To: Andy Nock, CE of Far North Holdings, and John Carter, Mayor of Far North District Council
STOP THE PAIHIA SEAWALLS
We ask you to preserve Paihia and ditch all plans to dredge the seabed and build seawalls opposite the waterfront of Paihia, Bay of Islands.
Why is this important?
Paihia is a jewel of the Bay of Islands, opposite Waitangi and Russell.
Far North Holdings (FNH) has been given funding and the green light to build sea walls in Paihia harbour. This massive infrastructure project was approved as a 'fast track' shovel-ready project in the government’s Provincial Growth Fund in response to COVID19. The Paihia Sea Wall plan was a commercially defunct project that had been shelved for 15 years.
FNH say the walls will be a way to restore Paihia's sandy beaches. However hapū, iwi, marine scientists and locals know the impacts will be disastrous.
At low tide it’s likely the sea walls will be a monstrosity, hideously changing what was once a beautiful and picturesque view.
Motu Maire, the main island out from Paihia which will be directly affected by the seawalls is, and has been, wahi tapu, a sacred and important place to local Māori for centuries. Local iwi Ngati Kawa and Ngati Rahiri have not been properly consulted on the decision-making of this project.
Stopping the tidal flow with sea walls and dredging up the seafloor is environmental vandalism which could create unforeseen negative consequences, for example, the erosion of Paihia’s south beach, Te Tii beach and the multiple beaches on Motu Maire. Sedimentation within the wall’s confines is also another major concern. Endangered dotterels and other shorebirds nest on the southern beach of Motu Maire.
The seawalls will completely alter the natural outlook from Paihia’s bustling commercial center, which is currently an amazing view over the Bay of Islands across to Russell. Business owners believe this project will ‘kill the goose that lays the golden egg’ for Paihia.
While the project has had funding confirmed, much has changed in the world in that 15 years, and FNH made that application without any consultation with local māori (hapū) or the wider community to gauge support for the resurrection.
It is entirely possible to restore the main beach of Paihia without the sea walls. The funding can be put to much better use - to projects that bring the hearts and minds of locals together in a positive and constructive way - and to solve the real problems the community is facing as a whole.
Far North Holdings' sea walls must not go ahead! Add your name to tell the Council and FNH to preserve Paihia.
This online petition is being run alongside an offline petition led by folk from Ngati Kawa and Ngati Rahiri.