In the past 10 years there has been a low demand for activities in the CMA. As at 2005, there were only 46 current coastal permits (approximately 1% of all current consents administered by the Regional Council). The area of the Region landward of MHWS has not faced the same level of development pressure that has been experienced in most other regions of New Zealand.

The main resource management issues relating to the CMA include the following:
  • As more people come to the Region for work and recreation, there are increasing demands for public access, and increasing pressures on important values in estuaries and along the open coast, such as impacts on birdlife and fish habitat.
  • There needs to be better integration between activities happening on land and those happening in the CMA, to ensure consistent and compatible management. Subdivision, land use intensification and the management of dunes are addressed through district plans and Chapter 4 of this Plan.
  • Degraded coastal water quality and loss of biological diversity have resulted from land development and, more particularly, the efflux of contaminants from rivers, which often renders coastal water quality unsuitable for contact recreation.
  • There are new demands and technologies, such as aquaculture and advancing technologies for electricity generation (tidal, wave and ocean currents and offshore wind), that are seeking to locate in the CMA.
The regulatory approach used is consistent with the low level of demand for activities within the CMA. The key objective in managing the CMA is to ensure that the natural character and ecosystem processes are maintained while still allowing activities and development. This chapter also recognises that most adverse effects in the CMA result from landward uses and development. Part II of this Plan (which includes all regional rules) seeks to ensure that activities are regulated in a consistent manner across the boundary of the CMA as much as possible.
Figure 8.1 Coastal Marine Area for the Manawatū-Whanganui Region.