Date
27 May 2017
Awaroa beach is located in the Abel Tasman National Park on the north coast of South Island. It went on sale last year for NZ$2.3 million. Photo: Internet
Awaroa beach is located in the Abel Tasman National Park on the north coast of South Island. It went on sale last year for NZ$2.3 million. Photo: Internet

Thousands pitch in to buy New Zealand beach by crowdfunding

Nearly 40,000 people pitched in almost US$1.5 million in a crowdfunding campaign to buy a New Zealand beach for public use.

The Awaroa beach in the Abel Tasman National Park on the north coast of South Island, went on sale last year for NZ$2.3 million.

The bid was accepted after the crowdfunding campaign reached its target, BBC News reports.

The government and another major donor also contributed to the campaign which was launched by a group of friends.

The owner, businessman Michael Spackman, agreed to sell them the beach after four days of negotiations, according to local website Stuff.

“We’ve been through the wringer to get it and that’s a shared experience that forms friendships,” campaigner Duane Major told supporters.

“Now we hope people have shared experiences of this beautiful piece of pristine serene NZ beach and bush.”

New Zealand Conservation Minister Maggie Barry said the government had made a modest but vital contribution towards the purchase.

Another offer to contribute by a businessman and philanthropist, who said he would make up any shortfall in exchange for exclusive access to part of the beach for his family, was rejected.

The campaign also negotiated with local Maori groups, who argued the beach should be handed over to them.

The land, marketed as “a remarkable seven-hectare utopia”, will now be included in a state-managed national park along with other bits of land bought by the government, Barry said.

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FL/RA

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