Pakiri Beach, New Zealand. Photo source: ©© Piotr Zurek
Auckland City’s recreation committee chairman, Scott Milne, says a $5 million beach rebuilding plan is gathering momentum. Where, however, does he hope to source the sand for the next eight Auckland beaches requiring replenishment?
“Sand extraction is not sustainable in a closed system in the long term because extraction will eventually deplete the resource to zero and/or cause beach erosion.”
The main use of the sand is for mixing into concrete. The beach replenishment programmes are, by volume, small jobs for them and good visible public relations exercises. In fact, all groups concerned with any beach replenishments stand to make a lot of money…
Mining The Sea Sand, A Case Study, New Zealand, by Seafriends
An application for resource consent by Kaipara Excavators to mine large quantities of sea sand over a vast area of sea bottom, during a projected period of over 30 years, had raised concern with government administrators and local communities. What are the environmental consequences of this unproven method of excavation, and how can reasonable limits be drawn to protect benthic life, beaches and dunes? This article aims to provide insight into the problems involved. Although the situation is specific, much of it applies to other places in the world, making this chapter suitable for studies of resource management.