BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF
KAWAU ISLAND AND SETTLEMENT
Manual Section 7)
location map shows Kawau Island on the
east coast of the Rodney District.
Kawau Island is
situated in the Hauraki Gulf in the Rodney District, approximately 8.4
kilometres from Sandspit and at its closest point to the mainland is
1.5 kilometres from Tawharanui Peninsula.
topography of Kawau can be described as hilly to steep with some
relatively large flat to gently sloping areas, both elevated and in
valleys. High cliffs face the open sea to the east and for the most
part are impassable with few safe landing places for vessels on that
coast. Inlets and harbours formed by drowned valleys (as the land
tilted downward to the west and as the sea level rose following the
last Ice Age) penetrate the more sheltered western shoreline. There
are two large sandy bays at the flanks of the western shoreline.
Kawau has a land area of just over 2000 ha (5200 acres), 90% of which
is privately owned, and 10% is public land administered by the
Department of Conservation (DOC).
low density settlement, distributed on the sheltered western shoreline
consists of about 260 dwellings, mostly built close to the sea. For
the majority of landowners their legal access is from the sea, which
was the design of subdivision of the Island in the first decade of
last century. Many landowners rely on private jetties for their
access. There are about 60 permanent residents, the dwellings being
mostly holiday homes and baches.
Kawau Island is in
the Rodney District, and in the District Plans the Island is called
the Kawau Island Zone, which is divided into two areas, a Settlement
Policy Area and a Bush Policy Area. By urban standards development in
the Settlement Policy Area is very low density, and in the (larger)
Bush Policy Area there is very little development. The two policy
areas are a product of participation by the Kawau Island community in
developing the District Plans over the years, with emphasis upon
preserving the special character of the Island by discouraging the
formation of roads (there is no road network) and the introduction of
motor vehicles, and recognising the potential to progressively restore
the Islandís flora and fauna, integrated with some small scale
appropriate sustainable land uses such as large bush lots where
experience has shown owners will look after and enhance ecological
values, and small scale vineyards, or orchards, for fruit, nut or oil
production for example.