A lot at stake for New Chum/Wainuiototo
“All of these values are dependent on there being no houses close to or overlooking the beach.
New Chum/Wainuiototo is recognized as one of the top three wilderness beaches in the world.
It’s the last of the wilderness beaches that is accessible to the public. Everything is at stake!” This is the clear understandingSays John Drummond, Chair of Preserve New Chum for Everyone (PNC4E).
New Chum/Wainuiototo is a world class wilderness beach, pristine and free from development. Although the headland at the north end of the beach was publicly purchased to protect it from development in 2021, the battle to protect the land behind the middle of the beach continues.
A Structure Plan was promoted by Northern Land Property Ltd through the TCDC District Plan process that would allow 25 houses on their land behind New Chum / Wainuiototo.
Since 2013, PNC4E has participated at every stage of theTCDC District Plan process. Submissions, appearances at local hearings, appeals, six years of mediations, appearances at two separate Environment Court hearings, consideration of the decisions, and in January of 2023 an appeal and cross-appeal to the High Court that opposes the recent Environment Court Interim Decision. The High Court appeal was heard over three days at the end of June 2023.
PNC4E has allies with Whangapoua Community Association (WCA) and NZ Coastal Trust (NZCT). “We work closely with both those groups,” says John.
Opponents are Northern Land Properties Ltd (NLPL) who own part of the land (Whangapoua catchment), R & D Mears(RDM) who have a caveat for house sites on the other part of the land owned by George Kerr (New Chum/Wainuiototo catchment) and Thames Coromandel District Council (TCDC) is also opposing our cross-appeal.
Essentially PNC4E, WCA and NZCT spoke for the appeal and NLPL, TCDC and RDM opposed the appeal.
In October, the High Court released its decision which directed that the appeal is allowed. We did not win all the points of law we contested, but we did win three crucial points. “A Judicial Telephone Conference has been set down for early 2024, and we remain resolute that significant changes will be made to the Structure Plan, including the number and location of house sites, so that it protects the beach and the bay for future generations,” Mr Drummond said.
“We have had some successes with the earlier decisions of the Environment Court. We have had to engage experts in Planning, Landscape, Ecology, and Law to speak for us at the two Environment Court hearings as well as during the mediations. Local iwi, Ngati Huarere and Ngati Hei, have provided Matauranga Maori evidence at the Environment Court hearing under our appeal.
Members and supporters of PNC4E have dug deep into their pockets and provided much needed funds at times when it has been needed. We thank all our donors for their ongoing support.
New Chum/Wainuiototo Beach