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  Services » Publications » Technical reports - by year » tr200559

Whangamata Beach User Survey: Public Awareness and Attitudes to Dune Management

Report: TR05/59
Author: John Dennis (International Research Consultants Ltd.), with Jill Thomson (Eclectic Energy), Angela Davies and Sandra Barns (Environment Waikato)

Abstract

This research was undertaken to provide information to Environment Waikato to inform the development of strategies that promote individual behaviour change with respect to coastal issues, lift awareness of coastal hazards and natural character and increase knowledge of coastal processes.

A survey of 229 beach users at Whangamata was undertaken in January 2005 to find out:

  • the attitudes to, and level of knowledge of, dune systems
  • the benefits and barriers beach users saw in using beach accessways
  • the types of beach users
  • what types of beaches are preferred by beach users
  • use of the sand dune area
  • awareness of Beachcare.

Environment Waikato has been working with the Whangamata Beachcare community since it formed in 1994 to improve the health of the dune systems. Research undertaken in 1997 with beach users at Whangamata offered useful comparative data on levels of understanding and awareness, with some questions repeated in this survey.

Note - due to the large size of this pdf it has been split into two sections for ease of download.

Whangamata Beach User Survey: Public Awareness and Attitudes to Dune Management - Part 1
(908 kb, 129 seconds to download, 56k modem)

Whangamata Beach User Survey: Public Awareness and Attitudes to Dune Management - Part 2
(1030 kb, 147 seconds to download, 56k modem)

Table of Contents

Executive summary iii
Introduction iii
Method iii
Discussion of results iv
Who was interviewed? iv
What people enjoy about spending time at the beach v
Type of beach visited most often vi
Type of beach preferred to visit vi
Usage of sand dunes viii
Importance of sand dunes ix
Problems with the dunes at Whangamata ix
What they think of built accessways x
Distance people would walk to use accessway xii
Attitudes towards built accessways xii
Attitudes towards sand dunes xv
Awareness of Beachcare xviii
Conclusions xix
1 Background 1
2 Methodology 1
2.1 Questionnaire 2
2.2 Conducting the interviews 2
2.3 Processing the information 3
2.4 Scales and their interpretation 3
3 Sample characteristics 7
3.1 Gender 7
3.2 Age 7
3.3 Ethnic group 8
3.4 Education 8
3.5 Occupation 9
3.6 Household income 9
3.7 Where usually live 10
3.8 Day of interview 10
3.9 Time of interview 12
3.10 Location of interview 14
4 Beach user information 16
4.1 Type of beach user 16
4.2 Regular visitors - holiday home ownership 17
4.3 Whangamata residents - home ownership 17
4.4 Visitors, holiday home owners and residents 18
4.5 Where visitors usually live 20
4.5.1 First time visitors - where they usually live 20
4.5.2 Regular visitors - where they usually live 20
4.5.3 Holiday home owners - where they usually live 21
5 What people enjoy about the beach 22
6 Type of beach 31
6.1 Type of beach visited most often 31
6.1.1 Why usually choose that beach 33
6.2 Type of beach preferred 37
6.2.1 Reasons why prefer that type of beach 40
7 Sand dunes 48
7.1 Usage of sand dunes 48
7.1.1 Reasons why use the dune area behind the beach 51
7.2 Importance of sand dunes 53
7.2.1 Why sand dunes are important on a beach 55
7.3 Problems with the dunes at Whangamata 58
7.3.1 What are the problems with the dunes at Whangamata 60
8 Built accessways 65
8.1 What people think of built accessways 65
8.2 Why were wooden accessways built 71
8.3 Preferred accessways 74
8.4 Reasons for not using built accessways 88
8.4.1 Why would not use the built accessways 90
8.5 Distance people would walk to use an accessway 92
9 Attitudes towards built accessways 99
9.1 They help protect the dunes 100
9.2 They provide better access to the beach 104
9.3 They are easy to find 107
9.4 Built accessways are attractive 110
9.5 There should be more built accessways 113
9.6 They commercialise the beach 118
9.7 They detract from the naturalness of the beach 122
9.7.1 Comparison of attitude ratings by demographic sub-groups 125
10 Attitudes towards sand dunes 131
10.1 Dunes are important, they're our natural heritage 132
10.2 Dunes act as a buffer between land and sea 136
10.3 Plants on dunes build up sand reserves 139
10.4 Dunes screen any development behind 142
10.5 The width of the dune changes during the year 145
10.6 Once a dune is destroyed there's no way to bring it back 149
10.7 Walking on dunes isn't a problem as it doesn't increase erosion of dunes 153
10.8 Dunes recover quickly from four-wheel drives or motorbikes 156
10.8.1 Comparison of attitude ratings by demographic sub-groups 159
11 Beachcare 168
11.1 Heard of Beachcare 168
11.2 Membership of Beachcare 170
11.3 What do you think Beachcare does 171
References 175
Appendix 1 - What people enjoy about visiting the beach 177
Appendix 2 - Why usually choose that beach 192
Appendix 3 - Why people prefer that beach 203
Appendix 5 - What are the problems with the dunes at Whangamata 213
Appendix 6 - What they think of built accessways 220
Appendix 7 - Why were wooden accessways built 230
Appendix 8 - Preferred accessways 239
Appendix 9 - What do you think Beachcare does 248
Appendix 10 - Questionnaire Whangamata beach users survey 254
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