Anders Bekeken

100 Places To Remember: Bay of Plenty, New Zealand

Geschreven op 12-3-2010 - Erik van Erne. Geplaatst in Natuur Facebooktwitterredditpinterestlinkedintumblrmail

100places to rememberAn Abundance of Food and People. The British explorer Captain James Cook reached New Zealand in 1769. Mapping the entire coastline along the way, he noted the rich abundance of fruits and crops enjoyed by the Maori villagers who live along the eastern coast of the North Island, and dubbed the region the Bay of Plenty.

The first Maori people had arrived in New Zealand almost 500 years before Cook, landing at Mauao (Mount Maunganui) in the centre of the bay. They too had been drawn by the abundance of food in the region.

The Bay of Plenty is a coastal marine region covering 9,500 square kilometres from the Coromandel Peninsula in the west to Cape Runaway in the east. Today, its endless white beaches, impressive natural harbours, warm summers and mild winters attract divers, kayakers, kite surfers and other tourists all year round.

At the entrance to the Port of Tauranga towers the sacred mountain of Mauao. One of the fastest growing cities in New Zealand, Tauranga has tripled in size in a little over 25 years, and now has an population of approximately 116,000. The beautiful coastline surrounding Tauranga and its suburbs makes it a highly desirable area and helped trigger a housing boom throughout the Bay of Plenty in recent years. This growth is expected to continue and it is predicted that the population of the bay will double, or even triple, by 2050.

Rising sea levels and increasing storm surges are projected to cause erosion and coastal inundation in the Bay of Plenty. The rapidly growing population and ongoing development of the coastline further increase vulnerability to erosion, putting houses and infrastructure at risk.

Another impact of global climate change is that, by 2080, severe drought is projected every five to ten years, which would increase the danger of fire by 10-50%. Droughts and fires will lead to loss of forests and farmland and force farmers to change their crops, posing a severe challenge to the very fertility and prosperity that gave the Bay of Plenty its name.

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