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Viewers feeling the force after Sand Wars screening



thumbnail 19 MF-Sandwars1a-545JULIA WADE

Smuggling, skulduggery, corruption and mafia-style extortion rackets made powerful viewing at a recent movie screening involving the rapid consumption of one of the world’s most precious sources – sand.

Unknown to most people a global war for the mineral has been brewing for many years, a reality brought home to locals recently with the viewing of French director/producer Denis Delestrac’s award-winning documentary ‘Sand Wars’. The film highlights how humans increasing demand for, and intensive mining of sand – the world’s second highest sought-after commodity – for buildings, skyscrapers, highways and even technology, has led sand to became an endangered, finite source as well as desecrating coastline environments and adversely affecting the creatures, including humans, who live close to and rely on, the sea.

Screened at Mangawhai’s Historic Village movie theatre on October 7 and 8, the film attracted full houses, bringing home to many the potential harm ongoing near-shore sandmining activity could be having on the Mangawhai/Te Arai shoreline.

Hosted by Mangawhai Harbour Restoration Society member Ken Rayward and Historic Village trustee John Phillis, who also manages Mangawhai Movies and sourced the film from international film suppliers, says he was delighted the facility could be used to bring passionate locals together for such an important issue.

“I’ve been following closely the recent escalation of concerns being expressed across the broader community on the continuance of sand mining activities along our coastline, and the significant threats these activities would have for the future of Mangawhai,” he says. “So it’s good to provide a platform to commence the building of our own wave of resistance and protection of our much-loved beaches to ensure they remain as they are today for all future generations.”

Sponsor of the film screening, Bayleys real estate agent Tim Brown, says the new experience of promoting awareness of such a huge environmental challenge, was a very rewarding experience for himself and wife Carol, the issue ‘one we are very proud to be involved with’.

“The broad spectrum of people that attended over the two evenings, while diverse in their backgrounds, all had one common bond that resonated across them all, and that was an unflinching passion to protect the most treasured asset of Mangawhai – our beaches and harbour estuary,” he says. “At the end of each screening questions raised reflected how serious our community is for the fight we will have on our hands to stop the Auckland based sand mining companies from destroying our coastline.”

n Missed out on viewing this important environment documentary? Just visit mangawhaimovies.com for more showings of ‘Sand Wars’. Interested in knowing more? Visit Friends of Pakiri at facebook.com/friendsofpakiribeach


Not happening in a galaxy far, far away but in Mangawhai’s own back yard, ‘Sand Wars’ viewers were feeling the force to act after the award-winning film drove home the impact of sand mining at two recent screenings. Host John Phillis and sponsor Tim Brown engage the audience in a discussion on the long-term effects of nearshore mining on Mangawhai’s coastline as well as ideas on how to fight sand mining companies seeking consent.



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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