later that week.

Will they ever learn?

The beach level measured from the top of the wall at this point was 3.1 meters

Concrete extension fully undermined and exposed

2 2017

Bit of a mess

3 2017

Outfall flumes wiped out

4 2017

Disappearing back fill

5 2017

Wall in danger

6 2017

Improving access to the beach

The million dollar rock revetment (sold to the public as finishing at the sand track) was constructed with a wheel chair beach access connecting to the walkway and heading south west down to finish up amongst the rocks at beach level. When the sand is not high and covering the rocks at this point it becomes impossible for a walker, (not to mention the wheelchair rider) to actually get onto the beach. Understandably this beach access was built with the final goal of having the rock revetment along the entire beach and the access would have been fitting if turned out to be so. The council recently improved the access with a path to the wall top in the opposite direction.Miles Access

Australia built in stepped concrete with great success!

AUZCON-Stepped Precast Wall
The requirement for a flexible, durable, easily built, long life span, functional, but reasonably cost solution to retaining coast-line areas has been a perplexing challenge for Engineers within Australia and World-wide. This aligned with variable ground and climatic conditions from both land and sea also creates a need for a resilient and multi-purpose product that can be constructed in diverse locations.
The client, Morten Bay Regional Council (MBRC) accepted a Design-Build type contract for Bongaree Beach, Bribie Island, South-East Queensland sea wall-walkway. Auzcon was successful in winning this contract on their design.
Based on years of expertise and a client requirements, a solution was developed to meet the challenge of the coastal scenario provided. The design has been widely acclaimed and is now patented. This brief provides details about the Bongaree Beach retaining wall that is now successfully completed.seawall-auz-2
Bongaree Seawall-walkway nearing completion October 2014
Key Advantages of the Auzcon Design
 Increased safety at water interface-–no need for a top balustrade. Steps easy to install at a low cost
 Assists prevention of erosion. Installation immediately protects the foreshore
 Environmental sustainable – Generally no wet concrete on site
 High standard and flexible styles of finish with multiple colour options
 Flexible building system
o Suits different layouts/wall heights and easily adapted to different foundation requirements
 Multi use- retaining wall, seating, steps and access
 Portable system suited for constrained sites
 Fast mobilisation and easy to install
 No formwork and other construction false work required – beach stays clean of general building tools and equipment
 Low installation and reduced cartage cost
 High Wave energy dissipation. Wall forms a heavy integrated monolithic stressed together structure that can absorb wave energy from storm events
 Stepped precast elements can be built and constructed on site
 Utilises local material and resources
 Suitable for a wide range of situations
 Flexible foundations designed for specific site requirements
 Wall can be raised easily and at a low cost-just bolt on the next step
 Wall can be placed for emergency repair and can be 100% recycled if it needs to be demolished and rebuilt. This means the only additional cost will be labour and plant

AUZCON-Stepped Precast Wall
Photo Sequence of Wall Manufacture and Constructionseawall-auz-3








AUZCON-Stepped Precast Wall
Comparison between a traditional vertical and AUZCON 10.20 stepped wall

Table 1-Comparison summary
It is clear from Table 1 that the AUZ 10.20 sea wall will have a long and useful lifespan giving additional scope to local residents and a long life asset.

AUZCON-Stepped Precast Wall
Construction and Design Flexibility




Some examples of construction flexibility in terms of steps, hand rails, drainage outfall pipes, seating, colour and texture.
Performance in Adverse Conditionsseawall-auz-17
Comparison of wave dissipation between a vertical and stepped wall
 In the foreground is a stepped wall and in the background is a vertical wall.
 It is clear that the stepped wall is a more efficient in dissipating the wave energy.
 A sloped wall will be the worst dissipater, as the wave will keep on continuing up the slope.

AUZCON-Stepped Precast Wall
 The wall is comprised of one type of precast block and SS stressing rods.
 A standard precast block is generally 6 m long and gives a 300 mm riser and a 600mm going after installation. Each block weighs approximately 4.2 ton.
 Blocks are generally laid in stretcher bond configuration with 4 stressing rods per block.
 Corners are formed by special cast corner blocks so that they match in with the rest of the wall in stretcher bond
 The same system can be applied for most walls which means stock can be kept for fast mobilisation/installation.
 Ideal for emergency repair. It can later be removed and 100% material recyclable.
 Small footprint in construction.
 A wall can be completed in short sections, reducing the risk of storm and wave damage.
 A team of 4 can install approximately 14 blocks a day. That equates to 10m x 2.4m high wall completed per shift.
 Stainless steel stressing rods are used to eliminate erosion issues
 Plans are standard for each wall.
 Different foundation types has been identified and designed for the stepped wall.
Foundation Types
 On rock: Under 1200mm from design lower step – mass concrete
 In sand: Condition sand with grout injection, or CFA piles with or without reinforcement, SS screw piles or CFA piles with pile cap beams. Scour protection by vinyl sheet piling

AUZCON-Stepped Precast Wall
AUZCON-Stepped Precast Wall
Case Study Stronger Seawall for Bongaree
Bribie Island’s Bongaree seawall, damaged by a one-in-20 year storm surge last year, is being rebuilt to a stronger standard thanks to the Newman Government’s Betterment Fund.
Inspecting the $3.3 million project today, Community Recovery and Resilience Minister David Crisafulli said $1.9 million was coming from the Betterment Fund to extend the seawall and make the esplanade more resilient.
“The $80 million Betterment Fund is part of our strong plan to build a more resilient Queensland,” Mr Crisafulli said.
“The Bongaree esplanade is one of the attractions that make Bribie Island so special.
“The storm surge from ex-Tropical Cyclone Oswald eroded a significant amount of sand at the base of the original seawall, damaging the foundations and a 200 metre section of concrete.
“Council came forward with a proposal to not only rebuild the seawall but make it better with a longer, stronger stepped structure to improve its resilience to storm surges and wild weather.
“While this project may cost a little more up-front, it will save communities the heartache and expense of repeatedly replacing vulnerable infrastructure.”
Stage one to replace the original seawall is now complete with work underway on the $2.4 million second stage, with $1.9 million from the Betterment Fund, to build a new 250 metre seawall to better protect the foreshore, underground services, drainage, recreation equipment and a public car park.
Moreton Bay Regional Council Mayor Allan Sutherland thanked residents for their patience. “The seawall will have long-term benefits for locals and visitors to this beautiful beach, which is a popular spot for fishing, swimming and walking,” Mr Sutherland said.
“This is an important piece of infrastructure and the extra work we are doing will help improve the resilience of the esplanade.”
Pumicestone MP Lisa France said the project will further enhance the area.
“This section of the Pumicestone Passage is extremely popular with residents, visitors and tourists and we want to do everything we can to protect it,” Mrs France said.
The $80 million Betterment Fund is part of the Newman Government’s push to end Labor’s wasteful approach of rebuilding the same infrastructure to the same standard only to see it damaged again
“The new seawall will help to mitigate the risk of erosion during storm events and deliver safer beach access,” Cr Parsons said.

AUZCON-Stepped Precast Wall
Auzcon Background and Expertise
Our business success comes from our ability to develop valuable partnerships with our clients and the provision of innovative, cost effective and practical solutions to meet their needs. This opportunity for clients is backed up by experienced and knowledgeable staff, providing a large reservoir of accumulated knowledge and expertise that can be utilised for most situations.
Auzcon is committed to quality through continuous improvement through all elements of the job process from concept, to construction, to hand-over.
Auzcon’s expertise has seen the development and patenting of a unique stepped wall design that is easy to build, transport and construct anywhere, anytime. This unique design is suitable for many sites which pose a challenge for many traditionally designed and constructed retaining walls.
Contact Information
Barney Geldenhuys
Mob: 0450117955
Postal Address: P.O. Box 259, Banyo, QLD 4014, AUSTRALIA

Seawall in action

Why do we need to take the Seawall Debate seriously?



BOOF!!! The seawall takes a direct hit in the last big sea.

IMG_3515 (800x600)

And another wave crashes into the recently built timber wall

IMG_3502 (800x600)

Until the wall was constructed the sand dunes and root systems were under severe threat.

IMG_3436 (600x800)

Boiling surf stopped at border

IMG_3522 (800x600)

And after the storm peace breaks out —

The neighbouring sand dune has been eroded to expose round the end of the side wall.

Photos by Bride Coe – Ames Street.

Comment on the wall.

6 meter poles with 4.2 meter palings deeply embedded into the sand and tied back to a horizontal dead man placed 6 meters behind the wall.

It is a great wall, but being timber it’s life span is limited to around 30 years – for the Parade in Paekakariki we MUST consider the longer term.


Get involved in making the best decision for Paekakariki!

Timber Wall Option

Paekakariki Seawall Replacement

For a full list of advantages and disadvantages of the 2 options so far click on Paekakariki Seawall Pros and Cons.

Click on the KCDC Feedback Form print, fill in your details and comments, and post it to the KCDC in time for the deadline 29th May 2015

If you can think of any further advantages or comments worth publishing please fill in a comment on this site. I will add them to the list.


Extended consultation

The design group met for a de-brief meeting following the 2 May public consultation meeting.

It was agreed that the community consultation at present has not yet clearly enough put forward a number of different options for the front, lower, wall of the seawall design.

It is important that we get the communities’ response to some different options for this front wall.  Other options may prove to be cheaper and or have a longer predicted life.  In the end the final choice will be influenced by the cost and practicality of construction, once the fundamental community design criteria are met.  It will be important to include some flexibility to cover different options within the final resource consent.

The other options do not alter the overall design – just the front wall.  The current preliminary concept document (Beca April 2015) covers the overall design but needs to include additional options for treatment of the front wall.  The options for the front wall are:

  1. Flat timber with occasional sections of concrete steps for access (the currently presented front wall in the preliminary concept document)
  2. Stepped concrete front wall, involving the extension of the currently presented large concrete steps along the entire length
  3. Flat concrete wall with occasional sections of concrete steps for access
  4. Flat concrete wall with a timber front face and occasional sections of concrete steps for access

It was decided to extend the consultation period by 2 weeks and provide some simple concept sketches and written info of other options. Also potentially a weekend drop in session at St Peters Hall to give people a chance to discuss and give feedback directly.

This would take the Feedback due date to 29 May 2015.