This is the catch cry of the community campaign to save New Chum beach from development.
Imagine walking through the bush, a stand of nikau and then coming down into a beach of golden sands with pohutakawa trees right down to the sand. A large bay with rocky headlands and rolling waves. A beach that is completely pristine with absolutely no development at all. No roads, no paths, no rubbish bins, toilets, ice cream sellers or anything other than the absolute natural beauty. A beach on the Coromandel Peninsula that can only be accessed by a 30 minute walk or by water. This beach is New Chum – Wainuiototo.
I first saw New Chum 10 years ago and I have to say it took my breath away. I have visited many beautiful beaches but the absolute unspoiled nature of New Chum was something special. Since that first visit I have been back many times to sit, to picnic, to walk, to swim and every time it takes my breath away. On one occasion my partner and I ended up being the only people there at the end of the day – it was a magic feeling. If you haven’t visited and you have the chance I would highly recommend it. The beach lies north of Whangapoua beach on the eastern side of the Coromandel peninsula. It is an easy 30 minute walk.
Yesterday I had the pleasure of joining over a thousand others who are fighting to stop development of New Chum. There are so few beaches of this size and quality that remain undeveloped, especially so close to the large population centres of Auckland, Waikato and the Bay of Plenty. We want to save this beach in its untouched state for our children, our grandchildren and future generations.
A wonderful community campaign -New Chum for everyone - has worked tirelessly over the last few months to oppose the development of New Chum. They have submitted, they have lobbied, they have built community support and got the support of Labour leader Phil Goff and Green MP Catherine Delahunty. Yesterdat a message was sent to the Prime Minister to put pressure on him to do what is a no brainer and that is to buy New Chum from the developer to ensure it protected now and into the future.
It seems the developer is willing to do a deal that means this could cost as little as $10 million. This is a small price to pay for something which has enormous economic, social and environmental value. This beach has been described as one of the most beautiful beaches in the world by Lonely Planet and National Geographic.
Yesterday at Matarangi, led by Phil Keoghan (Host of the Amazing Race) and supported by many others including Linda at The Informer newsletter, we sent a visual message made up of over a thousand people; it said “John Key Save Me! New Chum”. Phil Goff, Steve Chadwick, Catherine Delahunty and I (but not Sandra Goudie the local MP) all participated. The Mayor of Thames Coromandel District Council, Glenn Leach and a number of TCDC Councillors were also actively involved. One person I was really pleased to see was Robyn Malcolm who was recently vilified for taking a very principled stance in the whole Hobbit debacle.
The Government can make a difference by buying this wonderful asset for the people of New Zealand. As Phil Goff says ‘National can invest $1.7 billion in protecting South Canterbury Finance Investors and pay Warner Brothers up to $95 million in handouts for filming The Hobbit in New Zealand, $10 million is such a small price for protecting such an invaluable asset as New Chum beach”.
This is something worth supporting. We can save New Chum. Please go to www.preservenewchum.org.nz for more information. As the community campaign states “Whatungarongaro te tangata Toitu te whenua – people come and go but the land remains”