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Home arrow Articles by Topic arrow Environmental Planning arrow Coastal rifts
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Articles - Environmental Planning
Written by David Lomas, New Zealand Listener   
Sunday, 07 February 2010

New Zealanders love the seaside – the beach holiday, the walk along the remote and uncrowded coastline where their footprints are often the day’s first. But there are new warnings that beachfront-property creep is ruining what we have seen as our unique and treasured birthright. What can we do about it?

When environmental lawyer Raewyn Peart returned to New Zealand after a decade in South Africa, one of the main things luring her home was the Kiwi lifestyle: the golden summer in the sands, the beach holiday and the bach by the sea.

In her childhood, Peart, like many of the baby-boom generation, travelled each summer to the family bach – in her case at Omana Beach, near Auckland. “We all remember those days as special,” she says. “For me, travelling from Hamilton where there was no beach, it was just so exciting.”

...a New Zealand coastal commission could start developing a “heritage coast”, protecting parts of our coastline in the long-term public interest.

New Zealanders feel a very strong connection with the coast, Peart believes. “There is something about it … the waves, the sea, the wind and the sun … the way it all feels on your skin. This feeling of being alive. When we came back, that is what I wanted again. I wanted to buy a bach by the sea. I envisaged introducing my daughter to the kind of upbringing I had had…”

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