Kiwi coastal connections

Elizabeth Marenzi —  28/10/2014

I grew up one street back from the beach, on the Kapiti Coast.

Kapiti Island. Photo: Bernardo Velasco | CC BY-NC-SA 2.0.

Kapiti Coast

I spent happy holidays with grandparents, one street back from the beach, at Waihi.

Waihi Beach. Photo: Chris Dillon | CC BY-NC-ND 2.0.

Waihi Beach

As a child, I remember fishing all day with my grandfather, as my skin turned blush then beetroot.

As a young adult, I remember walking all day, along endless sand and shells, giving my teenage worries to the wind and the waves.

The beach at Paekakariki. Photo: Stewart Baird | CC BY-NC-ND 2.0.

The beach at Paekakariki—the perfect place for teenage brooding

Now, all grown-up, there’s few other places that draw me to them like the coast.

As a New Zealander, I don’t think my experience is unusual. Many of us have a deep connection to the coast. The sea surrounds us. It’s hard to stop it seeping into our story in some way.

Waihi Beach. Photo: comeonadorra | flickr  | CC BY-NC 2.0.

Waihi Beach

Working for DOC, I’ve come to realise the health of this special part of New Zealand – part of me – isn’t a given anymore. Our coast, and marine environment, needs help to safeguard it for the future.

While my rose coloured memories remain, will my kids be able to boast the same?

Children playing on the beach. Kapiti Island in the distance.

My kids at Paraparaumu Beach, Kapiti, October 2014

Marine conservation is an important task for DOC. Amongst other things, DOC’s responsible for New Zealand’s marine reserves.

Air New Zealand, who support our work in marine reserves and help promote our network of Coastal Gems, recently put together this short video about what our marine environment means to them (and to many of us).

There’s no Richard Simmons, or Bear Grylls, but it’s a heartfelt ode that resonated with my own personal story and cemented my (until now unarticulated) determination that my kids have the same opportunities to create their own rose coloured marine memories.

To further celebrate New Zealand’s marine environment and our Coastal Gems, DOC and Air New Zealand are giving you a chance to win an unforgettable marine adventure for you and three friends.

There are five different experiences up for grabs, in five different marine reserves, but you have to be quick if you want to enter—the competition ends Friday (31 October 2014):

Elizabeth Marenzi


Elizabeth is part of the communications team at DOC. She enjoys reconnecting the urban desk jockeys of the world with nature—believing it to be the best anecdote for “tired, nerve-shaken, over-civilized people.”

2 responses to Kiwi coastal connections


    remarkable photos- thanks

    Conservation blog 28/10/2014 at 9:14 am

    Touching words that really gave this the personal touch, great photos and excellent video. Thank you Elizabeth.