Ed Atkin

Ed Atkin


Policy 16 of the New Zealand Coastal Policy Statement (NZCPS 2010): Surf Breaks of National Significance is a guideline for local authorities to protect 17 nationally significant surf breaks distributed across New Zealand. Four case studies are described to show how surf science, local knowledge and collaboration are used to look at where mistakes have been made, mitigate degradation and provide planning tools for authorities to aid in the management of significant surf breaks.

The first case study considers Whangamata Bar, a world class left hander and one of the 17 Nationally Significant Surf Breaks. Whangamata Bar is subject to dredging and development within the estuarine environment that forms the seabed morphology where the wave breaks.

The second case study considers The Spit at Aramaona in Dunedin, also one of the 17 Nationally Significant Surf Breaks. The historical volume of material a the beach has been subject to dredging activities of the local port.

The third case study looks at a seabed mining operation in the Taranaki Bight and how this would affect 10 regionally significant surf breaks. This case shows the importance of the NZCPS and how it encourages the inclusion of a surf break assessment during the resource consent process.

The fourth case presents the measures a regional council have gone to in giving effect to Policy 16 through the development of a spatial database that defines the area 58 regionally significant surf breaks and their associated swell corridors up to the 12 mile territorial sea limit.

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About the speaker

Ed’s core background is in coastal processes and oceanography, specializing in coastal sediment dynamics, hydronamics, wave climate, surf science, multipurpose reefs and numerical modelling.

Ed completed his Master’s Degree at The University of Southampton’s National Oceanography Centre, his Master’s Thesis studied wave breaking characteristics at Boscombe, UK.

EA2 Ed has been involved with surf science since 2005 and uses his understanding of nearshore and wave breaking processes in investigations that address wave breaking quality changes.

Ed works closely with the Surfbreak Protection Society in New Zealand, by providing technical advice regarding preservation of marine resources. Currently, Ed is a PhD candidate at the University of Waikato undertaking a study concerning the relationship between sediment dynamics around an ebb tidal delta and surfing wave quality.

As a consultant Ed has completed technical reports and research projects across a wide range of disciplines, including contributing to expert witness evidence and other court proceedings. He attends and presents at national and international conferences, being actively involved in an organizational capacity.

Ed has spent many years travelling driven by surf and culture, but now mostly for work. He lives in Raglan, New Zealand with his partner Ash, 2 kids; Amber and June and dog; Reggie. He is a volunteer New Zealand coastguard with the Raglan Unit and surfs nearly every day on the left hand point breaks.

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