A group of friends in New Zealand stood on the pristine sands of the South Island’s Awaroa beach and decided they wanted to buy it. So, even though they weren’t multimillionaires, they found a way to reach the asking price of NZ$2.3 million, and they bought it.
The beach was part of Abel Tasman National Park, but was privately owned by a businessman named Michael Spackman, which meant it couldn’t be used by the public. Owing to the beach’s beauty, this particular group of friends thought that would be a travesty. So, because they wanted to own it, but make it available to the public, the group decided to ask the public to help buy the beach.
So began a crowdfunding project aimed at purchasing the strip of sand. Word spread quickly, and received a generally positive response. A businessman who caught wind of the project offered to contribute any shortfall, provided that he and his family would have a section of sand for their private use. This offer was rejected based on the fact that the beach was intended to become fully public.
How the Beach was Bought
Wanting to help make the spot available to the public, around 40,000 contributors donated money to the cause. This was helped by the government, who declared its contribution as being small but significant. All in all it took a little over three weeks for the original group of friends to collect the money required to meet the asking price of the seller.
The group was also sure to respect the indigenous people of New Zealand, negotiating with the Maoris of the area before making the purchase. The negotiations between the seller and the purchasers took four days, and, according to those involved, put the purchasers through the wringer. But, in the end, the beach changed hands and became public.
The Future of Awaroa Beach
The spot is rather difficult to reach; a fact made evident by the nearby airstrip. However, these types of destinations are becoming increasingly popular with travellers, so the owners believe the beach will become a vibrant spot in the near future.
So, if you dream of owning a beach, and don’t mind sharing it with a few other people, crowdfunding might work for you the same way it worked this group of friends with a dream.
Image credit: https://www.abeltasman.co.nz/a-day/walk-abel-tasman-national-park/short-walks/awaroa-pioneer-trail-guided/