Coastal Restoration Trust of New Zealand

Coastal Dune Ecosystem Reference Database

Bridging to the deep blue: Rebalancing surf culture Other Publication

McCulloch, N.
Publisher / Organisation
Unitec Institute of Technology, New Zealand
Te Arai Point (N.Z.), Northland (N.Z.), New Zealand, surfing, surfers, surfboards, surfboard manufacture, coastal awareness centres, coastal zones, environmental sustainability
Unpublished document submitted in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Architecture Through surfing, the ancient Hawaiian natives formed a bond with their surrounding environment – with surfing being a physical manifestation of the delicate balance between the ocean, land, and sky. To them, surfing is a high art form centred around etiquettes of respect and custodianship, and the crafting of a surfboard considered a spiritual experience. Modern surfing however, echoes only some of these sentiments. Above the surface, surfing appears as an activity holistically involved with the ocean. It has been proven as effective for physical and mental wellbeing, and through its international sporting exposure, is a powerful door for charitable and environmental organisations to operate through. Yet, underneath the surface is an industry reliant on pollutive products, and an ever-increasing ethic that forgets, or ignores the respectful etiquettes of old, instead favouring fervent localism, and selfish competitiveness. Bridging to The Deep Blue purposes to use architectural interventions to aid the surfing community in replenishing its custodial role, at a surfing site that has suffered at the hands of man. Te Arai Point in Northland, New Zealand, is a protected conservation reserve, a popular surfing and tourist location, and plays host to endangered sea-birds. This site has been subjected to deforestation and quarrying, and now is surrounded by cattle farms whose effluents are leaching into waterways. These polluted waterways further risk the already endangered local bird species, as well as spreading into the sea. The programme for this project will comprise of three structures working in a sustainable cooperation which ‘rebalances’ surfing’s identity, by simultaneously addressing the mentioned issues involved with the Te Arai site, and providing a non-toxic alternative to modern petro-chemically based surfboards. By having the surfing community involved in these activities, educates them to their wider environment, and the responsibility and ownership they can have in environmental restoration.