Saturday, 4 July 2009

Blackhead lowered to another level

How about those north east winds at Blackhead..
Finding that the headland is not providing the same protection from the nor-easters as it used to?
A recent stage of lowering/levelling has just been completed.
Above and below, photos taken on the first of July 2009

Pics below:
31st December 2008

19th October 2008

Now, how far is this quarrying going to go?

In 1985 Fulton Hogan had plans to mine the centre of the site to 50 metres below sea level and then blast an opening into the ocean creating a safe boat harbour.
Eventually through negotiations with the group 'Friends of Blackhead' a covenant was drawn up with the Department of Conservation in 1991 to protect the outer rock formations, including the Roman Baths and the Dock.
This is why the large prominence remains untouched at the end of the headland, so spill does not fall down the slopes to the sea and ruin the protected rock formations.

If it wasn't for the group 'Friends of Blackhead' we may very well have ended up with my 'artists vision' 'D' near the end of this century, which would mean the disappearance of Blackhead headland altogether! No more sheltered surfing there in the nor-easter.
There is still the real possibility of 'C' developing, which in my eyes seems the only way the covenant can be preserved and mining can continue in the predicted volumes as close to the original intention as possible.
B is where we are at now, today.
A is from a photo taken in the early 1980's - photo courtesy of Lloyd Godman, the red line above the headland traces the natural landfall outline. The coloured arrows point to the same rock formations in A and B. these photos are taken on slightly different angles, but still illustrate the picture.


Dooma said...

Is there anything we can do to stop it? Its already a bit to late but if it gets to 2060 forget surfing at Blackhead. Even 10 years ago it was pretty glassy in a strong north east wind but now it seems even a light wind is just the same as everywhere else. Also those Boulders on the beach are definitly affecting the sand build up. Surely there are other sights the could mine close by that are the same rock?

nic on 20 July, 2009 16:27 said...

There is still the possibility of restarting the group 'Friends of Blackhead' I hear there is still a decent amount of money in the kitty for future legal work.
I have to check the exact details of the covenant yet, as I understand since making the post above, that there are actually legal limits to the level it can be mined to, so may not look as dire as I depicted in 'C'.
.. will keep you posted

t2 said...

Yeah - I was just commenting
the other day about how much the
top level has changed since
we firsted shift here 3 years ago
thats a whole lotta rock gone

Dooma said...

Be good to find out those 'legal' limits. cheers


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