While many of us are aware of the sterling efforts of groups such as the Omaha Shorebird Protection Trust and the Omaha trapping team to protect and improve the environment around the Omaha spit, less well-known perhaps are the efforts being made to protect the wider Whangateau Harbour.
For example, Whangateau Harbour Care is a volunteer group set up “to sustain the environment of the Whangateau Harbour and its catchment” – see https://www.facebook.com/
There are also private landowners dedicated to the protection of the harbour’s shoreline and bird habitats on their own land, such as Lu and Kay Rathe whose property is on the north side of Omaha Flats Road at the western end of the causeway. The Rathe family is well-known locally, having been in the area for many years, and it was Lu’s mother, Ngaire, that specifically set up an Esplanade Strip in 1996.
Showing a vision for the environment ahead of the time, her objective was “the protection of conservation values” on the esplanade, while generously still allowing the continued use of this private land by the public for appropriate leisure activities (ie no vehicles or animals).