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Crowdfunding helps group buy NZ beach

Abel Tasman Beach, New Zealand.

Abel Tasman Beach, New Zealand.

Auckland [AAP]

New Zealanders now own a pristine Abel Tasman beach after a successful crowdfunding campaign raised more than $NZ2 million to keep it in public hands.

Organisers announced on Wednesday their tender bid had been accepted at 10.57pm local time the previous night.

‘Congratulations everyone, we did it’, a post on the campaign’s Givealittle page said.

A pristine piece of beach and bush had been delivered into the hands of everyone to enjoy forever, it said.

Overjoyed organiser Duane Major appeared on TV3’s Paul Henry show on Wednesday morning to reveal the deal.

‘My heart is beating and I’ve got goosebumps and I’m just so thankful for all those people,’ he said.

‘I always thought we could do it. I did not appreciate the crazy, freakish nature of this campaign.’

He said $NZ2,278,179.09 ($A2.11 million) had been pledged to support the bid.

Conservation Minister Maggie Barry said the government had made a ‘modest contribution’ from the Nature Heritage Fund to help secure the purchase.

‘It’s an outstanding outcome,’ she told the Paul Henry show.

‘I love the idea that the people of New Zealand have not only spoken, but they’ve put their tuppence-worth in.’

The land will be fast-tracked to become part of Abel Tasman National Park.

About 40,000 people donated money towards the bid to buy the seven-hectare Awaroa Inlet from a private owner and hand it over to the public.

The inlet was listed before Christmas and includes 800 metres of beach.

The crowdfunding campaign began at the end of January.


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