Stand up for the Whangamata surf break

A petition calling for scientific assessment of the impact of dredging on the Whangamata Bar.

Created by

New Zealand

Whangamata Bar Association

1 year ago

297

signatures

2

recipients

1000

Target

297

signed

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Signatures

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Activity

Overview

BACKGROUND

Whangamata is a small holiday town that has benefited greatly from its world famous surf break, The Whangamata Bar. 

Surfers come from America, Australia, South Africa and Europe to ride its waves and legendary Hawaiian Pipeline master Gerry Lopez labelled it “A jewel of the South Pacific”. The tourism related socio-economic impact on the town of Whangamata from this significant landscape feature cannot be overstated.

Surfers monitoring the sand bar have discovered a correlation between the deterioration of the waves and the periodic dredging of the access channel bought about by the opening of the Whangamata Marina in 2009.


The previous Environment Minister, David Benson-Pope, approved consents for the marina with the condition that the Whangamata Bar be monitored for any adverse effects. 

He assured the Surfbreak Protection Society (SPS) in writing that the Waikato Regional Council (WRC) and consent holder The Whangamata Marina Society were obligated to:

- retain appropriately qualified and experienced persons to develop a plan to monitor the sand bar at the harbour entrance

- determine if the dredging and construction had any long term effects on The Bar

- cover the costs of The Bar monitoring program

In 2007, before construction of the marina began, SPS met with the WRC to discuss and help shape the methodology of The Bar monitoring program. 

SPS recommended the monitoring include the concepts of surfing science, of which the key parameters are peel angle which dictates ride speed and length, and vortex ratio which dictates wave breaking intensity.” 


The WRC and The Whangamata Marina Society refused to incorporate surfing science and chose to rely on sporadic Bathymetric Surveys, which only measure the depth of water bodies from the water surface. 

The data these surveys generate:

- has nothing to do with measuring wave quality 

- is not coordinated to take place before and after dredging activities

- provides inconclusive results about the impact of dredging on The Bar


Post 2009 surfers noticed the waves breaking on The Bar had undergone a significant loss of form. SPS approached the WRC and The Marina Society and shared the surfers concerns with them.

Both organisations rejected the anecdotal evidence SPS presented and they refused to upgrade the bar monitoring program to establish the real impact of dredging.

The WRC argued that they and The Whangamata Marina Society were only required to monitor the volume, and not the shape of The Bar or the amenity value of the waves it provides. 

This contravened the Crown’s Marina consent conditions as the “environment” has a statutory meaning under section 2 of the Resource Management Act, which includes “amenity values" and defines them as:

"Those natural or physical qualities and characteristics of an area that contribute to people's appreciation of its pleasantness, aesthetic coherence, and cultural and recreational attributes”


In addition the original consents underwent major change after the concept was presented to the Environment Court and granted approval by the previous Minister. 

The WRC approved new Marina “design dimensions” without having them assessed by the Environment Court or opening them up for consultation by the public or concerned stakeholders.

They also gave (non-notified) consent to the marina company to increase dredging amounts from the 3,000m - 6000m per annum maximum originally granted to the 10,000m per annum currently allowed.

On top of this they accepted reports from environmental and engineering consultants Tonkin and Taylor that say the bar suffered negligible damage from dredging, despite these reports being peer reviewed by Willem De Lange, Senior lecturer in Earth and Ocean sciences who states “as far as I can tell from your results, at the harbour entrance it will not be possible to distinguish any impacts from the marina.” 


HOW INEFFECTIVE MONITORING HAS SERVED THE AGENDA OF THE WRC AND THE WHANGAMATA MARINA SOCIETY

The failure in the current monitoring regime means it is impossible to demonstrate with scientific certainty that dredging is having a detrimental impact on the bar and surrounding eco-system.

The following statement made on public radio by Mick Kelley, former President of the Whangamata Marine Society, puts this into perspective:

"If all of a sudden someone says the bar is worse than it used to be, it must be the marina, well, how the hell would anybody know? Certainly we'd be prepared if any effects could be proven to be due to the marina, we'd be prepared to do anything within our power to fix that. I do need a qualification to be put in though, provided it can be shown it is due to the marina, then yes, we will do anything in our power to correct it"


The rudimentary monitoring program allows the WRC and Whangamata Marina Society to disregard consent conditions and ignore the real impact of the dredging, precisely because the data it produces is inconclusive. 

As long as the monitoring program remains this way they can continue to undermine the anecdotal evidence the surfing community present to them.

SPS REQUST AN OFFICIAL CONSENT REVIEW

In March 2012 at a meeting arranged by SPS, the WRC acknowledged The Bar appeared to be broken, but said they were uncertain whether a natural event or channel dredging was the cause.

SPS referred the WRC to a condition of the Non Notified Maintenance Dredging Consent  that gave them power to revaluate the consent if any adverse affects on the environment were detected. 

SPS requested an official review of the consents by the WRC. The WRC declined.


SPS felt the WRC were not taking their obligations seriously so they submitted a detailed report of their concerns to the Hauraki Gulf Forum, titled Whangamata Bar Report

The Hauraki Gulf Forum is a statutory body, which promotes the protection and enhancement of the Hauraki Gulf.

Their guidelines set out "the need to identify natural and physical resources of recreational importance, and methods to protect them, including surf breaks, from activities such as dredging" 

The WRC are forum members and signatories to these guidelines.

The report was also given to the Environmental Defense Society (EDS), an organisation comprised of lawyers expert in the Resource Management Act who offer legal support on environmental issues. 

After reading the report, EDS outlined in a memorandum a number of legal remedies that were available to SPS.


In July 2012 SPS wrote a letter, with the memorandum attached, and extended an offer to WRC to attend a “without prejudice” workshop hosted by EDS, so a common understanding of the physical processes impacting The Bar could be established.  

Two months later the WRC sent a letter to SPS notifying them the council had decided to conduct an internal review instead and stating: ”if you wish to provide further scientific information which may assist the review process, please do so.”


On the 27th of September 2012 the Chair of the Hauraki Gulf Forum John Tregidga sent a letter to The CEO of Waikato Regional Council Bob Laing stating "the deterioration of the Bar is of concern to the Forum" and noted "the review of the consents and the offer by the Environmental Defence Society to host a workshop were welcome developments"


WRC CEO, Bob Laing

In a letter dated the 10 of October 2012, WRC CEO Bob Laing replied to John Tregidga and said  "the aim of the review is to establish whether the marina dredging activities are the driving forces for the changes at the Whangamata surfbreak. We are currently seeking information from suitable professional’s to determine whether the marina  dredging activities significantly influence the changes occurring at the Whangamata Bar.”

Concerned that an internal review would give the council too much discretion over the terms of the review, and adjudication over the results, SPS wrote a letter to the WRC formally requesting assistance to fund a 3D wave modelling camera and stating: "While the Surfbreak Protection Society (SPS) welcome this review, we must point out that a review would be rendered ineffective, unless the review included Surf science to monitor the Bar, as surfing was the reason for initiating the Whangamata Bar Report"


On Tuesday the 30th of October 2012 SPS received an email from Christin Atchinson, WRC Senior Resource Officer at the Coastal Resource User  Group who declined to fund the proposed 3D wave modelling program. It stated:

“I have enquired with the Resource Information Group of WRC regarding your request for funding a Coast-Cam for the Whangamata Bar as part of environmental monitoring. Unfortunately there is currently no budget allocated for funding your camera monitoring system. You may wish to request funding for this as part of our annual planning process.”

In essence the WRC refused to honour the terms of the consent conditions, or to enforce them with The Whangamata Marina Society, and instead placed responsibility for associated costs of an upgraded monitoring program on town ratepayers.


Paul Shanks, President of SPS

On the 9th of November 2012 SPS wrote a letter to WRC CEO Bob Laing documenting their concerns with the review process and stating: "Would you agree to an open and transparent meeting without prejudice, with representatives of your organisation, the Marina Society’s, EDS and our own, as soon as is practicable to discuss our concerns?"

Three months later SPS have still not received a response to their letter. 

The WRC maintain they are taking SPS's report and concerns seriously but in a recent NZ Herald article, Whangamata Marina Society manager John Gillooly says the report submitted by SPS is "loaded with factual inaccuracies and innuendo producing no new scientific information". 

The same article says Council spokesman Brent Sinclair backed the Marina Society, which had shown a "high level" of compliance with the consent conditions.

This contradicts evidence from the 2012 consent  review which exposed breaches of both the consent and the Regional Coastal Plan by the Whangamata Marina Society. Something acknowledged in writing by the WRC to SPS.


WHAT SPS HAVE ASKED THE WRC AND THE MARINA SOCIETY TO DO:

- implement full scientific monitoring of the bar, consistent with best national and international practices, so a complete and accurate assessment of the impact of dredging can be established. 

- to that end, to install a camera system overlooking the bar, with the ability to 3D model breaking waves - cost $10,000

- correlate data captured by the camera with dredging events - cost $1600 per month

- to make the results of the analysis available to the public

The proposed 3D modelling program has been validated by Dr Jim Dahm, previously engaged by the Marina society, Dr Terry Hume, an expert in sand and beach processes at NIWA, and Dr Vernon Pickett of WRC who had previously worked alongside eCoast. 

All three have stated the need for a Bar camera monitoring system at Whangamata.

The Bathymetric Surveys the WRC are currently conducting are more expensive than the cost of installing and monitoring the 3D wave modelling camera, therefore it makes economic sense to do this.


SPS FEEL THE WRC AND THE WHANGAMATA MARINA SOCIETY ARE OBLIGATED TO DO THIS FOR THE FOLLOWING REASONS:

1. They have not fulfilled the Marina consent conditions set out by the Crown.

Whangamata Marina Consent Conditions

2. The Whangamata Bar has been officially recognised as one of New Zealand’s leading surf spots and is now protected under the revised New Zealand Coastal Policy Statement.

3. The WRC are in breach of their responsibilities under the New Zealand Coastal Policy Statement and as members of the The Hauraki Gulf Forum.

4. The WRC and The Whangamata Marina Society have a legal and ethical obligation to all New Zealanders to upgrade The Bar monitoring program and meet the Marina consent conditions. 


SUMMARY

The WRC have maintained the stance that they are not responsible for monitoring "the quality of waves on the bar" In addition they have used their official channels to keep SPS at arms length, taking weeks and often months to respond to letters, setting up and then failing to confirm meetings, and on several occasions not returning phone calls.

As recently as January 2013 Ross Stewart, President of the Marina Society stated:


Ross Stewart, President, Whangamata Marina Society 

"I would say there's about three surfers in this town who will not put it to rest" 

"My feeling is they're philosophically opposed to the marina and they think it's just rich pricks here"

 It's an important asset for the town, no question about that. But sure as hell what we're doing isn't affecting it."

If this is true then why are the WRC and the Marina Society blocking the proposed monitoring initiative? 

This issue is not only about wave quality for surfers, it's also about:

- the Marina Societies refusal to honour the Crowns Marina consent conditions

- WRC's refusal to hold them to account and act in the best interests of all New Zealanders

- the protection of a significant national treasure

WHAT THE WHANGAMATA BAR ASSOCIATION ARE ASKING FOR

A collaborative, scientific monitoring program that establishes conclusively the real impact of dredging on the Whangamata Bar.

Along with SPS we are seeking to work in partnership with both the WRC and the Marina Society to establish the facts required to get past the competing claims and counter-claims.

WHAT YOU CAN DO TO SUPPORT


We believe this issue impacts anyone concerned with protecting our national treasures and as such we want to gather support from as many New Zealanders as possible. 

Please support our campaign by joining One Big Voice, linking your Facebook and Twitter accounts, then taking the following action:

1. Click the sign button in the petition summary panel above. This action will show up in your Facebook timeline and provide a link back to our petition page that all your contacts will see. This will help spread the message, build awareness and gather supporters.

2. Share the petition with as many friends, family and colleagues that you feel will support this initiative. If we gather a large enough number of people to publicly call for the WRC to implement these changes we hope it will encourage them to take action.

3. Share our campaign on One Big Voice with any friends, family and colleagues that you feel will support this initiative. It can be accessed in the petition summary panel above. 

We believe this issue impacts anyone concerned with protecting our national treasures and as such we want to gather support from as many New Zealanders as possible. 


As Margaret Mead said "Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it's the only thing that ever has"



Message

This message will be sent directly to the petition recipients. If you choose to sign this petition, it’s this message that you’re putting your name behind.

We the undersigned: 

Believe the Waikato Regional Council (WRC) and The Whangamata Marina Society have failed to adequately assess the impact of dredging on the Whangamata Bar.

We are asking that they:

1. Honour the Crown’s Marina consent conditions and monitor the quality of waves on the Whangamata Bar.

2. Fund the installation of a camera system that can 3D model breaking waves on the Whangamata  Bar.

3. Fund the ongoing monthly cost of correlating data captured by the camera with dredging events.

4. Make the findings available to the public.

5. Establish conclusively the real impact of dredging on the Whangamata Bar.

As both the WRC and The Whangamata Marina Society are in breach of the Crowns Marina consent conditions we feel they have a legal and ethical obligation to support the requests set forth in this petition. 


Goal and Reasons

A goal is the driving force for a project and represents the campaigner’s desired outcome. Reasons provide the justification for why this outcome is necessary.

Goal

1. To have the Waikato Regional Council (WRC) and The Whangamata Marina Society implement full scientific monitoring of The Whangamata Bar so a complete and accurate assessment of the impact of dredging can be established.

2. To that end, for the WRC and The Whangamata Marina Society to underwrite the installation of a camera system that can 3D model breaking waves at The Bar.

3. To have the data from this correlated with dredging events and for the findings to be made available to the public.

Reasons

  • The WRC and The Whangamata Marina Society have yet to establish with scientific certainty whether dredging for channel access causes harm to The Whangamata Bar.

  • Under the terms of the Crowns Marina consent the WRC and The Whangamata Marina Society are legally obligated to do this.

  • As long as the monitoring program remains as it is they can continue to undermine the anecdotal evidence that the surfing community present to them.

Recipients

  • Span1s_ed96f41dddb7ec44630c

    Whangamata Marina Society

    New Zealand

    Involvement

    The Whangamata Marina Society represent the interests of the Whangamata Marina. They are obligated under the terms of the Marina consent to: 

     - retain appropriately qualified and experienced persons to develop a plan to monitor the sand bar at the harbour entrance 

    - ascertain if the dredging and construction has any negative impact on The Bar 

    - cover the costs of The Bar monitoring program 

    To date they have: 

    - failed to meet the Crowns Marina consent conditions 

    - refused to implement credible, scientific monitoring of the impact dredging has on the Whangamata Bar 

    - undermined and threatened surfers who believe dredging is impacting wave quality on The Bar

    What they can do

    Become a constructive contributor to a collaborative, scientific monitoring program that establishes conclusively the impact dredging is having on the Whangamata Bar.  

    Fund the installation of a camera system that can 3D model breaking waves at the Whangamata bar. 

    Fund the ongoing monthly data analysis. 

    • Default-user-span1s

      Ross Stewart

      New Zealand

      Ross has not made a response yet
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    Waikato Regional Council

    New Zealand

    Involvement

    With regards to the Whangamata Bar the Waikato Regional Council have failed Best Practices by:

    - interpreting the Marina consent conditions in a manor that does not require the monitoring of surfing wave quality on the Whangamata Bar, by insisting they only need to monitor the volume of The Bar, at this world famous surfbreak.

    - rejected the inclusion of Surfing Science in the monitoring program.

     - approved new Marina “design dimensions” without having them assessed by the Environment Court or opening up the new consents and variations, for consultation with the public or concerned stakeholders. 

    - given (non-notified) consent to the marina company to increase dredging amounts from the 3000m - 6000 maximum originally granted to 10,000m per year. (plus an extra 3,000 cu meter per year granted to TCDC as a buffer) 

    - allowed Digger, barge and truck dredging volumes to be independently assessed by RMS surveyors,and taken at word. RMS is a company owned by the chairman of the Whangamata Marina society.

     - Made no assessments of the volume or impact of "Lift and Drift" dredging whereby a boat uses a plough to disturb / lift sediment that drifts downstream on the outgoing tide toward The Bar.

     - Readily accepted the modelling for the current monitoring regime by environmental and engineering consultants Tonkin and Taylor (contracted by the marina society) that predicted that the bar suffered negligible damage from dredging.

    -The modelling methodology By T&T had been peer reviewed by Willem De Lange, Senior lecturer in Earth and Ocean sciences and stated: “As far as far as I can tell from your results, at the harbour entrance it  will not be possible to distinguish any impacts from the marina.” 

    and:

    "This would raise the question as to what could be monitored to assess the marina impact on the harbour entrance."

    - the peer review came out six months after an April 2007 meeting with WRC,  where the Surfbreak Protection society had introduced to the council exactly what type of monitoring was needed to gauge surfing wave quality on the Whangamata Bar.

    At that meeting with the Surfbreak Protection Society, WRC was represented by Coastal Programme Manager Brent Sinclair.

    The support of the Marina Society manager's recent remarks in the press by Mr Sinclair bring in to question the impartiality of the current review of the dredging consents being undertaken by WRC, as a consequence of the Whangamata Bar report

    What they can do

    We are calling on the WRC to fulfil their obligations under the Hauraki Gulf Marine Park act and The New Zealand Coastal Policy Statement, and as elected representatives of the people of the Waikato Region, and support the recommendation of SPS as outlined in this campaign.

    Specifically to:

    - implement full scientific monitoring of the bar, consistent with best national and international practices, so a complete and accurate assessment of the impact of dredging can be established

    In conjunction with The Whangamata Marina Society fund the installation of a camera system that can 3D model breaking waves at the Whangamata bar.

    Fund the ongoing monthly cost of data analysis.

    To correlate the data captured by the camera with dredging events and make the findings available to the public. 

    Become part of a collaborative, scientific monitoring program that establishes conclusively the real impact of dredging on the Whangamata Bar.


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      Anthony Ian Armstrong

      New Zealand

      Anthony Ian has not made a response yet
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      Norman William (Norm) Barker

      New Zealand

      Norman William (Norm) has not made a response yet
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      Peter Ross Buckley

      New Zealand

      Peter Ross has not made a response yet
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      Laurel Beatrice (Laurie) Burdett

      New Zealand

      Laurel Beatrice (Laurie) has not made a response yet
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      Simon Puttick Friar

      New Zealand

      Simon Puttick has not made a response yet
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      Jane Hennebry

      New Zealand

      Jane has not made a response yet
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      Stuart Thomas (Stu) Kneebone

      New Zealand

      Stuart Thomas (Stu) has not made a response yet
    • Span1s_0be7b62d23b8fafce16c

      Bob Laing

      New Zealand

      Bob has not made a response yet
    • Span1s_b4f4db3b09cddd0d5bab

      Phillip Murray Legg

      New Zealand

      Phillip Murray has not made a response yet
    • Span1s_e2ef02e56d99f1bbb456

      Lois Anita Livingston

      New Zealand

      Lois Anita has not made a response yet
    • Span1s_1f6b3806a0c57266484a

      Russell (Russ) Rimmington

      New Zealand

      Russell (Russ) has not made a response yet
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      Paula Anne Southgate

      New Zealand

      Paula Anne has not made a response yet
    • Span1s_6381fc5ceb1d6ddc008c

      Theresa Marie Stark

      New Zealand

      Theresa Marie has not made a response yet

Facts

The following facts have been submitted by the campaigner to provide sound evidence for their position. These facts and their references have not been verified by One Big Voice.

The following link will take you to a report by the Surfbreak Protection society that details the impact of dredging on the Whangamata Bar.

Dredging of the Moana anu anu Stream and Observed Adverse Effects on the Whangamata Ebb Tidal Delta


The link below will take you to a timeline tracing the political and legal dealings that took place in the lead up to the development of the Whangamata Marina.  

The Whangamata Marina Time Line

Requests

The campaigner has made requests for the following information or support. If you can provide any of these, please send a message to the campaigner through their user profile.

If you have surfed the Whangamata Bar please click on the viewpoints section above and let us know if you have noticed a drop in wave quality since the opening of the Marina in 2009.

Your anecdotal evidence is important and can help raise awareness of the impact of dredging on wave quality at The Bar.



Updates

Tiny_80529024b08028fbfe77

Hi all. We've now passed 250 signatures on our petition to the WRC which means we're over 25% of the way towards our 1000 target. Great work everyone! Please continue to let your friends and family know about our mission and ask them to back our efforts to protect the Bar. Every voice counts.

While you've been busy signing, things have been progressing behind the scenes. On the 23rd of March 2013 Paul Shanks, president of the Surfbreak Protection Society wrote to Bob Laing, CEO of the Waikato Regional Council requesting an update on the review of consent conditions for maintenance dredging. You can read Paul's request and Bob's response below. 

We'd like to acknowledge Paul for keeping the pressure on the WRC and reminding them of their responsibility to the people they represent. Lets lend some more weight to the efforts of Paul and the team at SPS by cracking the 300 mark on our petition. 

Have a great weekend and thanks again for showing up and making a difference.

The WBA team.


From: Paul Shanks 

Sent: Saturday, 23 March 2013 11:00 a.m.

To: Bob Laing, CEO Waikato Regional Council

Subject: consent review and meeting

Dear Bob,

I trust this letter finds you well. I am following up about the WRC's internal review of consent conditions for the maintenance dredging and deposition consents held by the Whangamata Marina Society. 

As the review was initiated in September 2012 and over five months have now passed, we would like to understand what the findings are and how they relate to our requests for increased monitoring of the bar, and the WRC's legal obligation to fulfil them. To this end could you please supply a copy of the review to the Surfbreak Protection Society, care of myself, at your earliest convenience. 

In your letter to Chair of the Hauraki Gulf Forum, John Tregidga, dated 10th of October 2012, you stated the conditions of consent may be amended and that you would inform him of your decision once the review process had been completed. We would respectfully ask to be informed of any such amendments also.

Finally, we wrote to you on the 9th of November extending an offer for the WRC to attend an open and transparent meeting without prejudice, with representatives of your organisation, the Marina Society’s, EDS's and our own to discuss the concerns we had. We have yet to receive a reply from yourself on this matter and in light of the length of time that has passed, and the status of the review, may I suggest we assess the findings first and then revisit this offer if necessary. 

Many thanks Bob and I look forward to hearing from you.

Paul Shanks, President

Surfbreak Protection Society

26 March 2013

Paul Shanks
Surfbreak Protection Society Incorporated Email: surfbreak.protection@gmail.com

Dear Paul

Review of Dredging and Deposition Consents

I am writing in response to your e-mail enquiry on 28 March 2013 relating to the review of the dredging and deposition consents (resource consents 121398 and 121399) that are held by the Whangamata Marina Society.

As I understand you are aware, the consents specify a window of time within which a review can be initiated by WRC. Not all the information that was needed to enable staff to determine whether or not to initiate a review was available at that time, and it was not expected to be available until after the review window had passed. Therefore, staff initiated the review and subsequently placed that process “on hold” whilst the information was provided by the Marina Society.

We received a report providing this information in February. That report, in combination with other recent research, is currently being reviewed by our own scientists. The final report from our scientists, along with their recommendations, is due within the next couple of weeks. At that point, staff from our regulatory team will be able to progress the review. I have requested that they inform you of the next steps in the process once they have had the chance to consider the final report from our scientists.

Yours faithfully

Bob Laing

Chief Executive, Waikato Regional Council

Tiny_80529024b08028fbfe77

There's been some big smiles at the WBA of late because we're over 18% of the way towards our target number of a 1000 signatures and counting! According to our math that would mean there's a few more than three surfers who won't put this issue to rest and that's an important message to send to the Waikato Regional Council.

We respect the Marina Society and their right to have a viewpoint but it's simply not accurate to say a few disgruntled surfers won't let it go. They may have sparked the fire, but 183 others are fanning the flames. Help us hit the 200 mark by getting as many people as you can to sign up and spread the word. The more support we can generate the more leverage we have with the WRC. 

A post to Facebook is good, emailing a buddy and asking them to sign can be a powerful call to action, maybe it's a work colleague you can bring on board. New Zealanders deserve to know that their elected representatives are failing to honour their commitments to protect and preserve our natural treasures, and given half a chance, most will have something to say about it.

Whatever it is that you do we send a heartfelt thanks to each and every one of you who have taken the time to make your voice heard and are going to bat for the Bar. 

You're the reason the we're going to get this thing across the line.

The WBA team.

Tiny_80529024b08028fbfe77

We've just had some amazing support from Miles and the team at surf.co.nz who have kindly blogged about our campaign here - surf.co.nz - Whangamata Bar Cheers guys!

Please post the link to your Facebook wall and share with your contacts, it will help us spread the word. 

Enjoy the weekend waves and thanks again for showing up for the Whanga Bar. It's great to know so many people have our backs.

Tiny_80529024b08028fbfe77

A BIG thanks to all the amazing folk who signed our petition. Two days, 105 signatures and we've reached over 10% of our target! We're super stoked. Now we need your help to go to the next level. 

Please share the petition with friends, family, colleagues, your Mum, anyone you feel would sign and support. We want to build momentum and keep the pressure on the WRC and The Marina Society.

To share the petition via email, Twitter and Facebook, go to the petition page and look for the share panel shown in the example below. 

Thanks heaps for your support! 

The WBA Team

Add yours

Viewpoints

Share your personal experiences and declare your stance on an issue. Honesty in your response is important for other users to use your viewpoints in good faith to help form their own opinions.

Default-user-tiny
Lisa Holt
Development for the wealthy and their toys is fine if it doesn't destroy New Zealand's natural treasures. Why are the council not protecting this wave and its surrounding areas for all New Zealanders? This is what living in harmony is about. Respecting each other and nature.
For  
Tiny_2c888811b25752d288d8
Lisa Tulley
Whangamata is a place I spent many holidays when I was a teenager. It used to be an untouched part of New Zealand but now it seems development is taking over like many other parts of the country. Would be sad to see this wave destroyed by greed and corruption.
For  
Tiny_62f1ba0589b06361ad51
John Morrison
Hard to imagine this is going on in little old New Zealand but there it is. Everyone, not just the surfing community needs to get behind this petition because this is just the start unless we stop it in its tracks.
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Linda Morris
Love Whangamata beach. Spent many happy days there playing in the surf with my friends. Sad to think this wave could be destroyed by a marina and a few selfish launch owners.
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Quinn Harrison
Have surfed Whanga bar since I was a teenager. Bullshit behaviour WRC. You have a responsibility to the people of New Zealand and should sort this out before its too late.
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Sydney Walsh
I came on here to sign the 1080 petition and then found this one for Whangamata beach and read that too. Similar themes...Councillors telling lies to satisfy an internal agenda at the expense of the environment. They should be held responsible if they are deliberately perverting the course of justice or manipulating the public with untruths. Very disappointing to see a jewel like this losing out to big business interests. I'm not a surfer but I am a concerned Kiwi who doesn't like the way this country is heading.
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Lottie harvey
I am not a surfer but many of my friends are and I want to support them to combat the council corruption and save this amazing wave.
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Darryl Kingsly
Why can these people get away with this? if the consent says they have to monitor properly then that's what they should be doing. End of story. Crooked councillors and a National government that only cares about profit.
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Nary Meas
I have been Googling Whangamata Marina and see that it has been very controversial. So how come there are so many berths for sale more than two years after opening? Is it because it is a good investment? Or is it because berth holders who have not received a newsletter from the marina society since the winter July edition think that it may be risky and just want out? I have been told they use to publish quarterly, and especially for the summer season. The review of the dredging consents may be showing that the investment is unsustainable.
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Frida Inta
This is outrageous, but unfortunately it is a similar attitude to areas such as the west coast of the South Island. Monitoring can be a condition of consent, but hardly ever acknowledged. And even harder is getting anything positive to come of the monitoring, especially when there is no condition (that I can see) as to exactly what should happen if adverse effects are proven. The way local council is run is corrupt, where the needs of developers are given huge precedent over any traditional recreational pursuit. Local councils and developers hate the RMA and that is why National govt is diluting it like crazy. The RMA has never been fully implemented (e.g. the significant natural areas programme) and a number of local councils have steadfastly ignored it. Corruption is rife in this country and that is the BIG problem.
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brian dicken
If you impact negatively on others you should go out of your way to remove the negativity. And either return the balance to status quo or to a level that is a postive outcome for all. It is after all you who has changed the balance and therefore your duty to right. Brian Dicken
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Nary Meas
Why does this council refuse to monitor The Bar? they are obliged to by law
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Mark Shanks
Surfers are an integral part of the Whangamata community both socially and economically. The big attrction is the quality of the surf on Whanga Bar. Anything that jepordises the Bar will be detrimental to the town. There needs to be open and honest analysis of the current dredging, particularly by the agencies tasked to do this work, so everyone is informed.
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Martin Heath
Clearly the dredging of the marina has an affect on the break itself in a negative way. They want a marina there for the mooring and safe passage entering and exiting the harbour, yet have no regard for the impact it has on nature in all its glory! The break has been affected by none other than the building and dredging of what is a poorly planned and constructed marina full stop! A positive alternative for the needs to be found to save this surf break!
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John Smith
Keep them honest, if no-one does it will be known as 'Lake Whanga'
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Derrick Liggins
As a Whitianga resident for the past 25 years I have noticed how dredging, the creation of the Marina and Waterways have affected the sand of Mercury Bay. While there is no doubt that both developments have benefited the town economically, there is equally no doubt that they have greatly affected sand movement with a resulting effect on sand bars within the Bay. Fortunately for us it has created a new surf break at`the boat club which before was non-existant. To say that the creation of the Whangamata Marina and subsequent dredging has no effect on the Bar is naiive as any human modification of water flow and sand movement must have ban impact as is the case in Whitianga.
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Sandy Gauntlett
While I totally support the petition, the policy it is opposing is symptomatic of both the attitude of the Government and of the lack of clear environmental direction and concern from the Labour Party. As a country we need to put our votes where our mouths are and not vote for a party that either does not care or is more concerned with it's own petty in fighting than about the problems facing the country
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Horris Ivancovich
Whangamata Bar is an amazing wave worth saving and maintaining! Some of the most joyous surfing and life moments i have had, have been on The Bar. We have many amazing waves around New Zealand that currently and in the future may need protecting. The Whangamata Bar case will set a Precedent for other surf breaks around the country, so it is essential the Waikato Regional Council are forced to uphold their responsibilities and acknowledge surfing science. They can not be allowed to disregard their legal obligations under the Resource Management Act, or they will continue to do as they like, continuing to disregard policy and processes set up to protect the environment and the people accessing these wonderful natural resources.
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Peter Archer
I see this issue as one more example of the ongoing widening in the gap between the privileged few and the rest of us. Most of us ordinary folk cannot afford a boat of the type that uses the marina, and for the convenience of the rich the rest of us lose out. This is an example of the gradual slide towards a sick society that favours privilege over the good of all.
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Lloyd McGinty
Kia ora, I'm concerned at the precedence this may be setting for future marine developments in significant surfing landscapes. While its too late to turn back the clock we can learn a lot scientifically about the impact dredging and sand movement is having on the Whangamata Bar. I'm a surfer but have never surfed the Bar so cant comment directly about its quality but it is well known to all surfers. What cant be underestimated also is the positive financial impact surfing brings to small towns like Whangamata. The marina will also bring positive financial cash flow to the town. Do the right thing and put in the monitoring equipment. If the Marina group are positive about the nill impacts of the marina on the Bar than they should "show-us-the-money". Dunedin Businessman and Surfer
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