The Long Bay - Okura Great Park Society was formed in 1996 to convince local, regional and central government to work together with us for the creation of a 1,000 acre Great Park at Long Bay in North Auckland. More about the society.

Latest News

Please Donate to Save the Marine Reserve

Dear Supporters,

A few days ago we saw a fur seal frolicking at the mouth of the Okura Estuary! Sadly, it’s not good news for the plight of this lovely seal. Last week we shared the upsetting news that Todd Property Group will be going to the Environment Court to try to force through intensive development on the shores of the Estuary and the Long Bay Okura Marine Reserve.

In response, this week, the Long Bay Okura Great Park Society lodged an appeal against Todd Property’s development.

Now we really need your help to raise the funds for our Court costs. If you haven’t already, please assist us by making a donation to the Society’s Givealittle page
Donate on Givealittle

We believe our expenses in the Environment Court will be in the range of $300,000. If all of our supporters put in $100 this would be an amazing contribution to these costs.

Many thanks for your help!

Filed under: News   October 2, 2016

Developers Pursue Urbanisation

Okura Estuary Under Threat


Dear Supporters,

Just when we thought Okura Estuary was saved from urban development, landowner, Okura Holdings Ltd (Todd Property Group), has struck again by appealing the Auckland Council’s decision not to allow intensive development on the shores of the Estuary and the Long Bay Okura Marine Reserve.

Despite the Auckland Council rejecting Okura Holdings Unitary Plan proposal to develop the southern side of the Estuary in an intensive 750-1000 unit housing development, the developer isn’t respecting Council’s decision and is relentlessly driving for urbanisation to go ahead at a devastating cost to the environment.

This shocking news could spell certain doom for the future of the Marine Reserve and the wildlife that lives there. In the continuation of an epic David versus Goliath saga, the Long Bay Okura Great Park Society now has no option but to take on the developer in the Environment Court.

We have really appreciated your support before and now ask for your help again in the Estuary’s hour of need.

Please help us in two ways:

Make a donation to the Society’s Givealittle page
Donate on Givealittle
We believe our expenses in the Environment Court will be in the range of $300,000. If all of our supporters put in $100 this would be an amazing contribution to these costs.

Come to our ‘Meet the Candidates’ event this Sunday and implore our potential Mayors and Albany Ward candidates to keep up the fight to protect the Estuary.
Details at 'Meet the Candidates' Event

Now that the developer has declared that it will pursue financial gain at any cost the Society vows to continue the fight to protect the waters and environment of the Okura Estuary so that people can continue to enjoy this spectacular landscape.

Our Convenor, Chris Bettany says, “We are incredulous that Todd Property is obstinately continuing to pursue development. Urbanisation of the area will profit a few but at the cost of the destruction of a precious and rare ecosystem, currently enjoyed by hundreds of thousands of people per year.”

Auckland Council’s reasons for not allowing urbanisation included the harmful effects of heavy metal contamination and sedimentation run off on the health of the Marine Reserve.

Marine Scientist and Marine Reserve Specialist, Dr Roger Grace agrees with the Council’s decision, “Okura Coast developer’s profit-driven quest will add further silt and other environmental pressures to an already stressed Marine Reserve and it is simply unacceptable”.

For the Society the fight is very much a classic David versus Goliath tale. It’s pledging to do all it can to make sure this wonderful environment is preserved and needs your help to continue.

Many thanks for your continued support.

The Long Bay Okura Great Park Society Team

Further Background

The Okura Estuary and Long Bay Okura Marine Reserve have long been under threat by greedy developers wanting to cash up on the benefits of locating an urban development in an extremely beautiful and desirable coastal environment close to Auckland. Over the course of 30 years Community Groups have been fighting to protect the area and two previous Environment Court hearings have ruled that the Okura Estuary and Marine Reserve is too precious to be urbanised.

Todd Property purchased the Okura land subsequent to the second Environment Court hearing knowing full well that it could not be urbanised, however they are determined to push development through. Now in this new battle, the Unitary Plan process, the Long Bay Okura Great Park Society has fought against Todd Property, to preserve the Estuary and its environment in an unspoilt state.

A combination of features makes the setting of the Okura Estuary unique in New Zealand. It’s just 20 minutes north of downtown Auckland, is ecologically significant, and pods of orca and dolphins are often seen in the mouth of the estuary. It’s a critically important habitat for rare shore birds such as the Variable Oyster Catcher, the summer feeding ground for migratory birds including the godwit, and a successful nesting area for the critically endangered New Zealand dotterel.

On the northern side of the Estuary lies the Okura Bush Scenic Reserve, a native coastal forest, home to 500-year-old Kauri and Puriri trees that is enjoyed by more than 70,000 visitors a year who walk the track that runs from Redvale to Stillwater. On the south-eastern side sits the Long Bay Regional Park with a visitor count of 1.4 million each year.

Filed under: News   September 23, 2016

Grab a bargain and help the Environment!

Canoe & Kayak One Day Sale Fundraiser

Hi to all our wonderful supporters,

Here is a fantastic opportunity to pick up a cheap kayak so you can paddle the beautiful shoreline of Long Bay and Okura! Canoe & Kayak will be having a secondhand kayak sale this Sunday 18th September. Mention this ad and they will donate 5% of the sale proceeds to the Long Bay Okura Great Park Society! The sale will be at the Canoe and Kayak shop located on Ascension Place off Constellation Drive.

Thanks Canoe and Kayak for supporting us!

Filed under: Events   September 15, 2016

Decide who you want for Mayor of Auckland!


Come and hear Phil Goff and Vic Crone, our potential Mayors, and the Albany Ward candidates discuss their vision for Auckland.

We'll be asking them what they will do to protect the Long Bay Okura Marine Reserve, the Okura Estuary, our beautiful Long Bay Regional Park, and the spectacular Okura Bush Walkway.

Come and hear their answers and ask them your own questions as well.

2pm to 4pm Sunday 25th September
St Cuthberts Presbyterian Church Hall
45 Anzac Street
Browns Bay

(Afternoon tea will be served)

For more information call
Chris Bettany 479-4015

Filed under: Events   September 8, 2016

The Long Bay Okura Great Park Society’s Annual General Meeting with Guest Speaker, Conrad Pilditch

We invite you to the Society's Annual General Meeting:
2pm Sunday 21 August,
Main Building, Vaughan Park Retreat, 1043 Beach Road, Long Bay.
(More details can be found here)

Come and hear guest speaker, Conrad Pilditch, Biological Sciences Professor from Waikato University, talking about the value of estuaries and how they need to be protected.

Also find about the Society's involvement in the Unitary Plan hearings process: what it sought, what it opposed, the recommendation from the Hearings Panel and the decision made by the Auckland Council.

Professor Pilditch's talk will be on - Ecology of marine sediments – why soft bottoms matter!

Soft sediments, the mud and sand that comprise the seafloor represent the largest continuous habitat on the planet and harbour an incredible diversity of burrowing animals. In shallow coastal and estuarine waters these animals are responsible for regulating key processes that underpin many of the ecosystem attributes we value. For example filter-feeding by shellfish help keep the water clear and the burrowing activities of crabs regenerate essential nutrients that sustain production. Locally, and globally human activities on land are threatening the integrity of these ecosystems through increasing inputs of sediments and nutrients which alter biodiversity and how these systems work.

In this talk Professor Pilditch will provide an overview of current research that aims to understand the consequences of biodiversity loss and what it may mean for Society. Much of this research has been conducted in local estuaries including the Okura Estuary.

Conrad Pilditch is a Professor of Marine Science at the University of Waikato. He holds a MSc in Marine Science from Otago and PhD in Oceanography from Dalhousie University (Canada). His research interests focus on the ecology of marine sediments, in particular trying to understand the complex interactions between animals and their environment that drive ecosystem performance. He has worked in coastal and deep-sea habitats in New Zealand, Europe and North America and published more than 100 scientific articles describing the results of his research. More information on his research can be found here

Filed under: Events   August 19, 2016