The northern headland of New Chums Beach in Wainuiototo Bay has been brought into public ownership. The 30ha property was tendered for sale on behalf of receivers appointed by the Bank of New Zealand after Galt Nominees, owned by businessman George Kerr, defaulted on a mortgage.
The purchase was made by the New Zealand Coastal Trust with support from mana whenua, Preserve New Chum for Everyone, the Whangapoua Beach Ratepayers Association, and the Environmental Defence Society. The Trust is a registered charity.
“This has been a fantastic outcome for the public of Aotearoa New Zealand,” said EDS CEO Gary Taylor, who co-ordinated the successful bid, and is also a trustee of the Trust.
“New Chums is one of the very few undeveloped beaches left on the eastern Coromandel Peninsula, with native bush fringing the beautiful curved white-sanded beach. It is a reminder of what our coasts used to be like.
“The northern headland is incredibly important because it frames the entire beach experience. The property has outstanding landscape, ecological and cultural values.
“There has been an enormous effort to prevent development of the New Chums beachfront over the past two decades, so it is wonderful that part of this jewel is now protected.
“The logistical challenges of the current bid were considerable, including raising enough funds to make an unconditional offer of $2.15 million in just a few short weeks. Our success reflects the beach’s high profile as an iconic, unspoiled part of our country that many, many people want to see protected.
“We are deeply thankful for the many donations from members of the public, including via a Givealittle page, along with the staunch support from our partners and the local community.
Thanks are also due to the smaller number of committed individuals who agreed to underwrite the offer pending resolution of grant applications to funding entities. We expect these to be determined before Christmas.
“We also appreciate the legal services from Bell Gully which were given pro bono.
“Our intention is for the headland to be managed and protected forever in the public interest. We will be seeking a protective covenant from the Queen Elizabeth II National Trust or equivalent for the land.
“We will now have a breather over the holiday period and, in the new year, will talk through options for the ultimate management of the land with local interests and mana whenua,” Mr Taylor concluded.