Surf coast in line for protected status

A 16km ‘surf reserve’ is set to become part of a draft new Coastal Plan for Taranaki, after an oceanographer highlighted the unique way lahar fingers extend into the sea to make special surf conditions.

Suggested 'surf reserve'. [JPG, 40 KB]

The suggested 'surf reserve' includes a number of surf breaks that are already recognised as regionally or nationally significant.

Dr Peter McComb suggested the stretch of coast between Kaihihi Rd and Cape Egmont was of national significance and a prime candidate for surf reserve status, because of the lahar fingers stretching into the ocean.
“This is unique in the world,” Dr McComb said in a presentation to the Council’s Policy and Planning Committee. “There are very few places where this occurs and it’s part of what makes the surf very special in Taranaki.”
The Committee voted to investigate the proposal as part of the current review of the Regional Coastal Plan for Taranaki, under which the Council develops policy which addresses the allocation and use of coastal resources.
The Council’s Director-Resource Management, Fred McLay, says a draft new Plan to be presented to Councillors will give all the surf breaks in the area suggested by Dr McComb a recognised level of protection.
“This would give priority to maintaining the remote and largely undeveloped feel of the area, and adverse effects on surf breaks from any activities would have to be avoided,” says Mr McLay. “This would be a very high level of protection.”
Dr McComb noted to the Committee that work would be required to provide amenities and manage the adjoining area to avoid adverse environmental effects.
The draft new Coastal Plan will be the subject of informal consultation with stakeholders, which is expected to take place in September. Formal public consultation will take place next year when a Proposed Plan is publicly notified.

RECOUNT — Taranaki Regional Council's quarterly newsletter
Issue 101, June 2016