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Local sand mining battle continues


Mangawhai Harbour Restoration Society (MHRS) member Ken Rayward has been following McCallum Brothers application for a new resource consent as the company continues to extract sand off the Te Arai/Pakiri coast despite their current permit having expired in September. Auckland Council’s regulatory support officer advised Rayward that the hearing for McCallum’s consent application will not happen till March 2021, which is a cause for concern he says.

“Reports of night time mining activities using their new unconsented mining vessel with far higher sand removal capabilities operating close to shore, should not be allowed to proceed, and should be halted until the March hearing results are known,” says Rayward. “Every grain of sand lost over this next six months cannot be replaced and will add further to the damage done over the past ten years.”

McCallums are seeking a 25 year extension of their license to extract 1.9 millon cubic metres of sand – the size of Mangawhai’s iconic dune and the Distal Spit combined plus another two thirds – which will change the nearby beaches and coastline forever, Rayward says.

“We understand over 600 submissions have been received regarding the new sand extraction consent, and all of these are opposed to it being approved. However It is important to not take for granted that this level of opposition will mean that the McCallum proposal will be rejected, with continued opposition to the authorities being sustained.”

On behalf of the MHRS Rayward would like to acknowledge the great community initiative from Tim and Carol Brown for sponsoring Sand Wars. “They brought into Mangawhai a greater awareness of the perils being experienced by coastal communities across the world as a result of nearshore sand mining,” he says. “The film highlighted the awful possibility of what will be experienced here on our own coastline, without our community’s passionate opposition and supportive scientific data.”

To be continued…

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