In recent weeks, Hill Country has conducted extensive road-building at Ocean Beach, on the land Andy Lowe would like to develop … or was it preserve?!

You can see the extent of these earthworks – adding many kilometers of roading – in this slideshow.

Most, if not all of this roading is in the area Hill Country euphemistically called the “Rural Conservation Zone” in its proposed plan change (in fact, some is in the so-called “Sensitive Ecology Area”). You’ll recall, Andy said, “Let me put 1,000 houses on the south end of the beach, and someday I’ll show you a plan for protecting the rest.” Yeah right!

Hill Country is apparently within its legal rights, since it claims this roading is incidental to the management of its rural property, and has not been found (yet) to have violated any sensitive cultural sites.

But there’s no denying that this roadwork is essentially a big “Screw You!” to the people of Hawke’s Bay.

When Hill Country’s plan change goes before independent commissioners and eventually the Environment Court, one consideration that must be taken into account is the degree to which the landscape involved has already lost its “natural” character.

And, of course, if kilometer upon kilometer of roading has been built already, the land might be more likely to be adjudged as already compromised, and therefore less deserving of protection. Keep in mind, these roads are not on the land Andy proposes to develop under his plan change; they are on the land he promises to protect.

A classic “Catch 22” against the public interest … Andy carves up the land now, so he improves his chances of carving up the land later. Ocean Beach is the victim of this assault.

To send a message to Andy Lowe, just go here … you might like to use or edit ours.

And what do you think of this Mayor Yule? Maybe you’d like to take a helicopter ride over Ocean Beach and look for yourself? Or maybe just congratulate Andy on his ingenuity?


Join the Conversation


  1. How can this be? – when i was on the land some years ago one had to get "Resource Consent " for any "Farm Tracks" over 500 metres in length. Surely, that still applies, as i cannot imagine this government making anything simpler for our 'cockies'

  2. Given the opposiion posed by Future Ocean Beach and others Hill County's intention in forming the road could be to subdivide under the 20ha + 1.5ha provision. Their chances of getting anything near the1000 houses they hoped for is slim. 'Farm Park' subdivision, tourist lodges, cluster housing, will all be in their back up plan. This makes it even more vital to lobby for WAIPUKA / OCEAN BEACH NATIONAL PARK

  3. We can speculate all we like – the bottom line is the action

    is a totally irrational one which does not relate to any possible reasable objective. The land is too steep for housing and extemely slip prone at this point. The part of the track going over the brow of the hill will inefitably trigger the type of slip which creates a c basin with a fan toe at the bottom as in Haupouri Valley. This point is directly above an area of middens – how do we know that? Below this point large cracks regualarly open up in the land and expose the layers of shells. I will send a photo taken below this point and hope the team can insert it here.

    <img src="/wp-content/uploads/ob_diane.jpg" alt="Ocean Beach crack" />

    The crack in the photo is about 3 metres deep and several metres long. You can see some of the shell layer. Folks make sure you all mention this action in your submissions. Does anyone know the date it was started?

  4. To amplify my first one word response. I can't believe you can carve up the whenua like that cretin has done without some sort of a consent process/permit!!! I think he is just 'sticking it up 'us' i.e those who would dare to stand up to him and his like. The HBRC are stilling having trouble with my last few complaints so could someone formally check up with them [and the HDC] if he did require permission and if so on what basis. I hope you were flying high enough in that chopper Tom -you might have crashed into his ego!!!

    ps did you see how close they came to an ancient pa site? I hope the dead sort them out in their own way [as they can!].


  5. Our developer friend spent 2 years speaking publicly to groups promoting his "wonderful conservation Ideas" for Ocean Beach – and he has repeatedly publicly stated "I am PASSIONATE about conservation." A lot of the actual conservation work done so far has been through the outstanding efforts of many public volunteers.

    Also why does he breed game birds under a conservation sign? Where will they be released? Will it be within the predator proof fence? Surely they would be competing for food and habitat with the re-introduced indigenous species? And well game birds are usually bred for hunters to shoot – where would this occur???? Why the need for "bird watching hides?

    This land carve up adds to the list of events that are wearing credibility to a very thin line.

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