Construction work has begun on a controversial beachfront property development on Onetangi’s Strand after resource consent was granted back in 2017.
It is unclear why the work has been delayed until 2022 but, according to the consent application, the owner’s vision of a three-bedroom indoor and outdoor living house, complete with an open kitchen and a generous terrace with a sundeck, required using explosives, which alarmed some residents.
Explosives and a digger were used to remove 980 cubic metres of rock from the hillside. It was also necessary to install a wastewater system. Officially 27A and 27B Pah Road, the property extends up the cliff-face from the house at street-level on the Strand. Twenty pine trees were also removed and replaced by native trees and erosion control matting. Critics of the property, which is owned by André ter Huurne and Erica Schmidt Viles, had previously said rock removal via blasting would cause damage to the surrounding area, which includes an ancient pa directly above, and possibly cause relocation of the adjacent public toilets.
Local iwi were invited to make submissions in particular regarding the southern end of the property which was most likely the pa’s summit. Nineteen people made submissions objecting to the house in 2017, among them Onetangi Residents Association Chair David Baigent, who called the plans “outrageous” and said he was “concerned that personal residential ambitions are subjecting the community to a crassly unacceptable level of disturbance”. •Jim Birchall
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