Mead, S.T. and Atkin, E.A., 2019. Managing issues at Aotearoa New Zealand's surf breaks. In: Bryan, K.R. and Atkin, E.A. (eds.), Surf Break Management in Aotearoa New Zealand. Journal of Coastal Research, Special Issue No. 87, pp. 13–22. Coconut Creek (Florida), ISSN 0749-0208.
Policy 16 of the New Zealand Coastal Policy Statement 2010 (NZCPS) provides a legislative framework that identifies and calls for the protection of surf breaks of national and regional significance by “ensuring that activities in the coastal environment do not adversely affect the surf breaks” and by “avoiding adverse effects of other activities on access to, and use and enjoyment of the surf breaks”. While this is ground-breaking as the world's first environmental policy to specifically identify surf breaks as protected spaces, it has been somewhat toothless in its effectiveness because there are no clear, quantitative measures or guidelines describing the oceanographic or geomorphic characteristics of the coastal zone that contribute to the functionality of a surf break. This paper summarises our existing knowledge concerning surf breaks in New Zealand and highlights the management issues facing local communities and councils; it presents an example of an implemented management approach and the way forward with the recently completed national management guidelines for surfing resources, which are a world first.