Island Bay Seawall

The huge swells generated by the severe southerly storm that lashed Wellington in June 2013 caused widespread damage along the south coast. This included the collapse of large section of the 350-metre seawall in Island Bay, opposite Shorland Park.

Island Bay seawall damage after June 2013 storm.

Some of the storm damage to the Island Bay seawall

After the June 2013 storm the Council placed a temporary rock barrier in the broken section of the seawall to protect the footpath and road, and this will remain in place for the time being. Before any decision is made on the options to address the damage the Council is working with the Island Bay community to look at possible changes to the beach, foreshore and roads.

Consultation with the community so far has shown there is interest in exploring all options to cope with storm surges and a predicted rise in sea levels.

The Council has looked at possible changes to the foreshore before, with options developed for the area earlier. 

Tonkin & Taylor have been commissioned by the Council to undertake a high level assessment of coastal processes operating within Island Bay. They have evaluated likely future shoreline evolution and effects on the existing infrastructure, and assessed potential future management options to improve long-term resilience. 

Based on the report, the Mayor and Councillors on the Environment Committee asked Council officers to continue looking at the feasibility of the options, create more detailed designs, and undertake to consult with the community to understand their views.

Read the report:


The options could include any, a combination, or aspects of the following:

Alternatives may arise during consultation.

An opportunity to consider the possibilities

The Council has a responsibility to think about these issues long-term and to look at alternatives. The damage to the seawall has presented an opportunity to work with the community to consider what to do for the long term in this area.

What’s happening now?

The Environment Committee will be considering the project plan and engagement plan for this project on 4 September 2014. 

Officers will then work with the community and other stakeholders to implement the plans once they have been agreed.

Background reports

For historical reports, recent traffic counts, early engagement feedback and other background information relating to this project, the seawall, The Esplanade and the surrounding area, see:

Photo gallery

Check out the photos of the storm damage and the history of Island Bay waterfront.


More information

Zach Rissel
Programme Manager, Our Living City

Phone (04) 803 8156