Eroding major Kapiti park will be shifted to accommodate effects of climate change

A major Kapiti park is retreating 40 metres to make way for the effects of climate change. 

The southern edge of Queen Elizabeth Park is exposed to erosion, extreme rain and wind, meaning the car park and surf club are in imminent danger without action.

There are clear signs of how increasingly unstable weather is taking its toll on the park.

"We've had a bridge washed away - there was a bit of it left - incredibly dangerous," says Greater Wellington Regional Council councillor, Penny Gaylor. 

Queen Elizabeth Park's southern coast is likely to lose 40 metres of foredune in the next 50 years according to a 2010 study, with rising sea levels, erosion and frequent storms to blame.

"We can't fight it, mother nature has decided, so she's managing us away from the beach anyway," says Gaylor.

Greater Wellington Regional Council has taken public feedback into account and will confirm a master plan next year. 

However, it does suggest moving the southern entrance 900 metres north, including everything from Wainui Pa, picnic areas and the Paekakariki surf club. 

"We've got to move the surf club from down here, it's position just in front of the water there and we are going to move it across and we're just going to take it down to this space of land down here," says Paekakariki surf club member, Matt Warren.

That shift alone will cost up to $3 million, and the watchtower will no longer sit on the beachfront.

"We'll have to put in some measures so we can lifeguard efficiently through the change," says Warren.

Proof the climate is changing, forcing the regional council to act now.