The Endangered Species Foundation today called on its supporters with an urgent request to make submissions to stop sand mining at Pakiri.
McCallum Bros Limited has applied for resource consents to extract sand from an area of 6.6km2 along 10.4km of the Pakiri Beach shoreline. The proposed extraction volumes include an annual average of up to 125,000m3/year over any consecutive 5 year period. A 35 year consent is sought.
Auckland Council is now taking submissions about this resource consent application until 10 December 2021.
This map shows the proposed and current consent areas:
These are some key points you can use in your submission:
The tara iti (Fairy Tern) lives at Pakiri and there are only 16 breeding pairs left in the world. This is New Zealand’s rarest endemic bird and its habitat is under grave threat. Tara iti is listed as “nationally critical” which is the highest threat ranking for any endangered species.
Once widespread around North Island coasts, the current breeding sites of tara iti are now just Waipu, Mangawhai, Te Arai, Pakiri and Papakanui Spit. The encroachment of human activity on their nesting grounds is a major threat to these birds. Beach narrowing due to loss of sand forces the terns to nest closer to the sea, putting their eggs at risk during storms.
There are also substantial White-fronted Tern and Red-billed Gull colonies on the Mangawhai sandspit. The proposed mine site is an area of water that is probably used quite heavily by these birds for feeding while they are tied to their nests and limited in their feeding range.
Sandmining in this rohe / area, does not consider the kaitiakitanga values of tangata whenua, whanau and hapu and the community most directly impacted by the activity. It is a direct breach of the duty of active protection of taonga (treasures) including the restoration of mauri (life-force). The proposed activity impacts adversely on marine environment, cultural values, customary activities and way of life. You can find more evidence in the submissions made in response to applications for sand extraction made by Kaipara Limited here.