Saturday, 25 September 2010


This is required reading for all those with an interest in the Foreshore and Seabed issues. We wrote about it some time ago and it generated quite a bit of interest. It is deserving of another airing.


We did a bit of a tiki tour on Saturday to a place called Flatpoint in the Wairarapa It's a stark barren stretch of coast . Flatpoint is a collection of a hotch potch of both old style bachs and beach mansions. A smallish round house with uninterrupted views to the sea across the little 9 hole golf links is up for grabs - offers over $600k. A vineyard with an average home and 3 ha is up for grabs at a $1 million.
Its an area known for crayfish and paua in abundance.

But what makes Flatpoint interesting is that the foreshore - thats the beach , is privately owned and access is apparently jealously guarded as is a considerable stretch of the Wairarapa coast. In fact the discussion document on the Foreshore and Seabed Act makes special mention that these areas will not be part of any changes to the Foresohore and Seabed legislation.

There is essentially only one road into the area which stretches from Flatpoint to Glenburn. Sections with beach views are for sale and they have " exclusive access " to the beach to launch a boat " as part of the title. So sections do not own the access - they just appear to have " exclusive access" across the landowners land - in essence there is no Queens Chain.

It was not a welcoming place. Simply because the access to the beach is not allowed and everywhere there were " Private Property" Private access only signs. DOC had two access points and again it was made patently clear that part of that access was across private land. In one track it was made clear that the track did not provide access to the beach -essentially the very very long coastline is privately owned - lock stock and sifting sand.

Each Section sale includes the following:
  • a right of way secured to title in favour of the purchaser to enable permanent private access to boat launching to the Lot owner and his immediate family and guests, up to ten persons at a passing.
  • a 1/39th share in the community controlling body as required by Resource Consent Condition(Flat Point Beach Ltd). This body will be responsible for Environmental monitoring and transfer of solid waste to landfill. This body is also required to draw new owners attention to the Environmental Care Code and to make its records available to Council annually.
  • a 1/39th share in Lots 40 & 41(plantation reserve) and Lots 43 & 44(pedestrian walkways).

However we found a track to the beach via a river bed and we toddled down to the ice water just to say that we had dipped our toe in the ocean.
It was an unsettling place simply because it does not feel like the rest of coastal New Zealand. It is not the way we want to see the rest of New Zealand's coast line managed. For some reason we cant quite fathom it actually made us profoundly sad.
We cant remember another place where we have essentially been locked out of a coastline.

We noticed that the access roads which interestingly are public to a point are obviously maintained by the taxpayer and we would be interested in seeing who paid for both the power and telephone lines as well.

We are keen to see the foreshore and seabed issue sorted out to everyones advantage - we dont really care if there is a title that denotes ownership. However that ownership should be required to ensure public access. We do not want to see more examples of Flatpoint anywhere ever.

1 comment:

Sunshine Philosophy said...

I'm down with that.
Provided that.
1. These owners all have the right to charge for access.
2. These owners can deny access for reasons of their culture and race.
3. They can use magic undefined words (that actually mean "whatever we want") to justify their actions.