News: Heavy swells prompt warning for residents, beach goers

25 May 2022

Wairarapa Regional Emergency Management Office (WREMO) has advised that Wednesday’s and Thursday’s forecast wave swells will be more of a significant event than last weekend’s. If you are currently on the coast, please see the travel and other recommendations below.

The Situation

  • Wave heights have increased. Now expected to reach 5 ½ to 6 metres around high tide. Fairly high energy waves will be experienced, through Thursday especially
  • Midnight to 4am Thursday is when to expect the biggest impact
  • Wave swells are likely to impact Cape Palliser Road again
  • Damage is not expected to be caused by wind, forecast a 20-25 knots

We know from last weekend that wave swells were higher than anticipated and there is that risk again. Greatest risk of course being around high tide.


While there is no need for evacuations, we suggest that if people have friends/family to stay with away from the coast, then they may want to consider that, especially if their properties have been impacted previously. Road access may also be impaired. This is purely a precautionary measure.

All coastal or sea-related recreational activity must be avoided. We also strongly advise visitors not to park or camp in exposed places i.e. roads and parking areas along the coast.

Any new damage won’t be visible until daylight so all travel during darkness must be avoided. This is really important as you may not see impassable areas in time to avoid them.

Work done this week and what happens next

Damage to Cape Palliser Road earlier this week has been shored up to protect the resilience of the road, but that work may be impacted again, with potentially new damaged areas also cropping up. Council will have contractors onsite at daybreak to assess the situation and commence repairs that allow accessibility.  

Tora has had huge sand and debris deposits this week and some of that may get washed back into the sea as a result of these high tides. This situation will also be re-assessed at the earliest and attended to.

We have advised our contact centre staff of this situation and they will prioritise any calls to them during this time.

We strongly advise personal safety first. Do take care and please let us know of any concerns.

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