Stop Sand Mining in Mangawhai

Say 'no' before it's too late


A movement created to inform and rally support from the communities of Mangawhai, Te Arai, Forrestry and Pakiri of the environmental crisis, right on our doorstep, that is Sand Mining.

SAND MINING, a Global Environmental Crisis, is the extraction of sand from the sea floor. This act destroys everything in its path, leaving a 16km length of dust fumes. Onshore it causes foreshore and dune erosion.

Believe it or not, the world is facing a shortage of sand. Sand is the most consumed natural resource on the planet, aside from water. We are using some 50billion tonnes of ‘aggregate’ (industry lingo for sand and gravel which are found together) every year. Booming urbanisation means the demand for this finite resource is unlikely to let up.

The single largest nearshore sand mining activity in the developed world is happening right on our doorsteps along the magical coasts of Mangawhai, Te Arai, Forrestry and Pakiri. Sand mined from these areas is irreplaceable and is leading to the destruction of entire ecosystems. There is no other developed country which allows nearshore sand mining of this nature. We need YOUR help to stop this madness and take back control over this precious resource so that we can maintain our beautiful coastlines for generations to come.

Currently, sand miner McCallum Brothers (Clevedon Coast Oysters) are seeking to renew their consents to mine vast quantities of sand from the waters off Pakiri and Managawhai. There are other areas with more sustainable sand resources, however unlike other miners McCallum Brothers insist on taking from this vulnerable coast line. Their operations involve four vessels dredging from the area. These vessels are often operating at the same time, all day, night and even on public holidays. The number of dredges that take place yearly are in the hundreds. Evidence of a new dredger with double the holding capacity proves that this operation is only going to get bigger and more detrimental to our coast lines.

Pakiri in particular has already paid it dues in terms of the provision of sand. It has been replenished Auckland’s beaches and provided the raw material for much of Auckland’s development. To date it has endured nearly 100years of continuous extraction, the longest continuous industrial activity in New Zealand.

Pakiri, along with the other beaches of this coastline, is a natural treasure. We need to protect its glistening white sand, miraculous dunes, precious ecosystems and the rare species that inhabit the area as their home.

We urgently need community support to stop this from becoming a tragedy that will affect generations to come.

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Why is it so urgent we stop sand mining now?

  • Our sea beds are eroding at rapid rates in the face of rapid rises in sea levels. To remove more sand is simply reckless.
  • There is a finite supply of sand along the coastline of these beaches. Once it is gone it is gone. It can not be replenished.
  • Pakiri is home to New Zealand’s rarest bird the Fairy Tern. There are currently only 40 of these birds left. This mining will lead to the destruction of this birds natural habitat, putting its existence at risk.
  • Sand mining creates ‘dead zones’. Every living thing on the sea bed in the targeted area is killed. New research shows that it also causes underwater noise pollution and sedimentation affects water quality.
  • Dredging releases carbon stores ‘blue carbon’. Having a negative impact on our environment.
  • There are numerous other sources of sand that will not lead to erosion, it is not necessary that these beaches be targeted in this manner.
  • The location of the dredging is in direct vicinity to New Zealand’s oldest marine reserve and there are two new reserves at either end of the beach. This is definitely not an appropriate site for dredging to be taking place.
  • Dune erosion is almost guaranteed. The only debatable aspect is when this will occur. Already locals are seeing changes to mid and rear aspects of dunes.
  • Such an operation misaligns New Zealand with the stance taken throughout the rest of the world. In Norfolk a 2million cubic meter sand dune is being CREATED to safeguard against future erosion. The operation planned by McCallum’s will see this amount, at a minimum extracted from Pakiri. This operation is diminishing our ‘green’ reputation internationally.

How can you help?

We are living in an era of environmental awareness. Everyday we are considering how we are living and working and attempting to mitigate the toll this takes on the environment. It is absurd that in this environmentally conscious era, in ‘Green NZ’ that permits are provided to mine sand in an extensive, primitive way from precious beaches like Pakiri. The fact that there are alternative, more sustainable sources of sand that could be used makes this entire situation unfathomable.

We must take a stand NOW. We must unite together to put a stop to this operation not just for ourselves but for the coastlines, for the species that inhabit the areas as well as for the enjoyment of future generations to come. We ask that you follow us in this movement and offer your backing so that this treasured resource can be saved.

- Get in touch -

Contact the organiser