I just got back from CC and spending a couple weeks on the quiet north island, its pretty much much like it was when I left a couple months ago. One of the reasons little activity is going on on the north island is the level of mosquito's was really high this time of the year. I was putting hurricane shutters up and it was brutal early morning and late evening. Not sure how enthusiastic I'd be cleaning the beach. And as far as I know the beach on the reef side of the island is privately owned with the owner not ready to make a big investment. Perhaps, the realtors who are urging everyone to buy now should hire a crew to clean - up the beach, they could also have them cut the grass in the road, etc.
There will be land on the north island for years. I tell everyone that asks don't buy unless its the piece of property of your dreams and your ready to build. The idea that its a good investment is a long term dream. Is there a shortage of property for sale? No, will property be worth more tomorrow not unless to create you own bidding war, because you have to have a particular piece of property. Otherwise, just keep looking whenever you come. At some point you'll see the right piece at the right price when your ready to build.