The MHRS recently organised a 4 day visit to Mangawhai by the powerful STUFF media group, to enable them to fully assess the full extent of the damage that will occur if the 3 new sand mining resource consents are granted.
Over 12 meetings /interviews were set up and completed ,ranging from KDC Mayor Jason Smith, Ocean scientists Robin and Andre La Bonte, the Fairy Tern trust, Endangered Species Association, Greenpeace, ex commercial fishermen, surf riders and ex McCallum employees, plus SOS , “Save Our Sands” groups.
All parties did an amazing job in representing the concerns of our community!
Please read this article in the Sunday Star Times, on line at STUFF – SAND WARS – Is the hourglass running empty?
THE MANGAWHAI FOCUS, 13 May, 2022
Sand supply not dependent on continued mining of Pakiri and Mangawhai sea floor
Following the decision from Auckland Council to refuse an application to extract sand from the Pakiri-Mangawhai coast for the next 30 years, the scaremongering from the vested corporate interests has started. The CEO of the Aggregate and Quarry Association, Wayne Scott, has claimed it will create a crisis in Auckland's construction sector. Opponents of the sand mining however disagree.
"We can expect to see adjustments within the sector as the supply from McCallum Bros' Pakiri operation winds down," says Ken Rayward from the Save our Sand (SOS) Mangawhai Pakiri collective. "However, there are alternatives, and we cannot continue to mine sand from this vulnerable marine ecosystem."
McCallum Bros themselves have raised the prospect of Kaipara Harbour as an alternative. This area can provide a replenishing resource whereas the Pakiri sand deposit is finite. According to McCallum's own expert, the volume currently extracted from the Kaipara is 640,000 tonnes less than what is already consented for removal, considerably more than the 406,800 tonnes that will be lost from Pakiri.
"Scott suggests that bringing sand in via barges to the existing McCallum Brothers depot will generate 100 extra truck movements to the Auckland CBD a month, however this also seems excessive," says Rayward. "It is much more likely that trucking would take place directly to ready mix plants from the new source. This would release the valuable Hamer St site on the western reclamation to more intensive use and reduce the volume of trucks currently driving in and out of the CBD."
There may be increased transport costs, but this will depend on the source of replacement sand and where it is distributed. It will be much less than the cost of double handling it into downtown Auckland and out again.
"Sand is only a small part of the concrete supply chain, and we do not expect a significant change in the delivered cost and negligible impact on project costs," says Rayward.
While there may be minor differences in sand quality, the construction industry does not appear to discriminate among deposits as implied by Scott. In Waikato and South Auckland most sources are land-based marine or fluvial sands.
Underpinning the application by McCallum's is a strong expectation that recent growth in Auckland will be sustained at historical levels, however this is looking increasingly unlikely. A cyclical downturn in migration has been exacerbated by Covid-19 and looks like continuing for some time, ultimately lowering housing demand well below recent projections.
Beyond that, climate change is calling for a rethink of major infrastructure projects, including the contribution of concrete-intensive developments to carbon emissions.
"The council has taken a brave and necessary decision in the case of Pakiri sand mining," says Rayward.
"Reduced demand, changing economic conditions, and climate change are likely to fully justify it, and on top of this we need to preserve a highly sensitive and vulnerable coastline."
22 February 2021
Nearly 150 people including Kaipara mayor, Dr Jason Smith, councillors and council staff, gathered at Mangawhai Heads surf beach on February 14 for the ‘Stand Against Sand Mining’ protest, forming a human S.O.S – ‘Save Our Sand’ – and waving placards to protest against ongoing sandmining along the Te Arai and Pakiri coastlines.
Organised by Friends of Pakiri, a support group of Mangawhai Harbour Restoration Society (MHRS) and long-time protesters of nearshore sandmining, the stand-in-the-sand hoped to draw attention to the potential destruction of shore beds, alleged loss of irreplaceable sand, and three looming sandmining consent hearings from Auckland companies Kaipara Limited (KL) and McCallum Brothers.
S.O.S means ‘Save our Sand’. Demonstrators take to the beach to raise awareness of the plight of local sand. PHOTO/ELEVATED MEDIA NZ
Kaipara mayor, Dr Jason Smith passionately expressed councils support: ‘We are happy to stand up and make a noise about things that matter to our communities!” PHOTO/GRANT CROWE
The Mangawhai Harbour Restoration Society, Friends of Pakiri Beach and the Stop Sand Mining group have a common cause; the end of offshore sand mining in the Bream Bay region.
Ken and the three community groups opposed are planning a publicity campaign. It will culminate on Sunday, February14 with a massed ‘stand up’ on Mangawhai’s beachfront.
“We’re calling anglers, bach owners, schools, surf clubs, surf lifesavers, boaties; everyone who has dipped a toe in the water,” says Ken. “We want
to gather a huge group to make a stand against this sand mining practice at noon on the 14th so that those making the decision will notice.”
BY KEN RAYWARD
The three current sand mining consent applications which pose threats to our coastal environment have had their hearings set for over the next few months, and are creating heightened awareness and increased concerns across Mangawhai, Te Arai and Pakiri communities.
Community awareness turning to community concern
25 January 2021