Kiwi Bach Communities: Retaining the Character of New Zealand Bach Communities
This thesis investigates the characteristics which are valued about bach communities in New Zealand and how this character has changed as a result of sea-change type development. The New Zealand bach community plays a special role in the lives of many New Zealander’s and has contributed to the summer time traditions of many families. To many people the bach house symbolises part of New Zealand’s cultural heritage. In recent years, the international process of sea-change has impacted on the character of many communities around the world and this has led to some concern that the very character which contributes to the attractiveness of these communities is being lost. Contemporary literature has devoted little attention to the impacts of sea-change development on the highly valued character of bach communities in New Zealand. There is therefore a need for investigation into what defines this character and how it has been changing in response to increased demand for coastal property. In order to analyse the character of bach communities, and the influence of sea-change on these communities, a qualitative case study approach has been undertaken in both Whangarei District and Thames-Coromandel District, two areas of New Zealand which are known for their high amenity coastlines and high occurrence of second homes used for weekend and holiday getaways. The research gathered perspectives from a wide variety of key informants including permanent residents within bach communities, bach owners, planning professionals and local government representatives. Research findings indicate that planning approaches which consider the unique character of bach communities, and have a focus on retaining this character, are limited. The research also indicates that there appears to be divergent views within communities about the use of regulatory approaches toward retaining the traditional bach with its vernacular nature. Six recommendations are developed in the research that, if adopted, would assist Whangarei, Thames-Coromandel, and other districts experiencing development demands relating to coastal property, to effectively approach development within bach communities without compromising their highly valued character. In order to effectively retain the character of bach communities, community specific strategic planning needs to be developed and carefully implemented through a combination of non-regulatory and regulatory approaches.
Advisor: Freeman, Claire
Degree Name: Master of Planning
Degree Discipline: Geography
Publisher: University of Otago
Keywords: Bach; Coastal Community; Crib; Coastal Character; Second homes; Whangarei Coast; Thames Coast
Research Type: Thesis