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Home arrow Articles by Topic arrow Ecology arrow SOS for Ngunguru Sandspit
SOS for Ngunguru Sandspit PDF Print
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Articles - Ecology
Written by Steve Marshall   
Thursday, 30 November 2006

Contact: Beverley Woods, Forest & Bird Northern Branch Secretary, 09 436 0932

Ngunguru Sandspit must be saved from the destruction that a proposed housing development would inevitably wreak on this precious environment, Forest & Bird says.

Landco proposes to build a “coastal village” of 350 houses on 36 hectares of the 80-hectare sandspit north of Whangarei that would see about 1000 people living in this fragile natural environment.

Forest & Bird Northern Branch Secretary Beverley Woods says a housing development of anything near that size would have detrimental impact on such a vulnerable environment.

“Landco want us to believe that its development will include measures that will mitigate the environmental impact, but no amount of ‘mitigation’ will change the fact that a large-scale residential development is totally inappropriate in a virtually untouched natural wilderness,” Beverley Woods says.

The visual effects of a large housing development on the unspoilt beauty of the area would be significant, and the presence of 1000 people poses a serious risk to vulnerable populations of rare shore birds on the spit, she says.

Forest & Bird is issuing an SOS – Save our Sandspit – to the local community, asking people to go along to public meetings at Ngunguru Memorial Hall today, tomorrow and Saturday to let Landco know they are opposed to the development.

“Landco has said that feedback on the proposal has been mostly positive – we want to make it clear to Landco that the public wants to protect the precious community asset of the sandspit, and that means not letting this development go ahead.”

The Department of Conservation has recognised Ngunguru Sandspit as an important biological and cultural site which is ecologically unique, is visited by up to 36 bird species (including 14 endangered species), has outstanding landscape and amenity values, and contains wahi tapu sites.

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