For most of my life, I’ve lived close to the sea. I’m not a particularly strong swimmer, so I feel happiest in that area where the land meets the water.
My home city, Auckland lies on an isthmus between the Waitemata and Manukau Harbours. Rangitoto Island, the city’s newest volcano, is visible from all the beaches of the Waitemata, and forms the backdrop to thousands of photos.
With 14,000 kilometres (about 8700 miles) of coastline — and no place in the country more than 130km (81 miles) from the sea (1) — most New Zealanders take for granted the ability to visit a beach; to walk, swimming, or go fishing or boating. Even those of us who don’t live close to the beach are generally not far from a lake or river.
Of course sometimes land meets water in places in ways and places that damage eco-systems and livelihoods. Winter storms increasingly appear to cause flooding in many parts of the world, and NZ is no exception. Although this temporary lake looks beautiful, the economic, social and environmental cost of flooding cannot be ignored.