An Otago peninsula group says a breakwater is urgently needed to stop erosion threatening several coastal houses.
Residents at Te Rauone Beach at Harington Point say the movements of container ships have intensified the problem.
Te Rauone Beach Coast Care Group chair Hoani Langsbury, says the beach just inside the harbour heads has been eroding for more than 50 years - but now it's getting much worse.
He says large container ships heading to Port Chalmers create a wall of water.
One resident, Graeme McLean, told says over the last six years the sea has claimed eight metres of land and he has had to put down rocks to protect his house.
Mr McLean says it is frustrating to see the council pouring money into trying unsuccessfully to save Middle Beach at St Clair but not doing anything for Harington Point.
The group and Port Otago are proposing a 100 metre rock breakwater to protect the beach but the community group needs $160,000 to match a similar investment from Port Otago to build it.
They plan to take the plan to Dunedin City Council in May.
The council says, however, the Te Rauone Beach situation is not an emergency and will have to be considered in the annual plan.