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Home arrow Other Coastlines arrow Ohiwa Spit arrow Society warns against Ohiwa spit property sale (11 January 2006)
Society warns against Ohiwa spit property sale (11 January 2006) PDF Print
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Other Coastlines - Ohiwa Spit
Written by Environmental Defence Society (Press Release)   
Tuesday, 24 April 2007

Ohope Gof Club and Ohiwa Harbour from the air.

Environmental Defence Society warns against Ohiwa spit property sale: another Matata is likely

The Environmental Defence Society (EDS) is alarmed to see newly emerging duneland on the Ohiwa Spit in the Bay of Plenty being advertised for sale.

"People seem to have very short memories," said Raewyn Peart, Senior Policy Analyst for the Society.

"It was only 30 years ago that houses in the same area were swept into the sea by powerful storm surges. Development of this land will create another disaster waiting to happen especially given the likelihood of sea level rises and more extreme weather events as a result of climate change.

"There is much to be learnt from the history of the area. A hotel was built on the spit during the late 1800s and dunes surrounding the hotel were subdivided during the early 1920s to create a township. Only a few years later the township was abandoned because of severe erosion and the main street ended up in the middle of a tidal channel.

"But people still didn't learn from that disaster. In 1949 a new subdivision was created further down the spit. It was not long, however, before erosion threatened these new properties. Many also ended up under the tide and were abandoned after another severe storm in 1976.

Your new home is right on the beach... Catastrophic erosion at Ohiwa Spit west of Opotiki (Bay of Plenty) in April 1976 showing the futile efforts to defend the shoreline. Over the last two decades, the spit has subsequently built out seaward by around 200 m to cover the railway-iron protection seen offshore. [Photo: RK Smith]
Source: Planning for Climate Change Effects on Coastal Margins.

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