Introduction

The public is being invited to make submissions on an Abel Tasman Foreshore Scenic Reserve Draft Management Plan.

The public is being invited to make submissions on an Abel Tasman Foreshore Scenic Reserve Draft Management Plan that contains proposals for management of the foreshore along the Abel Tasman coastline.

The Abel Tasman Foreshore Scenic Reserve, established in January 2007, is administered by a committee of the Tasman District Council Chief Executive and Department of Conservation Nelson/Marlborough Conservator. The 774-hectare reserve encompasses foreshore adjoining the national park, council reserves and private land enclaves between Marahau and Wainui. It also includes estuaries and foreshore around national park islands.

People have until Monday 8 August to make submissions on the draft management plan for the foreshore reserve. The new plan, when finalised, will guide and direct the reserve administration committee’s management of the foreshore.

DOC Nelson/Marlborough Conservator Neil Clifton said the draft management plan proposals were aimed at allowing continued enjoyment by people of the foreshore, including maintaining private landowners’ use of it, while protecting its natural features.

“Draft plan provisions for foreshore adjoining the national park align with provisions in the 2008 Abel Tasman National Park Management Plan which also had public input through submissions. This is to provide consistency in how the park and adjoining foreshore are managed given activities on both are interrelated.

“The park’s Abel Tasman Coast Track is the busiest multi-day track in the country with around 150,000 visits a year. About 90 per cent of visitors to the national park spend their time in coastal areas and most people get to the foreshore and park via the sea, by water taxis, kayaks or other vessels.

“A key aspect of the draft foreshore management plan is separating out high use access points from the beaches where people can expect less noise and a more natural setting.

“The plan proposes to concentrate most commercial activities at six “coastal access points”:  Anchorage, Bark Bay, Onetahuti, Totaranui, Torrent Bay, and Awaroa.

“Restrictions are proposed on commercial activity at Torrent Bay to minimise undue disturbance to adjacent private property occupants. At Awaroa the main coastal access point would be at the eastern end of the beach, away from baches, and a western coastal access point would provide alternative access when rough sea makes it unsafe to land at the eastern end.

“The other four access points are next to the national park and have the required infrastructure, such as toilets, to cope with higher numbers of people. There is also an expectation of encountering more people and activity at these sites.

“Less commercial activity would take place at other bays so people can enjoy these as more peaceful and natural sites. Water-based commercial activity would not take place north of Totaranui to provide a more a more natural and isolated experience along this northern part of the coastline.

“The draft foreshore management plan contains proposals for limits on levels of commercial water transport activity that align with measures put in place for managing commercial activity in the national park. The limits retain commercial activity in the peak summer period around current levels and allow for increased activity beyond present levels in autumn, winter and spring.

“The commercial activity proposals have been discussed with tourism operators. The proposed measures recognise the important services water transport operators provide for access to the park and private properties and that boat and kayak trips enhance people’s enjoyment of the Abel Tasman coastline. 

Tasman District Council Chief Executive, Paul Wylie said owners of private coastal land, tangata whenua iwi and other interest groups had been consulted in the preparation of the draft management plan.

“We have consulted groups separately as well as through the Abel Tasman Foreshore Advisory Forum, representing interested parties, which was set up to provide independent advice on management of the foreshore.

“Some families have owned property along the Abel Tasman coast for generations, over 100 years in some cases. The draft foreshore reserve management plan takes into consideration private landowners’ traditional use of the foreshore and contains proposed measures to retain this. This includes access to their properties and for recreational activities.

“The stunningly beautiful Abel Tasman coastline is a valuable asset for the Nelson-Tasman region. It is a major tourist attraction, with the economic benefits derived from that, and a place treasured by many locals for leisure activities.

“It is recognised that what happens on the land and sea along this coastline is interconnected. Joint management of the foreshore reserve, which will be guided by the foreshore management plan, provides a basis for developing more integrated management of the coastline as a whole by the department and the council. This incorporates the department’s management of the national park and the council’s management of council reserves and legislative responsibilities in relation to activities on the water and private land.

“There needs to be a sustainable balance between enabling people’s enjoyment of the coastline and use of it for commercial opportunities, and preserving the natural characteristics for which it is valued.”

Copies of the draft foreshore management plan and submissions forms can be obtained:

Following the closure of public submissions, any submitters wishing to speak to their submissions will be able to do so at public hearings before a special approval committee set up to approve the plan. Public submissions will be analysed with revisions made to the plan as a result of public comments. The plan will then go to the approval committee to consider.  

Additional information

  • The foreshore management plan approval committee comprises the Tasman District Council Chief Executive, the DOC Nelson/Marlborough Conservator, a Tasman District Council councillor, a Nelson Marlborough Conservation Board member, and two iwi representatives.
  • The Abel Tasman Advisory Forum comprises representatives of private land settlements, iwi, commercial operators, the Nelson Marlborough Conservation Board, the Royal Forest and Bird Protection Society, recreational boating, the council and the department.

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