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Home arrow Articles by Topic arrow Documents arrow Ngunguru Sandspit: Values, Community and Property...
Ngunguru Sandspit: Values, Community and Property... PDF Print
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Articles - Documents
Written by Damian Collins and Robin Kearns   
Saturday, 06 March 2010

Final version - minor changes only

This report documents and analyses stakeholder perspectives on the status and future of the Ngunguru sandspit, with a focus on how interested parties perceive and value the landscape. Our research took place at a time when a major development was proposed for the sandspit by its private owners, prompting community concern and interest. We draw on the views of a purposive sample of interested local residents, government officials, and landowner representatives, who were interviewed between February and December 2008. Key findings include:

  • A high level of community mobilisation in defence of the sandspit’s undeveloped character, built up over decades of private ownership and plans for development.
  • A keen awareness among respondents of both the affective importance of the sandspit (in terms of emotional connections and a sense of place attachment) and the likely effects of development on the landscape.
  • A prevailing interpretation of the sandspit as a holistic feature, with inter-related values, the integrity of which is dependent upon preventing development.
  • The rarity value of the sandspit – as an undeveloped beach proximate to coastal settlements and a nearby city – preserved by its relatively inaccessible character.
  • A remarkably widespread (near-universal) level of interest and support for the sandspit’s entering public ownership, possibly via a landswap. Importantly, this extended to the landowner representatives at the time of interview.
  • Local skepticism towards the exercise of private property rights over the spit, due to the identification of higher values, and a sense that with rights come significant responsibilities towards the landscape and the community.
  • Potential development of the sandspit, like that occurring along most of Northland’s east coast, would be suburban in form, and even in function.
  • Community concern to avoid both suburbanisation, and large-lot elite subdivision of the spit, via the preferred option of public purchase of the site, and its conversion to a reserve.
  • A community view of the sandspit that emphasises the immediate impacts of development on a highly-valued aspect of the local landscape, but is also aware of the regional and national significance of the site in both cultural and natural terms.
Last Updated ( Sunday, 07 March 2010 )
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