Erosion of the Foreshore Road at Colac Bay, attributed to climate change, means the road is closed once you get past the houses. The Southland District Council stopped maintaining that stretch of road. Some residents are angry about the Council response to the erosion problem. We visited Colac Bay on 09 January and I was only vaguely aware of the problem prior to our visit. Western Southland, New Zealand.

From a Nov 2020 Stuff article, “Coastal areas of Southland were eroding and retreating was necessary, [Mayor] Tong said.” The article has a photo of how bad the road is – 3rd photo down.

The bay is a short side trip from the highway, awesome when you get there.

Rock wall barrier against the sea. Small community <100 people.

Residents were described as “fuming” in this Stuff article from Oct 2016.

There is a Māori marae at Colac Bay …

I was reminded I still have these photos when Kay McKenzie Cooke published a post on her blog this evening – it has photos taken from her recent visit to the Māori marae at Colac Bay. I hope you’ll visit her page – it’s special to have an opportunity to see the Māori art and decoration at the local marae (which is directly across the road from the sea).

Kay’s post : Southern Gleanings
~ for help with Māori words here’s a Māori dictionary.

Text and photos by Liz; Exploring Colour (2021)

12 thoughts on “Eroaded

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  1. Coastal erosion is a big problem near here too. Homes have been lost in a neighbouring county where the cliff has been collapsing in places on the Norfolk coast. I’m sure it will get worse as the sea level rises. (Great title BTW!)
    The Maori art was interesting to see – some, especially the Tangaroa scroll, is reminiscent of Celtic art.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Linda beat me to the pun acknowledgement. 😀

    I had to go down a road this morning that had both sides deeply washed out from all the rain we have had and hoped, successfully, that no other car would be coming in the opposite direction as a slip into one of those ditches would not have been easy to recover out of without a tow. Not the same as beach erosion but worrisome just the same.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Steve! 😀 This morning I listened to a sermon by a Bishop, from Rhode Island. In his intro he mentioned all the rain and runoff and how the clam/oyster harvesting is paused due to the level of pesticides and chemicals contaminating the water from runoff. Ugh! I got quite a surprise, and shock.

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  3. What a gorgeous stretch of coastline, Liz!

    The struggle between the sea and man is everywhere, and ever changing. The presence of the rock wall along the road is a sure sign that it’s not a new struggle in this spot. I can see why the council would lean toward letting the road go, perhaps part of a long term plan as the sea rises.
    Charleston, SC is working on plans to put up a sea wall around the peninsula to keep storm surge out which I think is a fool’s errand, and colossal waste of money.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. There must still be a lot of people in denial, who won’t face reality! With the increasing occurrence of extreme events I can’t see a ‘sea wall’ offering a solution that lasts long enough to be cost-effective? Your thoughts on it sound spot on Ellen.

      Liked by 1 person

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