The Aramoana hearings continued today in earnest. Nic Reeves of Surfbreak Protection presented our evidence to the committee including a must see video that includes some sick surfing footage (see below).
Nic’s presentation was well received. A measure of her success was the lengthy questioning by the committee after she had finished. The panel tried to trip Nic up on many points but she brought them back to the NZCPS policies 16 & 13 (surfbreak policy), and capped it off with Policy 3 – Precautionary Approach, which was the nail in the coffin, as the consensus was that effects are yet unknown.
Nic also set them straight with regards to the port claims that the spoil mound improved the wave and ceasing dumping would lower the quality, which is "not correct". Conclusions by Port Experts that there would be no discernible difference in the quality of the Surfable wave at The Spit were called out due to the lack of modelling for cumulative effects of the existing dump sites and the proposed AO site.
Nic educated them on what made the Aramoana Spit wave so special and set it apart from any other wave at a local surfbreak or beach. It is important for authorities to understand that although we have thousands of kilometres of coastline with waves breaking at the shore in almost every spot, it takes a special and delicate balance of physical characteristics to form a high quality surfable wave. Film footage of skilled surfing and visually impressive photographs assisted the panels understanding of this phenomenon and why it should be protected.
Check out her video presentation (which includes some sick surfing footage) by clicking here.
There was only one thing Nic couldn’t answer for the panel. That was about what we were asking be conducted with the scientific modelling and how. Her answer was spot on – "I am not a specialist, and the onus will be on the port and council to satisfy us after further consultation with our experts".
Now all we can do is wait for the panel’s recommendation to council on the consent applications in regards to variation of conditions of the current dumping consent which we opposed.