Surfbreak Protection Society
Surfbreak Protection Society

 Classic Surf Break Mangamaunu At risk

Mangamaunu,  A hot right hand point break in Kaikoura is now at the mercy of the next big storm event that hits this coastline, due to the  North Canterbury Transport Infrastructure Recovery (NCTIR ) consortium dumping massive amounts of “slip fill” southward along the foreshore of Mangamaunu Bay toward the base of  this much revered surf break, within the coastal hazard zone.

Mangamaunu is One of 17 surf breaks listed in Schedule One of the New Zealand Coastal Policy Statement, and is afforded the highest legal protection available under the NZCPS, and Resource Management Act (RMA). As far as Environmental legal protection goes, it doesn’t get better than this…..

Yet the legal protection given to Mangamaunu Bay appears to bear less weight than the paper it is written on, as NCTIR are moving ahead full steam to reconnect New Zealand’s arterial routes for State Highway one, and the Railway’s main trunk line.

SPS recognise the importance of reconnecting our nation’s main trunk lines, but it has been over six months since the Quakes.  The methodology must surely have been given full scrutiny by now.

The consortium must have mapped out their plan, taking into consideration all the guidelines set out within the NZCPS. It has to be pointed out that other options are available, but NCTIR  so far are not considering the pleas of locals who are offering their own land to save Mangamaunu Bay, some sites are within a kilometer of the site. NCTIR already have a consented site, an old quarry just 4 km away. Under the emergency powers afforded NCTIR, the consortium must give ten days notice to locals, who then would have three days to respond.

NCTIR have breached the conditions of the emergency powers in the first place, by not informing the residents of Mangamaunu Bay. If this consultation had taken place then NCTIR would have been “informed” of the Bay’s significance, (despite being a coastal environment where initially other options should have been considered first) and would have been compelled to consider that consultation, and the inevitable offers of land by locals  in order to spare this spectacular bay.

The works began on the 4th of June, were carried out mostly at night, with only one resident being notified the day before works commenced. Within 4 days the spoil mound was 6 – 9 meters high – 25 meters wide and 300 meters long. The NCTIR consortium say they have consents to dump right along the beach boundary covering all the historic flora and fauna. Including 80 year old cabbage trees,   up to and including to the base of the Mangamaunu surf break.




So what are the risks to Mangamaunu?

The spoil has been placed in a Coastal hazard zone, where a large swell / storm event could carry this soil – clay material into the lineup of the surf break you only have to consider what happened to the Blacks surf break at Mahia when a slip was bulldozed into the sea to appreciate the risk. The quality of Blacks was severely impacted on, as the slip material filled up the channel between the the surf break and beach, impacting on the breaks peel angle and break intensity.

SPS placed the photos we have in front of a coastal scientist from eCoast Ltd of Raglan, Dr Shaw Mead for his comment:

“I believe it is the easiest/cheapest option and very short-sighted in a part of NZ reliant on tourism, especially marine-based tourism.  Apart from the impacts on aesthetics/natural character along the coast, the potential for silt run-off straight into the sea doesn’t seem to have been addressed/considered – no silt screens or retention/settling ponds are visible.”

NCTIR have not conducted a surf break impact assessment report for this consent, nor are the impacts considered in the ecology – Assessment of Environmental Effects Reports for the consents.

Hazard zone close upThe Canterbury Regional Council (ECan) mapping system clearly identifies the area where spoil has been deposited in Mangamaunu Bay  as being in the Coastal Hazard Zone. Such an activity is reckless in regard to the highly active coastal environment(the yellow dashed line denotes the extent of the coastal hazard zone)

SPS has written a letter to the Minister of transport, Minister of Conservation, Minister of Tourism, the chairs of both the Kaikoura District Council and Ecan, as well as the Chair of Ngai Tahu  highlighting our concerns for this Nationally significant surf break.

letter - cover


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