1. Identification information
Data Collection Date
These files contain the Rabone Report (Beach sand and shingle supplies, Auckland and Coromandel Areas, Special Report November 1950) which described individual beaches and their suitability for supplying sand of shingle aggregate for industrial purposes to Auckland City and some of the supporting investigation information. Much of the file is on the Auckland and Northland region with a later section on Coromandel Beaches. The coverage reflects the reduction in importance of the Coromandel area as a source of industrial sand and shingle for the Auckland area. The file also contains the photos and negatives used in the report. There are also notes on meetings held with sand merchants, land owners, and regulatory authorities. Following the Rabone report the Engineer in Chief recommended that all beaches on the east coast of Auckland Province be closed to mining. This created strong opposition from the sand mining interests and construction industry in Auckland. A petition was sent to parliament complaining about the beach closures and Mr Sheat (MP) went on a tour of the Firth of Thames and along the east coast of the Northland Peninsula. As a result Mr Sheat came back with the recommendation that that the sand could be removed from Pakiri, Mangawhai Heads and the Waipu River mouth as was being done in 1952, and recommended by Rabone (1950). There was no comment about Coromandel beaches at this time. File 12/243 contains a report dated 1958 which suggests the recommendations by Rabone to close all beaches was too harsh and though sand mining had not stopped after the 1950 report, this report recommended that mining to continue. During the 1960s there were a number of applications to take sand from offshore islands or other remote areas such as the Kaipara Harbour, which had been regarded as uneconomical while the east coast beaches could be mined. The Rabone (1950) report contains a number of recommendations for the Coromandel, including: Whiritoa Beach: This is an unpopular steep coarse sand beach. The dunes and beach were mined at the time. Rabone (1950) recommended that the beach should be inspected every 2-3 years but recommended that sand mining could continue. BOPCC file 21/4. The file notes the existence of the Bay of Plenty Coastal Erosion Survey (1977) and the Coromandel Coastal Survey (1981). The storms of July 1978 appear to have started a review of protection works around the coast. The list includes; Kawhia 1953, Ohope 1954 (Tropical cyclone) Maketu Domain 1965, Waihi Beach 1968 Ohiwa 1969 Whitianga Esplanade 1969 Whangamata 1970, Kawhia 1970, Whitianga 1970, Waihi Beach 1971, Ohiwa 1972, Aotea 1972, Whitianga 1972, Ohope 1973, Miranda 1975, Waihi 1975, Kawhia community shore 1975, Waihi estuary 1977, Marakopa estuary 1974. The Thames Valley Gazette in August 1978 gave a review of beach conditions. At the eastern end of Whiritoa, waves overtopped the dunes and exposed rocks which had initials on them and a date of 1924. File 74/30/5/1/1 (pt 2). Hauraki Catchment Board Hydrology; Operational surveys. Erosion at Whiritoa Beach exposed rocks that had been carved with initials and a date of 1924. Waves were thought to have overtopped the dunes in some places. Not stated where. This site again suggested progradation followed by erosion. MWD (Attwood) suggests that beach profiling is expensive and sometimes misleading and therefore recommended the use of aerial photographs to determine the position of the dune toe on each beach. No further information. January 1932: Rice grass Spartina Townsendii. A brief summary of discovery and its uses. Notes on planting or sowing seed. Lists experts who understand the plant. It was considered that the plant could never become a problem because of its agricultural value for grazing and hay making. The report was compiled by Mr. W. H. Hayes, Glen Eden Auckland. A land owner proposed to reclaim 294 acres of mud flats in Manaia Harbour using Spartina. Notes reference Allen, H.H., 1929. Journal of Agriculture. Vol. XXXIX No.5. This article describes the growth pattern of Spartina planted in the Manawatu estuary. This is one of three reports on the plant. 7/1 Harbour and Marine Works Annual Reports 1946-1969. June 10 1960: The effect of the tsunami on the eastern side of the peninsula. Ohinemuri County said that the waves were similar to a high spring tide and a dead low over a short period. Thames County residents of Whangamata were evacuated in the afternoon but no damage was caused by the abnormal tidal action in Whangamata Harbour. August 1969: Concern that sand removal from Whiritoa Beach was causing a potential erosion hazard. There was an agreement between the Maori land owners and Provincial Transport to pay a royalty of $0.65 per yd3. A request was made to define the legal boundaries of the property being mined to ensure that no material was taken from the public beach. 7/1 Harbour and Marine Works: Annual Reports. 1969-1973. November 1969: A request for the Maori Owners to provide a legal survey of the area being mined at Whiritoa. The resident engineer at Paeroa, was inclined to think that the mining is seawards of the legal boundary and therefore requires a Marine Department licence. September 1970: A new licence to mine sand at Whiritoa was provided to "Whiritoa Sands" but no plan of the area was supplied. Two landmarks were verbally referred to but were not located on any form of plan. 7/1 Harbour and Marine Works. Annual Reports. 1973-1975. August 1972: A Whiritoa inspection revealed that sand was being extracted from the prohibited area of the beach. October 1973: The licensee deliberately lowered the beach crest to get wave action to wash material into the sand pit. Sand extraction volumes - 1 Oct 1971 to 30 Sept 1972 = 3352 yds3 (2560 m3) and 1 Oct 1972 to 30 July 1973 = 3468 yds3 (2650 m3). March 1974: The licencsee was continuing to ignore the conditions of his licence and was mining within the 3 chain (60m) prohibited zone. MWD recommended closing the sand pit down if this action continued. November 1971: Catchment Board summary on Whiritoa sand mining. Previous licence had been for 35 years removing about 17.500 yds3/ year (13.380 m3/ year). That is a total of 612,500 yds3 (468,320 m3) for the whole period. The source of the sand was unknown. April 1974: The Maori Trustee asked to ensure that no further sand removal would take place from Whiritoa. 7/2 Harbour and Marine Works: Removal of sand Coromandel Peninsula. 1958-1970. In the 1950s the Lands and Survey Department was responsible for all Crown land and this included river and stream beds. Ministry of Works and the local Count Councils often used shingle from local streams for roading material. To simplify licensing these activities and Lands and Survey issued a blanket licence to Ministry of works to take shingle from all rivers and Streams. The Ministry of Works then issued permits to the County Councils and sent in a quarterly return to the Lands and Survey Department. Much of the content of this file contains these returns from the different areas of the Coromandel Peninsula and the collated summaries sent to the Lands and Survey Department. August 1951: There several memos referring to illegal taking of sand and shingle from beaches. Associated files Paeroa 24/256, SH39/1/1 and SH72/25/2C/6 also Paeroa 24/1256 October to December 1960. March 1965: An application to remove sand from Whangamata was made by the Whangarei Tow Boat Company Ltd. The application involved taking sand from the 2 fathom (3.5 m) mark off Orakau, Omunga and Whiritoa bays. 7/2 Harbour and Marine Works: Removal of sand Coromandel Peninsula. Volume II 1970-1974. Note: This file contains 3 monthly returns of material taken from beaches and streams in the Coromandel Peninsula and sent to the Lands and Survey Department who was responsible for Crown Land. This summary does not include these returns and anyone wanting to know where and when material was taken will need to consult these files at Archives NZ. October 1971: Coromandel County applied for permits to take material from a number of beaches and streams, specifically Papa Aroha Creek, Goat Bay, Whangarahi Stream, Okahutahi Stream (Sandy Bay), and the Urarimu Stream at Melsops Crossing. A total of 9,760 yds3 (7,562 m3) of material was applied for. At the same time Parry Brothers Ltd applied for 3,000 yds3 (2,294 m3) from the entrance to Whangapoua Harbour and a resident of Whitianga applied for 500 yds3 (382 m3) from Kuaotunu beach. November 1971: Whiritoa Beach. The licence had been operating for 35 years and the average annual amount of sand removed was about 17,500 yds (13,380 m3), therefore approximately 600,000 yds3 (468,317 m3) had been removed from a beach only 60 chain (1.2 km) long. The resident engineer did not know the source of the sand. April 1973: Sand extraction at Whiritoa was again queried. There was some discussion of various methods for monitoring the sand removed and for measuring the condition of the beach. In December 1973 it was suggested that a fence be erected on the property boundary to stop sand being removed from the beach. 7/2 Harbour and Marine Works: Removal of sand Coromandel Peninsula. Volume III 1974-1976. May 1974: The Lands and Survey Department lost control of sand mining in rivers and beaches to the Mines Department. Control of sand removal now came under the Mines Act 1970. Ministry of Works now told that would have to apply to the Mines Department for a blanket approval to take sand and shingle from the catchments of the Peninsula. This was a continuation of the system run by the Lands and Survey Department. Ministry of Works then issued permits to remove material to local bodies and contractors. March 1974: A. Mr Farmer complained about the removal of sand from Whiritoa Beach. Ministry of Works replied that they were in an advisory role and that control of the operation rested with the Maori Trustee. May 1974: Ministry of Works were told by the Mines Department that shingle removal from streams etc. was better dealt with under the Lands Act 1948 and that the Lands and Survey should control such licences. 7/2 Harbour and Marine Works: Removal of sand Coromandel Peninsula. Volume IV 1977–1981. February 1977: The Ministry of Transport instigated a requirement that the local Catchment Authority would have to be involved in approval of any sand mining operations. June 1977: Ministry of Transport asked the Ministry of Works if there were any other beaches that were suitable for mining out of the public eye. August 1977: Whiritoa Beach sand still being taken indiscriminately. November 1976: The Hauraki Catchment Board sent a letter to Ministry of Works opposing further extraction from Whiritoa Beach. August 1977: The new trustees of Whiritoa Incorporation issue Provincial Transport with a new licence to take sand from their land at Whiritoa. March 1978: The Hauraki Catchment Board and Ministry of Works agree to work together on matters of coastal sand extraction. April 1978: An application by Mc Cullum Brothers Ltd to mine Mataora Bay (south of Whiritoa) was rejected. June 1978: The Thames Valley Gazette ran an article that reviewed present sand mining permits. Included was a report by R.W. Harris, on "Sand and Shingle Extraction from Coromandel Beaches and its Relation to Coastal Erosion" The report concludes that the existing licences should be declined. August 1978: The resident engineer Paeroa sends a letter to Hamilton District Office indicating that the Hahei storm damage might indicate erosion of a similar magnitude occurred at least twice in the past. He notes that the first concern about Buffalo Beach was expressed in 1924 but the first real erosion took place in 1960. He also noted the traffic ramp at Bowentown was uncovered by the 1978 storms. The Thames Valley Gazette summarised Mr Harris's report on the damaged beaches of the east coast Coromandel Peninsula. Present sand miners were warned that all applications would be reviewed downwards and after a year were likely to be terminated. February 1980: Report by R. F. Mclean "The Dimensions of the Whiritoa Sand System and Implications for Sand Mining and Shore Erosion" 7/21 Harbour and Marine Works: Buffalo Beach Whitianga. 1924-1979. June 1922 1973: Jeremy Gibb visited the Coromandel beaches with a view to assessing their present condition and to make recommendations for management. He was also to inspect Buffalo Beach erosion problems and report on a solution. Report made available August 1973. Mr Gibb stated there was no evidence of any effect of extraction on the beach at Whiritoa Beach. April 1973: Sand extraction at Whiritoa was again queried. There was some discussion of various methods for monitoring the sand removed and for measuring the condition of the beach. In December 1973 it was suggested that a fence be erected on the property boundary to stop sand being removed from the beach.
12/1 Harbours and foreshores: Harbour and river works general 1926-1937: July 1930: Regulations for the reclamation of mudflats for agricultural and pastoral purposes passed and gazette May 1930. 12/243/1Harbours and Foreshores: Beach sand and shingle supplies, Auckland and Coromandel Areas. File starts 1950 Note: Marine Department file M4/1965 contains a request for a copy of Rabone's study. It is reported here that the Marine Department supplied copies of the 1911, 1923 and 1924 reports as background information for the Rabone report. File 47/16. Mataora Bay Record starts 1978. There was an application to extract 3,600 m3 annually from Mataora bay. The permit was declined as it was thought to be an unsustainable quantity. File 74/30/28 (pt 1). Coastal Erosion Surveys Report covers period 1974 to 1983. BOPCC file 21/4. The file notes the existence of the Bay of Plenty Coastal Erosion Survey (1977) and the Coromandel Coastal Survey (1981). File 74/30/5/1/1 (pt 2). Hauraki Catchment Board Hydrology; Operational surveys. 7/1 Harbour and Marine Works Annual Reports 1931-1945. Rice grass Spartina Townsendii. 7/1 Harbour and Marine Works Annual Reports 1946-1969 7/2 Harbour and Marine Works: Removal of sand Coromandel Peninsula. 1958-1970 August 1951: There several memos referring to illegal taking of sand and shingle from beaches. Associated files Paeroa 24/256, SH39/1/1 and SH72/25/2C/6 also Paeroa 24/1256 October to December 1960. 7/2 Harbour and Marine Works: Removal of sand Coromandel Peninsula. Volume II 1970-1974. Note: This file contains 3 monthly returns of material taken from beaches and streams in the Coromandel Peninsula and sent to the Lands and Survey Department who was responsible for Crown Land. This summary does not include these returns and anyone wanting to know where and when material was taken will need to consult these files at Archives NZ. 7/2 Harbour and Marine Works: Removal of sand Coromandel Peninsula. Volume IV 1977–1981.
- Literature Review
- Consents and Structures
- Social and Economic
- Coastal Development and Public Spaces
- Shoreline Change
- Consents and Structures
2. Contact information
- Waikato Regional Council
3. Spatial information
Whiritoa Beach and coastline from southern limit Waikato Region to Otahu Estuary.
NameWhiritoa BeachNZMG Easting0NZMG Northing0LocationOtahu Estuary to Waihi Beach (including Whiritoa Beach)East Coast
4. Data acquisition information
This summary collected from physical files held by NZ Archives in 2012/3. Frequency of collection: Varied
5. Data quality information
Data quality: Varied
6. Distribution information
Data in physical files held by NZ Archives. Some images and reports have been scanned and are stored by the Waikato Regional Council.
None Sensitivity/Confidentiality: None
7. Status information
complete - historical
8. Metadata information