A proposed new surf lifesaving tower at the iconic Piha Beach has been given the green light by Waitākere Ranges Local Board following community consultation.
The board granted landowner approval for the United North Piha Lifeguard Service to replace the current lifeguard tower, which has been in place since 1976 and has become unsafe, non-compliant and has obstructed views of the beach. It followed a public consultation on the design, which received 133 pieces of feedback.
The new tower, which has received all appropriate planning and consent requirements, will be cylindrical in design, with windows allowing an unobstructed view of the beach and a dark grey appearance reducing light reflection. The club will also remove the existing concrete access ramp and replace it with a new ramp with a smaller footprint.
Waitākere Ranges Local Board Chair Greg Presland says that the decision to grant landowner approval will allow the Surf Club to continue its crucial work keeping people safe.
“It is very clear that the Surf Club need a new tower, one that crucially provides a full view of the beach, which the current tower doesn’t. We know that Piha is a much-loved and iconic place so the new tower needed to ensure that the design was appropriate.
“While this design is slightly unusual, the cylindrical design will give vital views across the beach, while the colour of the concrete and the grey-tinted glass will help the tower blend into the background and not reflect light.
“I want to thank everyone who took the time to provide feedback on this design. Your feedback really helped to inform our decision.”
The works are expected to take between 12-14 weeks and public access to the beach will not be affected.