deepfried.tv news - Auckland's Northeast Coast Under Attack

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Auckland's Northeast Coast Under Attack

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Dreging is destroying a huge part of the Northeast coastline
29.10.04

Surf.co.nz received a quite alarming email.
The first about the rape and pilage of the sand between Pakiri and Te Arai and on up to Mangawhai. I'm amazed there is any sand left. I have been surfing in this region for well over twenty years and have seen those sand dredges out the back of Forestry in the late 70's and they are still with us. I can remember sand dredges scouring away the sand in front of Mangawhai until the bar vanished with the eastuary opening at the northern end closing and a new opening was breached further down the beach. Foresty used to have high dunes all the way down the beach towards Pakari with have flattened out as the sand spills back into the sea to compensate for the sand removed close to the shoreline. Any way read the attached letter from a concerned beach user and use this oppurtunity to respond and express your concern.

"The basic story goes like this:

Pakiri is a long (c10kms) sandy east coast beach about 1.5 hours north of Auckland. It is part of the Mangawhai-Pakiri Embayment which stretches from Bream Tail to Cape Rodney. Pakiri is probably the last remaining undeveloped east coast beach within 2 hours drive of Auckland - it is a beautiful and remote beach.

In 1993 the Auckland Regional Council granted consents to sand miners for them to extract (ie dredge / vacuum) sand from the near shore waters off Pakiri and also further north at Mangawhai. Near shore means water depths between 5 - 8 metres. The consents were for a ten year period and have now expired. The sand miners have applied for new consents and until their applications are heard they are continuing their dredging.

Since 1993 their have been a number of scientific studies carried out looking at whether the dredging is causing erosion, or not. In my opinion most of the studies have been tainted by the fact that the people paying the bill or being heavily involved in setting the parameters for the studies have been the sand miners...

Recently the ARC commissioned a study from NIWA which said that the sand mining was causing erosion. This was the first study which was independent - ie with no involvement from the miners. Of course this finding was disputed by the miners, but in the resource consent hearing earlier this year relating to near shore mining at Mangawhai the Hearing Committee made the recommendation that all sand mining be stopped there. FYI the Northland Regional Council looks after the embayment from the start of the Mangawhai spit and further north, while the ARC looks after the beach south of the spit.

There is no doubt in my mind (and in the NRC Hearing Committee's mind either re Mangawhai) that the near shore sand dredging is causing serious erosion to Pakiri. This conclusion is supported by a vast range of scientific research and also by my 30+ years of going to the beach and noticing the changes to the beach over that time. For example at the northern end of our property is Poutawa Stream. We have photos of large sand dunes there c 15 years ago - now these have all gone and there is now much older orange-brown Pleistocene sand showing. The stream mouth is the southern boundary of where the sand dredging stops.

Bridge's brother Ryan O'Malley is a very keen surfer and he, and a number of his friends, have told me how the surf there is much less consistent than before. There definitely are more rips, and more holes than in years gone by.

On the beach itself, tree roots which used to be covered by a dune have been totally exposed due to rampant erosion.

From a global point of view, no other western country allows sand dredging to be carried out in such shallow depths of water.

There is definitely a huge problem there and we need as many submissions as possible to be made to the ARC prior to the close off date which is 12 November 2004. It is very much a numbers game and we are trying to get as many people as possible to make submissions saying NO to the applications. The forms are simple and I have attached a copy of them above. Any form which is not filled in properly will be binned by the ARC so I would propose to be the contact person and get people to send their submission forms to either our PO Box 303 242 North Harbour, Auckland, or fax (09) 448 1631. I will then send them on to the ARC and also the sand miners.



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Added by chris source: www.surf.co.nz  



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