Surfbreak Protection Society
Surfbreak Protection Society
Surf break Protection legal & planning

The intention of this campaign page is to discuss and link to all available literature to do with  surfing in a legal and planning sense. While many people’s eyes glaze over when attempting to discuss anything in a policy planning or legal context, we hope this page will help break down these barriers, check back here over the coming months as we evolve this  resource hub.


17th of January 2014

Matt Skellern was an essential member of the many who introduced surfing to the New Zealand Coastal Policy Statement 2010.

As a committee member of SPS Matt helped immensely with Hearings for Port Otago and submissions to other consent activities.

It is important to acknowledge the unique circumstances surrounding how this report arrived at this  final form, following the passing of the original energy behind the research concept, Matt Skellern.

Matt had been in regular correspondence with both of the authors about his research, the topic of  surf break management, and the wider context of planning for the sustainable management of coastal environments.

Immediately prior to Matt embarking on his Masters of Planning thesis, Bailey Peryman spent a summer as a natural resources planning assistant at both Gisborne District Council,  and Bay of Plenty Regional Council where Matt was working as a professional planner at the time.

This report has been produced as a result of the authors continuing the extensive primary research  Matt had already conducted.



The information in this document will be helpful to non-government organisations and community members interested in the protection of surf breaks.

The research is also intended to assist in  monitoring surf breaks and their surrounding environments and may aid in the preparation of impact assessments.

The research is also intended to assist in monitoring surf breaks and their surrounding environments and may also aid in the preparation of impact assessments.

Specific wave quality related impact assessments are already established in the field of coastal science, known as Surfability Impact Assessment (ASR Limited, 2011; Lazarow & Castelle, 2002).

However, impact assessment methods are not so well developed for assessing policy and planning decisions on surf breaks and the resulting effects on communities interested in the use of these places.

This dedication to Matt Skellern may be downloaded here.


“The surf is one of God’s greatest gifts. The surf is a natural resource which can

be exploited by thousands of surfers at any point in time but unlike other

natural resources it does not get used up or destroyed it endures through time

for future generations.”

(Anonymous cited in Pearson, 1979, 102)


The above quote captures an element of indestructibility of surfing, or more

correctly ‘surf’. However, today this can be seen as somewhat only one side of the story.

The other side is a scene in which globally surf break wave quality, and thus surfing, are

under threat from a range of activities in the coastal environment. With this picture in

mind I have articulated the following topic question which captures the focus of my

research; “How to provide for surfing as a legitimate activity in regional plans”.

Giles Bundy


****** Surfrider Chapters Rally to Defend Coasts from Offshore Drilling ****** Meet Rafael Bergstrom, Surfrider Activist and Coastal Defender ****** Surfrider Argues to the Michigan Supreme Court to Protect Public Lakeshore Access ****** Offshore Drilling Planned off Your Coasts: Time to Speak Out! ****** California: How, When and Where to Speak Up Against New Offshore Oil Drilling ****** Surfrider Sues U.S. Steel for Lake Michigan Pollution ****** 2018, The Year We Say Goodbye to Plastic Straws! ****** Rain sends polluted runoff to beaches in Southern California ****** Hurricane Struck Caribbean Islands still Struggle for Clean Water ****** Upgrading BWTF Labs to Reduce Plastic Waste