Northland Regional Council is defending its development rules, in the face of doubts that it can protect unspoiled coastline.
Northland stands to acquire a large segment of Rodney District in the Auckland super-city plan - raising a prospect that development plans for Te Arai Beach, which have been rejected by Rodney, may be allowed by Northland.
Auckland Regional Council chair Mike Lee doubts the Northland councils have the resource to fight wealthy developers.
He says sprawling development at Mangawhai in Kaipara, shows what can happen under Northland planning rules.
However, Northland Regional Council chair Mark Farnsworth says the council has a coastal plan that reflects the wishes of the public in the region and the council is committed to defending it.