During the past two decades the coastal districts of New Zealand have received increasing attention, in terms of recreation, settlement, pollution and the evaluation of mineral deposits. This trend is clearly in evidence along the west Wellington coast, especially in relation to the pressure of a rapidly increasing population on coastal facilities. The region considered in this thesis as the west Wellington coast is shown in Figure 1. For the southern coastal section, recently-mooted development proposals include the offshore siting of a Jumbo Jet airport and the establishment of a marina complex, with accompanying breakwater, in the vicinity of Kapiti Island. This southern section has a documented history of incipient erosion since the 1930's, the consequences of which have been accentuated by widespread road, housing and property development on the foredunes. In recent months there has been renewed discussion on groyne and breakwater construction to protect these beaches.