Measuring coastal natural character report

This report complements work to identify outstanding natural landscapes and features in Golden Bay.

Tasman District Council supported Pacific Eco-Logic Ltd in undertaking preliminary work through an Envirolink funded project. The report was written by Vicky Froude and Chris Richmond.

To evaluate natural character three aspects of the landscape were measured:

  • Hydrological and geological naturalness
  • Ecological naturalness; and
  • Freedom from buildings and structures

Further work is needed to determine the extent of the coastal environment. The methodology, now tested, is ready to be applied to the remainder of the coast, when consultant time and Council budget are available.


The overview map shows the areas that have been evaluated. In Golden Bay these include the Whanganui Inlet, Wharariki Beach, Farewell Spit and the Puponga estuary, the Ruataniwha Inlet and the coastal strip from Collingwood to the Parapara estuary.


Background Information

The New Zealand Coastal Policy Statement requires Councils to define the extent of the coastal environment (Policy 1), and identify areas of outstanding and high natural character (Policy 13) as well as outstanding natural landscapes and features (Policy 15) in order to provide appropriate levels of protection.

These are also ‘matters of national importance’ in the Resource Management Act 1991 (sections 6a and 6b).

Read more about the New Zealand Coastal Policy Statement(external link) from the Department of Conservation website.