New Zealand crowdfunds $1.7 million to buy a private beach and give it to the public

 

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Photo: Sarah Burvenich via unsplash

 

When debt-troubled businessman Michael Spackman put his private New Zealand beach on sale, Kiwis started a crowdfunding campaign to buy it back for the public.

Spackman purchased Awaroa beach in 2008, for $1.4 million, and left it open to the public. When he put it on sale earlier this year, New Zealanders worried that whoever bought it might close off access.

The crowdfunding campaign raised $1.7 million in donations from around 40,000 people. Even the New Zealand government contributed $254,000. The beach will remain public and will be run by the Abel Tasman National Park, of which it is now part.

Also interested in the beach are New Zealand’s indigenous Maoris, who owned everything before the colonists arrived and took over the place. Some locals demanded that the beach, which contains burial grounds, be returned to the Maoris, but in the end a compromise was reached, with access for everyone and « ways to involve local Maori youth in the management of the land. »

Source: Fast Coexist

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