Sign at Te Rauone Beach asking guests to stay of the sand.

Dunedin City Council and Port Otago yesterday confirmed the project to restore sand to Dunedin’s Te Rauone Beach along a 2km strip, and redevelop the connecting reserve.

The multimillion-dollar restoration of the beach promises to develop the area into a community and a tourist destination.

“Te Rauone, on the Otago Peninsula, is a site that has rich Māori heritage and historical significance for Dunedin. We are really pleased to be involved in this project and will be responsible for designing and developing a dramatically improved reserve for locals and visitors alike,” said Dunedin City Council Chief Executive Officer Sue Bidrose.

Over the last ten years, the local community pushed for beach restorations but had only faced setbacks. Sea has eroded sand from the beach for the past century, and the facilities have been taking a battering as well.

“I have made a couple of visits to the reserve in recent times. Some of the facilities have seen better days, and so a redevelopment in partnership with the local community has to be the best way forward,”

The council has pledged $900,000 to restore the reserve, over half the cost of the estimated $1.4 million to $1.6 million project. The rest of the funds will be provided by Port Otago, Te Rauone Coast Care Committee, and other fundraising efforts.

The redevelopment is expected to take three years to complete.