Beach Road: The Rising Sea and the Reshaping of New Zealand

New Zealanders love the coast. We’ve spent decades building stuff hard up against it - underground and on the land. But it’s getting too close. Right now, the sea is advancing on the tens of thousands of people who live within 50cm of the high tide mark. And it won’t stop.

One of the great attractions of life in Moanataiari, a suburb of Thames on the Coromandel coast, is that it's surrounded by water. For an angler like Reeves, who lived in Auckland for decades where she built boats, the appeal of a quiet life by the water was obvious.

The seawall is a dominating feature of Moanataiari because it's so tall. From her fishing spot, Reeves can keep an eye on the television in her living room, which is several metres below her.

The suburb was built on reclaimed land, which is slowly sinking.

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