Ka whati te tai ka pao te tōrea. Let’s focus on the beach and move forward together.
The beach dwelling tōrea (oystercatcher) spends time observing and listening before acting when looking for kai. Just like the tōrea, we are gathering feedback before making a plan.
Titahi Bay Beach holds a special place in our manawa – our hearts. It’s a 1km stretch of land that is enjoyed by many. We are proud of our beautiful beach, but we know this place has areas that could be improved on.
In late 2021 we reached out to our community to do a safety audit and we heard the concerns loud and clear. Our community told us that things such as vehicles on the beach, lack of lighting and parking, shrubbery blocking sightlines, toilet opening times, and difficulty accessing the beach, made them feel less safe and comfortable using this public space.
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In addition, there are assets around Titahi Bay Beach that need replacing in the near future. While there are plans to do this, given the time that has passed since the assets were first built, consideration needs to be given to what spaces need to enhance the use of the spaces. Aspects such as location, accessibility and usefulness need to be considered. One example of this is the South Access Road toilet block - it is due to be replaced and thought needs to be given to what this part of the beach needs in the way of accessible facilities and the location of facilities.
Some of these things from the safety audit we could remedy right away, and we did, while others require some thought and planning on the best approach. This is where you come in.
We want Titahi Bay Beach to be a place where people feel safe to visit and be accessible for everyone. For this reason, we are embarking on a journey to improve this space, and it starts with speaking with our community.
The 2021 Titahi Bay Beach Community Safety Audit report, recommendations, actions and updates can be found here.
This is our project symbol, the torea or oystercatcher.
This bird, seen around coastal Wellington, picks at the ground and unearths its food - in this context, it is symbolic of the Council working with its community to unearth what is precious about our beach, and how we can make it a place of positive experiences.
Ka whati te tai – the timeline shows how the project will be run in stages for the overall wellbeing of our community.
Council-owned and managed land at Titahi Bay Beach is a large space and if we were to do everything at once, it would have a huge impact on the community, including rates.
Therefore, we have broken the long-term goal of a beach-wide development plan into stages. The messages we receive from engagement in the first half of 2023 will inform concept designs and so to move forward in the quickest way, we are proposing to split the space into two:
- South end – Arnold Park, South Beach Access Road, Bothamley Lane carpark, up to and including Windley Avenue
- North end – north of Windley Avenue up to and including carparking on Bay Drive.
Ka pao te tōrea
The engagement period will enable us to gather feedback and map out a plan. Just like the tōrea we are observing and listening. We will take what we’ve learnt from the community and beach users, and develop a plan for improvements to Titahi Bay Beach, starting with the south end.
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A concept design for the south area will be the immediate focus and a draft will be shared with our community to provide feedback on. The next step will be to take the concept design for the south end area and develop projects and costings. This will then be put into the Long-term Plan as part of the process to get funding applied.
The Long-term Plan consultation is in the first half of 2024 and gives the entire community an opportunity to prioritise what we spend time and money on.
Following the LTP consultation, we will get started on a concept design for the north end area. There are some key topics in the north such as 19 Bay Drive, which presents many opportunities to add to the area. There will be an opportunity to talk specifically about 19 Bay Drive and other areas at the north as part of that next step. A concept design for this part of Titahi Bay Beach will not be started until those specific discussions have taken place.
We are committed to listening to the community and learning people’s connection to the beach in the past, now and in the future.
Over March and April 2023, we and the community had kōrero about Titahi Bay Beach and what it means, as we know it needs improvements for it to be accessible and enjoyed by everyone. This chat needed to happen before we made any plans. It’s about getting it right for future generations.
How did we listen?
- Online survey (now closed)
- Beach explorer activity – for tamariki we hid eight crayon rubbing tiles around the beach. All the tiles together made a picture of Titahi Bay Beach and its features. Completed pictures and the survey were exchanged for a family swim pass to Arena Aquatics and went into the draw to win a family movie pack.
- Footloose and fancy-free play – a free event for whānau held at Arnold Park on Friday 24 March. Tamariki explored the pop-up adventure playground, enjoying a free creative experience with the Nature School team.
- Sunset and kai – we set up the BBQ and shared kai on Friday night, 31 March, while chatting about Titahi Bay Beach.
- Titahi Bay Easter Fair – the fair was vibrant and we were part of it. Held on Good Friday, we chatted about the beach and gave out the beach explorer activity kits.
- St Theresa’s March Madness Fair – our beach explorer activity kits were a hit and we spent the day passing these out in time for the school holidays.
- Beach and library hangouts – we put out our flag and hung out at the beach, mainly early in the morning, and at the Porirua and Titahi Bay libraries for people to pop in for a kōrero.
We will take what we’ve learnt from the community and beach users, and develop plan for improvements to Titahi Bay Beach, starting with the south end. This will take the next few months and sometime in July/August 2023 we will share the plan/s with you to get your feedback. If you have given us your email address, we will let you know when that plan is ready, otherwise keep an eye on our Facebook page or out and about in your community.
Why is it split into north and south?
In a nutshell, the area is large! Taking a phased approach makes it more achievable from both a cost and delivery point of view. We’ll start at the south end first and move to the north end as soon as it makes sense and we have the resources to do it.
What is a concept plan?
A concept plan shows how the general design principles can be applied to a space. In this instance, a concept plan will show at a high level what changes may be considered to achieve the end result. A concept plan is used to check if the design is on the right track and it is used to guide more detailed planning.
Why is the south being done first?
The south is the first focus because its issues are simpler compared to the north. For the north there are some specific conversations around 19 and 21 Bay Drive and these are going to take time. By starting on the south end of Titahi Bay Beach, improvements can get under way and items like replacing the toilet block can happen sooner rather than waiting for the concept plan for the north to be completed.
Is the Wastewater Treatment Plant included in this project?
The Bay Drive properties were sold to Council on the premise it is made into a park/reserve. Why aren’t you just building the park?
Council purchased 19 Bay Drive in 2012 and 21 Bay Drive in 2008. The purchase was made because of the potential opportunities it presented, such as adding to the green space in the area, providing additional access to the coast, and its contribution to Porirua as a visitor destination in the future. There were no caveats in the purchase around what was to happen to the space once Council purchased it. You can find out more information about the Bay Drive purchase here - https://poriruacity.govt.nz/your-council/getting-involved/public-consultation/bay-drive/bay-drive-faqs/
Who was involved in the Community Safety Audit?
There are already plans like this for this area, why are you doing this again?
Yes, similar plans have been done for the Titahi Bay Beach area in the past, with the last being done in 2016. A lot of time has passed and Titahi Bay has, in general, changed. The population has grown and the demographics have changed. There have been some big changes to the way the beach can be used, such as vehicles are no longer allowed on the beach, and we have more knowledge and awareness of the impacts of climate change. In addition, there are the recommended actions from the 2021 Community Safety Audit mentioned above to consider. The previous plans also lacked a mana whenua lens. All of these items mean change and therefore it's appropriate to reconsider the plans with this new information in mind.
What’s the difference between this project and the Reserves Management Plan Review?
The two are connected. The Reserves Management Plan review is a formal process set out under the Reserves Act 1977. Tītahi Bay Beach Reserve and Arnold Park sit within the area of the Arotahi Tītahi Bay Beach project. The key principles and values from the Arotahi Titahi Bay Beach project will inform the review of the current Reserve Management Plan for each of the reserves. This ensures that Council’s management approach to the two reserves is consistent with our community’s aspirations for the wider Tītahi Bay area.
When you say asset renewals, what do you mean?
Asset renewal means the replacement or major refurbishment of an asset that represents a capital investment and substantially extends the life of an asset. At Titahi Bay Beach, the toilet block at the bottom of South Beach Access Road has reached the end of its life and isn’t accessible for everyone. Rather than just replacing it “like for like”, this project gives the opportunity to consider aspects such as location, area usage needs and accessibility.
What asset renewals need doing?
Ultimately the toilet blocks at South Beach Access Road and the northern entrance off Bay Drive will need replacing. The South Beach Access Road toilets have been identified as a priority to replace.
Who are you talking to?
Wouldn’t it be great to talk to everyone! Titahi Bay Beach is a destination for many people for many reasons and a variety of uses. The connection to Titahi Bay Beach is not only local but district, regional and in some cases international. We are proactively making ourselves available to the community of Porirua and one of the benefits of digital channels is people who are not based in Porirua can participate in the engagement. We are not limiting who we talk to. If you have something to share, please do. You can share through:
- Emailing us at Titahibaybeach@poriruacity.govt.nz
- Coming to see us at one of our events or, if you see the flags out at the library, pop in.
- There is also a survey, that you can complete, to come soon
- Phone our customer services team on 04 237 5089
Why does the construction costs have to go into the Long-term Plan and why can’t you just get on with it?
There is a growing number of demands on Council funding and we are working hard to reduce impacts on rates. The Long-term Plan process is how the community get to have a say on what projects and initiatives funding is allocated to.
What will it cost to improve Titahi Bay Beach and will it impact my rates?
The costs to make improvements to the beach will not be known until after the concept designs are confirmed. At this point costs can be collated and it’s these costs that go forward into the Long-term Plan process. At this point the community get to decide what projects and initiatives funding is allocated to.
Project contact details and other links
To share your thoughts and feedback with us about Titahi Bay Beach or this project, email us direct at email@example.com or contact the customer service centre on 04 237 5089.
What else is going on in Titahi Bay - useful links
There is a lot going on in Titahi Bay and here you can find easy links to other projects.
Unique and interesting features
Titahi Bay Beach has some unique and interesting features. Here are a few:
Fossilised forest - Buried beneath Titahi Bay is a series of silt and peat beds, around 10m thick, that contain subfossil tree stumps that have grown 'in-situ' which represent a former forest. Subfossil tree stumps are not a common occurrence anywhere in the world and the Wellington region is fortunate to have two places where they can be observed. Find out more here.
Cable house, 21 Bay Drive – Titahi Bay played a key role in the evolution of New Zealand’s communications. An internal telegraph network begun in the 1860s helped link New Zealand together and the cables were relocated to Titahi Bay in 1917. Find out more here