Our glorious coastline - with its beaches and breakers, rockpools and cliffs, estuaries and river mouths - is dear to the hearts of all New Zealanders. The source of many of our earliest memories, formative experiences, natural history lessons and physical activities, the coast is imprinted on our psyche but, increasingly, it's under threat. Affordable camping grounds are being sold off for housing developments, and simple handmade baches are being replaced by mansions with all the trimmings. In places, large-scale residential canal developments, gated communities and high-rise apartment blocks are dominating the coastal landscape. All this has happened at a frightening pace, and it's time to reassess the situation. With rising sea levels and increased storms predicted, sound planning and environmental management are more important than ever. Castles in the Sand tells the story of the New Zealand coast - what it means to New Zealanders and what we need to do to care for it for future generations. It describes the natural processes that have sculpted the coast, the flora and fauna that inhabit it, and the ways it was utilised by early Maori and European settlers.
It documents an extraordinary era, shortly after World War II, when thousands of New Zealand families spent their weekends and holidays constructing simple shacks by the sea - a 'do-it-yourself' bach-building phenomenon that was unparalleled elsewhere in the world. Author Raewyn Peart sets out the social, political and economic factors that have fuelled the development of the coastline. She looks at the tension between private and public interests, Maori and Pakeha, environmental preservation and development, and the responsibilities of central and local government. She concludes that it is not too late to change our management of the coast to ensure continued access for all New Zealanders, protection of our natural heritage, and responsible, sustainable development. Castles in the Sand is a timely evaluation and call to action. It should be required reading for all New Zealanders who live at or love the coast; for architects, planners and developers; for community leaders, local body officials and politicians.
Publisher: Potton & Burton