6. Coastal Management

People standing on a sand dune.

RPS Objectives

· The preservation of the natural character of the coastal environment, including protection from inappropriate subdivision, use and development.

· Prevention of damage to and loss of traditional fisheries habitats and tangata whenua resources of significance to the tangata whenua.

· Maintenance and enhancement of public use, enjoyment of and access to the coastal environment.

· The minimisation of the conflicts between uses in the coastal environment and their effects on public health and safety.


· Direct and indirect human-induced modification of natural coastal features, systems and processes.

· Cumulative effects of increasing development pressure on coastal-land and coastal marine area.

· Inappropriately sited coastal development affecting natural coastal processes.

· Conflicting demand for coastal water space.


· Coastal systems have been extensively modified, with extensive loss of coastal forests, saltmarsh and modification of natural dune systems.

· Development has occurred on many of the east coast lowlands, with many barrier-spit systems fully developed and the margins of the Whangarei and Bay of Islands harbours well developed.

· The west coast is less developed, although there is increasing pressure for development as demand for coastal property increases.

· There are currently more than 3800 active permits for coastal structures and moorings, with close to 90% of these situated on Northland's east coast.

· More than 700 subdivisions in Northland's coastal area were approved by District Councils between 2002 and 2005. These subdivisions include more than 3800 lots.

Doing well

· Coastal monitoring is undertaken to better understand baseline dynamics of Northland's beaches and estuaries.

· Four changes to the Regional Coastal Plan have been initiated that will assist in addressing a number of coastal management issues.

· Restoration and enhancement of natural coastal systems, such as dunes and coastal forests is being undertaken.

Areas for improvement

· More work is needed to adequately assess the natural character and state of Northland's coast to establish environmental baselines from which to manage, monitor and report on change and the pressures which these create.

· Further integration is required with the Regional and District Councils to better manage and prepare for the preservation of natural character at all stages of the planning, consenting and monitoring stages.

· The integrated management between territorial authorities of the coastal environment across the administrative line of Mean High Water Springs.

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Published: 03 Apr 2008