Mangawhai is known and respected for its community fighting spirit, from the famous ‘Big Dig’ estuary-saving event 30 years ago and it’s fight, and successful stopping of, commercial sandmining at the bar channel entrance.
This spirit lives on, and was well demonstrated on Sunday February 14 with the community rally on Mangawhai beach opposing future sandmining.
Kaipara Mayor, Dr Jason Smith, came alonmg as a concerned citizen not in any official capacity and was immediately immersed in the positive spirit of the crowd attending. He was asked to talk and his heart-felt passionate opposition to the sandmining threat was applauded by all. He did his position and his region proud.
The three bad things about coastal sandmining are:
1. The action of dredging a continuous trench completely disrupts the underwater marine surface, destroying shellfish beds and fish habitats.
2. The Mangawhai-Pakiri coast is a closed abatement location, meaning it does not have a river system that produces sand to replace sand removed. If a barge full of sand is taken from our beaches, the hole created by the mining will be refilled by sand coming from our coastal beaches, not from the seaward side.
In time this coastal erosion caused by mining will have a disastrous impact on our beaches, our estuary, our sand spit, and with this, our bird habitats including the fairy terns.
3. It can never be reversed. No coast in the world could withstand the environmental impact if the three mining consents currently being sought were approved.
New Zealand is the only developed country in the world that allows near shore commercial sand mining. It will take an extraordinary decision by the commissioners who will hear the applications, to gift the keys to our Mangawhai and Pakiri beaches for the sand miners to plunder and destroy over the next 20 years. But as history has shown, it could happen.
The controversial film 'Sand Wars' will have another screening at Mangawhai Movies on February 27 at 7.30pm.