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Planning research on sustainable management of surf breaks

New planning research outlines approaches to the sustainable management of surf breaks in New Zealand

New Zealand was the first country in the world to adopt surf break protection within its resource management policy framework.

This came as a result of a groundswell from the grass roots surfing community backed by an improved knowledge and understanding of surf break environments that had been developing internationally in the area of coastal science.

Surf breaks are now specifically provided for under the New Zealand Coastal Policy Statement 2010, and it is vital that good outcomes are assured through appropriate policy and planning provisions. Resource use, development and changing settlement patterns have impacts on the features and characteristics of the areas where surf breaks are found. There are various threats including pollution, restricted public access, poor water quality, and the impacts of activities that alter the natural character of the coastal environment.

Adverse changes to surf break environments ultimately affect the health and well being of people and communities.

The late Matt Skellern initiated research on current practices, planning processes, and sustainable management approaches for surf breaks. This work has now been completed by Bailey Peryman, Shane Orchard and Lincoln University’s Dr Hamish Rennie, with support from Matt’s previous supervisor at University of Auckland, Dr Stephen Knight-Lenihan.

This opportunity was made possible by the persistence of the Skellern family, and supported by Auckland Council, Bay of Plenty Regional Council and Surfbreak Protection Society.

The information in the report will be helpful to all organisations and community members interested in the protection of surf breaks. This report may also assist local authorities with identifying issues and developing appropriate responses that avoid degradation of the integrity of surf breaks as unique features of the coastal environment.

A copy of the report is available as a free download at http://www.surfbreak.org.nz/?page_id=2177


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