Aramoana now recognised as an internationally endangered wave

Last year I worked with Katie Westfall from Save the Waves, and from that Aramoana is now recognised as an internationally endangered wave. Click through and read on..

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Second Pre Hearing Meeting

Last night the second Pre hearing meeting was held with Port Otago, ORC and a few of the Submitters.
Things are moving again after a break of nine months between pre hearing meetings.

As a quick summary, their application is now being processed as a Restricted Coastal Activity, (An activity can only be identified as a restricted coastal activity if it is likely to have significant or irreversible adverse effects on the coastal marine area or be likely to occur in an area having significant conservation value) The regional council must delegate its role of hearing and deciding the application to a body consisting of one or more council employees and/or hearings commissioners and this must include one person nominated by the Minister of Conservation. The hearing is set for around November this year. 

Discussions last night, along with an informal pre hearing meeting a month ago has resulted in some changes to the consent conditions.
The Port now proposes to reduce the yearly amount to be dumped at The Spit from 200,000 cm3 to 50,000 cm3, the balance of difference will now be placed at Heywards Point, raising the allowable amount there from 200,000 mc3 to 350,000 mc3, this may well have an effect on the surfbreaks at Whareake and Karitane, both protected surfbreaks under NZCPS. However The Port will be adding four new conditions of consent, as follows
1.Volume allocations changes to, as stated above.
2.Port recognition the significance of The Spit, murderers and Karitane all in the Blueskin Bay area as surfbreaks of national significance and the need to protect them.
3.Review term of consent.
4.Peer Review – Get a list together of independent scientists for peer review of data collected over the 3 years. Test the availability of these people, qualifications etc. So submitters can put forward these names (eg Mead ASR etc, as possibilities for peer review( and port will pay for their services)This will be present as a summary of proposal within 2 weeks, and available for comment for 2-3 weeks by submitters. Especially needing certainty over the volume distribution.


Nicola Reeves

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Port hopes case will settle out of Court

The following article is about the five appeals in the Environment Court against selected resource consent applications in the Next Generation Project harbour dredging.  Most apply to the new dump site AO 6.5 ks out to sea, and the concerns of the fishermen and inner harbour shellfish collectors.

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The Paddle Out Event !

16th October at 12 noon 85 surfers paddled out at The Spit beach Aramoana to form a circle of celebration for the Aramoana/Spit wave.

The event was held at the mole end of the beach away from the actual surf break for safety reasons. The actual surfbreak is in the background under the cliffs.

The planners in front of the Aramoana Wave mural before the paddle out.

The circle of celebration for the Wave

Sponsors of the event, Surfbreak Protection Society and

Tony Denley co-organiser with an incoming container ship at the end of the Mole

In the water

Ted Whitaker c0-orgainser of the paddle out

Nic Reeves co-organiser with her painted mural of the Aramoana Wave

Participants after the paddle out.
A video is being produced, published this week sometime.
Check out mondays ODT for an article and photo.
Thanks to everyone who came out for the event and participated.
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The story so far

Surf breaks are a rare and delicate coastal features which are often close to coastal developments that threaten their very existence. Just last year 17 surf breaks of national significance were protected by law under Policy 16 of the New Zealand Coastal Policy Statement 2010. Of these protected, only 5 are in the South Island, three of which are within Dunedin City boundaries, being Karitane, Whareakeake and Aramoana.

Aramoana, also known as ‘The Spit’ is a world class beach break of exceptional quality due to its clean offset peaks and barreling pits held in a variety of swell sizes and directions. It is also one of the only offshore breaks in the prevailing southerly winds around Dunedin.

Dumping of spoil in the swell corridor of the Aramoana/Spit surf break from harbour dredging by Port of Otago has been affecting the delicate bathymetric conditions that contribute to the high class surfbale wave since 1985. Surfers and bodyboarders have noted a gradual deterioration of wave quality over the years, especially of late, and fear that continued dumping of dredged spoil may cause irreversible adverse effects on the wave quality.

A recent resource consent application by Port of Otago has been lodged to continue dumping spoil at the Aramoana/Spit, Heywards Point and Shelley beach dumpsites, with the intention of much greater volumes than have been placed there in the last 10 years.
It is felt that not enough accurate science has been presented by the Port in the applications for consent renewal, and we are asking that independent specialist ‘surf science’ monitoring be conducted immediately prior to any further dumping.  Please also check out the response to request for further information.

This ‘Surfer Paddle Out’ on the 16th of October 2011 is a national event organised by Surfbreak Protection Society, with simultaneous paddle outs being held that day at many of the other 17 protected surf breaks around New Zealand, as well as popular surf breaks in city areas.
This Paddle Out event demonstrates the national groundswell of concerned surf break users, and our desires to have these natural coastal features protected from developments and activities that continue to threaten their existence, despite legal protection policies. Once they are destroyed they are gone forever, and in this era of declining natural resources and threats to our pristine landscapes and seascapes, these surf breaks face equivalent pressures for their futures.

Please show your support by participating in the paddle out on your surfboard, bodyboard, paddlesurfer etc.

Or donate to the cause via us‘.

Sign the Online Petition form here.

An Aramoana Appreciation Beach Festival & Concert is being organised for late November, so please keep an eye out for this unique and positive event.

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Sign our Online Petition

Please click through and add your name and support.

This is a Petition on a new Coastal Permit Application
RNl1.153.01 by Port Otago Ltd lodged on the 19th of August 2011 to dispose of dredge material at Aramoana Beach, The Spit and Hayward Point.  We, the undersigned request:

1. A moratorium on offshore dumping at the Spit/Aramoana and Heyward Point until a proper bathymetric survey is complete.

2. That wave modelling is carried out by appropriate scientists in this field based on the survey results, to ascertain any possible adverse effects from dredge deposits on the surfbreaks at Aramoana and Murdering Bay, which are protected surf breaks under NZCPS 2010

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ODT – Surf break threat feared

Surf break threat feared

Home » News » Dunedin
By Rebecca Fox on Wed, 20 Apr 2011


Surfers want the famous Aramoana break left alone. Supplied photo.

Surfers want the famous Aramoana break left alone. Supplied photo.

The effects on Aramoana’s nationally protected surf breaks and on homes around Port Otago dominated the final submissions heard on the port company’s proposed channel deepening and widening project.South Coast Board Riders Association counsel Brett Gray said the association believed the impact of the disposal of soil at sea or at three current disposal sites would have a serious impact on the city’s protected surf breaks.

Its main area of concern was the application to dispose of soil at the Aramoana “spit” disposal mound and Heyward Point, which could adversely affect the quality of the wave produced there.

“This wave is recognised nationally and internationally as one of the best beach-breaks in the world. In good conditions, over 100 to 200 people can be surfing at that break.”

Surfers had been aware of the adverse changes to the quality of waves directly affected by the disruption to the swell corridor since the port had been disposing of dredge spoil at Aramoana, he said.

The true effects of the additional disposal were unknown and although wave monitoring had been promised, it would not give an accurate picture of the effects.

The association and Surfbreak Protection Society spokeswoman Nicola Reeves said they did not oppose the dredging of the Otago harbour basin but hoped the port company would look at alternative ways to dispose of the spoil and called for independent analysis of the effects on the wave quality, installation of a camera above the existing dump site and robust monitoring of the spoil mound and effect on the Aramoana surf break four times a year.

Port Chalmers resident Naomi Wilson said Port Otago’s expansion had caused significant impacts on port residents, including a phenomenal rise in traffic, modification to the landscape, loss of night sky, demolition of houses and incremental escalation of noise.

She was also concerned about the gaps in the environmental management plan on the effects of dumping.

Careys Bay resident Kris Nicolau said there were people in Port Chalmers still waiting for their homes to have noise mitigated.

“That doesn’t bode well for us in Carey’s Bay and other coastal communities who will be adversely affected.”

She called for the panel to decline Port Otago’s application to dredge 24 hours, seven days a week and dump spoil at sea and deny consent for the Boiler Pt extension.

If consent was granted, Boiler Pt should not be able to be used for night-time container activity.

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