A campaign in pictures: How NZ ended up buying Awaroa beach in Abel Tasman National Park
We bought a beach, New Zealand! Forty thousand people and the Government, (which means we can all take credit) paid almost $3 million for an inlet in the Abel Tasman National Park. And on Sunday it's officially ours.
As 2015 was coming to an end, Bayleys' real estate agent, Glenn Dick was given a unique job. He had to sell a beach. He listed the Awaroa Inlet on Trademe, labelling the beach as "the best on the planet."
When Duane Major saw the listing he thought, "why should just one person have this? Why should I create a win for me and a loss for everybody else?"
So Major and his friend, Adam Gard'ner, started a campaign to buy the beach. They didn't want the beach sold to private buyers. They sought to create a "win win," where everyone could access the beach.
The campaign needed at least $2 million to be successful. The duo set up a Givealitte page, asking for people to crowd fund the purchase.
By February, their efforts had already raised over $1.5 million. But it wasn't quite enough.
Stuff joined the campaign to buy Awaroa Inlet for New Zealand. The site donated $20,000 towards the campaign. Stuff's Editor, Patrick Crewdson, urged readers to donate. If every reader gave $1, the beach would have been ours, easy. "We're on the verge of accomplishing something special," he said.
Then Gareth Morgan got involved.
Even with huge media attention, the philanthropist said it was unlikely that New Zealand would be able to buy the beach.
According to Morgan, New Zealand had no chance of buying a beach for $2 million. He was right.
Originally, the givealittle campaign called for $2 million to buy the beach. Morgan said the cost was nearer to $3 million - which was correct.
He offered to help fund the beach, in return for some private benefit. His offer was not received warmly.
They kept working to fundraise for the beach.
In the end, almost 40,000 donors pledged more than $2 million to help buy the beach. The question was: would that be enough?
One anonymous donor helped seel the deal.
The donor, later revealed to be the Joyce Fisher Charitable Trust, gave $250,000 towards the purchase.
Late on a Tuesday night, as the campaign was coming to its end, the Government stepped in. At 10:58pm, on the 25th of February, the deal was confirmed.
The Government had agreed to donate $350,000 towards the campaign.
Both the Government's contribution and the trust's donation came with "no strings attached", campaigner, Duane Major said.
The celebrations didn't stop.
In March, the sale was officially confirmed.
A trust, set up to purchase the beach, took control, until the land was handed over to the Government in May.
The Department of Conservation were given ownership of the beach, as part of the wider Abel Tasman National Park.
Of course, the beach wold remain open to anyone wanting to visit, and many people have.
Camp ground owners, water taxi operators and air transport companies have reported huge interest in the area, following the campaign. The secluded spot has become a popular destination with many looking to find out what exactly the spent their money on during a Summer campaign to buy a beach.