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Home arrow Events arrow Sandspit Beach Walk No Pedestrian Experience
Sandspit Beach Walk No Pedestrian Experience PDF Print
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Written by Linda Donaldson   
Friday, 07 September 2012
Photo by Connie, 2012

A mass organised walk on the Ngunguru Sandspit Beach was anything but a pedestrian experience.

When Ngunguru Sandspit Protection Society (NSaPS) presented an opportunity for a walk on the Ngunguru Sandspit Beach, I was among those who leapt at the chance.

Some had participated in a mass walk before, in 2007 or 2010. But for the ‘class’ of 2012 it was an experience to savour as the Ngunguru Sandspit is now – mostly – in public ownership.

Walkers turned out in force – 170 of them – and were not put off by cold, blustery conditions of the first Spring Sunday or by rain showering the walk start.

Instead, people showed their support for the sandspit being a reserve for generations to enjoy by taking generations of their families out on the walk and chatting to people they met.

The event drew interest from beyond the Tutukaka Coast, with my husband and me meeting a Whangarei Heads man and his daughter. We later had coffee together at SaltAir Cafe and invited them home for the afternoon.

There were even rumours that a hockey team from Whanganui had joined the walk but I didn’t spot any of them, at least not in uniform.

Mid-walk many stopped in their tracks due to the spectacle of a decomposing beached whale. Others went in for spotting endangered dotterel from a safe distance and checking out other shore birds.

Meanwhile those armed with bags got down to the serious business of collecting rubbish.

Snippets of conversation carried on the wind with phrases like “never been here before ... it's special”, “it’s ours and we must care for it” and “years of work to this stage”.

By afternoon it was time for the return walk on this so near-yet so far beach that is dear to us.

As they had on the journey over, boaties did a safe and skilful job of skippering the crowd to the other side.

My day ended with new friends made, awareness heightened, and a sense of shared support for the Sandspit being a reserve for our future generations.

NSaPs says concern remains for the southern end of the Sandspit and Whakairiora Mountain which calls for greatest protection as these areas could be at risk from inappropriate development.

NSaPS is working towards joint management of the Sandspit involving tangata whenua, the community and DoC.

See photos of all the beach walks.

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