Melody sales@mangawhaifocus.co.nz 021454814
Nadia n.lewis@xtra.co.nz 021677978
Reporting: Julia news@mangawhaifocus.co.nz 0274641673
 Accounts: Richard info@mangawhaifocus.co.nz 021678358



Mangrove removal approved on appeal


Good attendance at the Annual General Meeting of the Mangawhai Harbour Restoration Society, held on Saturday July 27, indicates a continuing healthy interest in the Society’s work.

In his speech, Chairman Trevor Downey acknowledged that foremost in most people’s minds is the mangrove issue and what has been perceived by some as an apparent lack of action following the Environment Court hearing in May 2012. He presented a letter from the Society’s legal representatives to bring the community up to date, the substance of which is reproduced below:

“The MHRS was successful on appeal in securing consent to remove mangroves from four of the seven areas sought. The areas for which consent has been secured are Lincoln Street, Molesworth Drive to Moir Point, “Sand” Island, Insley Street Causeway and Black Swamp Road. The areas declined by the Environment Court are Back Bay, Back Bay South/Kainui Street arm of the harbour, and Riverside to Tern Point.
The Environment Court requested further clarification on the Insley Street and Black Swamp area, given that the evidence of the Landscape Architects in the appeal hearing indicated a preference to retain a small number of mangroves to assist in visually screening the causeway bridge abutments from the seaward side. A revised map of that area was prepared and submitted to the Court making allowances for retention of mangroves in limited specific locations adjacent to the Insley Street causeway.

Since the Court released its judgement granting consent to four of the seven areas applied for, considerable time has been spent in trying to resolve the final conditions of consent with Northland Regional Council and S274 parties (notably Department of Conservation and Forest & Bird). Many of the issues raised by these parties within the final consent conditions were not supported by the evidence heard by the Court and, in some cases, lacked proper environmental purpose and were instead improper attempts to introduce new issues or re-litigate the Court’s rulings in favour of the MHRS.

Final proposed consent conditions were submitted by the MHRS to the Environment Court on 3 May 2013. When subsequently inquiring about the Court’s process in resolving the conditions, we have been informed by court staff that: The matter is currently with the presiding Judge. The Court is hopeful that the matter can be resolved on the papers. Parties will be advised of any directions as soon as they come to hand.”
The community will be advised when the Court has made its final judgement on mangrove removal.
Over the past twelve months, the MHRS has been quietly working away on its regular projects.
  • The plant nursery currently has 11,500 plants ready for transplanting to the Spit and 4,200 seedlings have just been planted. Spit planting will take place in September.
  • The dredge was brought down the harbour in April for its annual maintenance. Next season’s dredging programme will be agreed shortly and in the meantime maintenance will be done on the children’s pontoon. A part of the MHRS’s Resource Consent Application in conjunction with mangrove removal was to dredge further up the harbour but this was rejected. Dredging is therefore restricted to the area already consented.
  • On the Spit, dune fencing has been a great success and has served its purpose well. The noticeable increase in rabbits since control was brought to a bureaucratic halt some time back was of huge concern. Rabbits were decimating the vegetation and creating vast underground colonies. As has been previously reported in this newspaper, a new eradication programme was successfully instigated with MHRS, Fairy Tern Trust and About Tern working together.
  • Upper Harbour Restoration work is still of course in the hands of the legal system, but in the background, the amount of research, paper-work, mapping and negotiation has been enormous.
  • Publicity has through necessity been minimal in view of the pending Environment Court decision, but in the meantime the MHRS has kept in touch with other communities on mangrove issues throughout the North Island. It is proposed that interested communities and organisations seek national government assistance in what is being recognised as a large problem for coastal communities.
  • Of course the MHRS could not function without the day-to-day administration by both Secretary and Treasurer. 
The MHRS Executive is ever mindful of and thankful for the generosity and dedication of the large band of volunteers without whom the MHRS simply wouldn’t exist: nursery volunteers, dredge maintenance, planting teams, rabbit control. 
Election of Officers
Trevor Downey (Chairperson), Loraine Hartley (Deputy Chairperson), Ray Welson (Immediate Past Chairperson); Convenors – Doug Lloyd (Dredging), Warren Stott (Distal Spit), Jerry Pilmer (Nursery), Colin Bennett (Special Purpose – Upper Harbour Project), Loraine Hartley (Publicity). Graeme Smith (Liaison – DOC);  Secretary – Margaret Smith; Treasurer – Deanne Spiro. 

The Mangawhai Focus is the only 'Mangawhai' community Newspaper and is the paper of choice within the local area.

For more information on distribution and circulation please 
click here



Contact Us





facebook   twitter   174855-378


Sales: 021 454814
Editorial: 027 4641673
Office: 021 678357