Exciting times for our Coast

Conservation Comment, May   2022

Exciting times for our Coast

Coast Care members remain heartened and grateful to the huge turnout of helpers at last winter’s community planting day near the North Mole. The start of a joint project with WDC to block off and stabilise the huge blow out that repeatedly sends sand across Morgan Street making it impassable to most vehicles.

The helpers put in 5,000 Spinifex, the native sand binder plant, across the front dune area, before sharing a BBQ lunch.

The Spinifex has grown well and is already catching blowing sand.  This area will be extended with another 10,000 plants at Community planting days on Saturday 16 July and Sunday 14 August. (A planting day on the rear dunes, between Manuka and Bamber streets, is also planned for Sunday 18th September).

We have also appreciated being able to be part of Te Puwaha. The first truly community lead large scale project under the transformational Te Awa Tupua legislation.  The abundance model, that utilises the Tupua Te Kawa values, has a strong focus on environmental protection and enhancement.  Something our coast and Awa need.

The abundance model of Te Puwaha shared through nga hui, is working to deliver great outcomes for these areas.  We also appreciated meeting with representatives from surfing, fishing, Progress Castlecliff, residents, DOC, WDC, Horizons and local Iwi, as we shared ideas and information.  Developing plans, we can all happily live with.

Working inclusively develops understanding away from seeing the dunes and coastal areas as just a dump site or place to roar around on bikes, dune buggies and horses. 

Developing respect (manaakitanga) for this fragile environment. Vital for establishing a healthy and stable coastal area which is becoming especially important in this time of anticipated sea level rise. 

  It is great to also hear WDC actively committed to developing a Coastal Policy and Plan.  Showing they at last believe this area is important too. 

Last weekend we noticed fisher folk, walkers, families, and sea birds all enjoying the partly completed repairs to the seaward end of the North Mole.  An active sign of appreciation we thought.   

We are thankful to the work teams, the way the construction has developed and to all who have contributed as part of Te Mata Puau.

The end of the North Mole is now clear of dangerous concrete rubble and reinforcing rods.  Instead, there are carefully chosen sized rocks, placed in appropriate spots creating the foundation of a strong and tidy mole.

Cashmore contracting operators, Iwi representative Kahurangi Simon and Horizon’s engineer Dougal Ross, have done an amazing job during the summer months, and the favourable autumn weather has insured positive progress.  Some members of Coast Care are seeing something they had given up hoping they would ever see in their lifetime !

  Lyn and Graham Pearson, who love living in Castlecliff, are actively involved in Castlecliff Coast Care and other local environmental initiatives.