For those who were here 30 years ago or those who have learned since, it was not just the estuary that had become toxic through lack of movement, but at that time Mangawhai house and land prices had also collapsed.
If even one of the three sand mining consents that McCallum is seeking gets granted by Auckland Council, the undermining of our coastline will accelerate, as will the undermining of property values and our lifestyles that are Mangawhai.
If all three were to be granted, there is not a coastline in the world that could withstand the devastation this will cause - nor will our local community!
The Northland Regional Council (NRC) has recognised this and will be making a submission, to be heard at the consents hearing, highlighting the significant value of the Mangawhai Spit including significant ecological landscape and natural character values, providing protection for Mangawhai’s harbour and surrounding community.
NRC stress a precautionary approach is needed, considering what is at risk if the sand mining does impact the integrity of the spit and this impacts on a number of significant values.
It’s hard to imagine Mangawhai without its protective harbour and white sandy beaches, but if the mining consents were allowed, the volume of sand to be removed is far greater than what is on the sandspit including the large dune, all of which will erode into the ocean, leaving an exposed coastline.
The removal of the sandspit will then fully expose land and houses around the estuary to the full impact of global warming with heightened sea levels combining with lower beach levels caused by the removal of sand.
The wealth of Mangawhai depends on the health of its harbour and this is now under real threat.
The coastal seabed ecosystem from Mangawhai to Pakiri will be permanently disrupted, with nature’s food chains being broken and marine life disappearing.
The fairy tern, whose plight and fight to avoid extinction is recognised globally, will lose its breeding and feeding habitats, along with its fight for survival.
Against this background, there is much being done in preparing qualified opposing submissions to be heard at the commissioners hearing. These submissions have to be lodged by December 10, so there is very little time.
The Mangawhai Harbour Restoration Society, the Friends of Pakiri Beach and the Whanau O Pakiri, have formed an alliance to enable our communities to fully voice their concerns in opposing these resource consents being granted. This operates as the SAVE OUR SANDS – SOS.
This group has now been strengthened with Greenpeace Aotearoa recognising the environmental threat the mining provides, joining with us to ensure the highest level of opposition is provided.
Firstly, a national petition opposing these two mining resource consents has been established, and we encourage all to sign it.
A simple format for individuals to provide their own submissions opposing these consent requests has also been set up, and all are urged to show their support by completing the form.
To take part please visit community.greenpeace.org.nz/petitions/mangawhai-pakiri-sos. Please share with all your friends!
It’s hard to imagine Mangawhai without its protective harbour and white sandy beaches.