Understanding the values associated with New Zealand surf breaks and implications for management
Recent developments in New Zealand coastal policy include increased recognition for surf breaks as unique environments characterised by breaking waves. The New Zealand Coastal Policy Statement (NZCPS) 2010 includes policies that directly apply or relate to surf breaks and these provide considerable guidance for the protection of these areas. This includes a definition of “surf break” and guidance on other spatial aspects for planning. Local authorities now require a robust framework to implement these policies alongside other NZCPS policies within an integrated management approach. An extensive body of local and indigenous knowledge of these environments exists within coastal communities. In this study participatory methods were utilised to investigate the perspectives of coastal communities on surf breaks in two different regions in New Zealand. Information was sought on the values and attributes of surf break environments that are important for their effective management. The findings demonstrate that a wide range of values are associated with surf breaks and a complex combination of bio-physical attributes is typically responsible for the values reported. These attributes often include unique characteristics of individual sites, indicating that a site specific focus for management is essential. The findings also highlighted considerable variance in the perceived importance of different surf breaks for different people. Consequently, effective management of the resource is likely to require a thorough understanding and integration of both biophysical and socio-economic information at a range of scales including the level of individual sites and communities.... [Show full abstract]
Fields of Research050205 Environmental Management
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