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Home arrow Events arrow Ngunguru Sandspit Protest Walkday
Ngunguru Sandspit Protest Walkday PDF Print
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Action - Events
Written by Wade and Jan Doak   
Monday, 13 August 2007

Like a column of ants walking the intertidal sand strip two kilometres from tip to base: it was a sight not likely to be repeated-ever. It was like the evacuation of Dunkirk twice within a few hours as a small fleet of boats and men up to their waists in cold water toiled with warmth and good will to ferry all comers across the channel to Ngunguru Sandspit in a major fund raising effort to fight for Pimanu; 'gull's cry'; the spit. The organisers triumphed over the staggering logistics of transporting safely across the river mouth from beside Ngunguru School, some 250 people, young, old, babies in prams and on backpacks; a girl with her leg in plaster; Maori, Pakeha and Asian, people from Mangawhai, Te Arai, Matapouri and Taiaruru and all parts of the Tutukaka coast, each with one dream: to liberate the Ngunguru sansdspit from the grasp of developers who would put 350 houses on it. The beach walkers' dream is to see it become a public park and a place where wading birds can nest in safety; and all the other sandspit inhabitants, endangered plants and animals can flourish.

Wardens at intervals along the beach waited to help with refreshments and sandspit knowledge. The high tide had been marked with yellow flags to ensure nobody infringed on the spit. On the return journey people gathered beach litter galore left by the storm: chains of plastic bottles; shirts full of junk; a Maori elder rolled an old tyre; kids clutched golden baler shells, magic-looking sea biscuits or even a bit of flax stick.

And back at base, in a wind blown marquee frenzied helpers peddled sizzled sausages, bumper stickers and tee shirts: the fund to save the spit was engorged.

View photos by Malcolm Pullman and Jan Doak

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