The Director-General of Conservation, the Historic Places Trust and Labour leader Phil Goff have joined a chorus of opposition against rich-listers building houses on an untouched Coromandel beach.

Department of Conservation head Alastair Morrison said endangered kiwi could be put in harm's way by the development proposed near New Chums Beach, north of Whitianga.

The proposal for 20 residential units has been put forward by Queenstown developers John Darby and George Kerr.

Mr Kerr's finances have been tied up with the recently bailed-out South Canterbury Finance.

His company Torchlight was repaid $100 million this week using part of a $175 million loan from the taxpayer.

The developers at New Chums Beach have altered their plans to accommodate locals' concerns, but Mr Morrison said, in one of more than 1000 submissions made against the proposal, that they had not done enough.

"The applications are in general lacking in their consideration of potential adverse effects on native fauna," he said.

New Zealand dotterel, of which only 300 are left in the Coromandel and 1700 in total, nest where a boat ramp is planned.

Mr Morrison disputed a claim in the developers' application that dotterel preferred an adjacent, inhabited bay, saying they nested in quieter areas.

"New Zealand dotterel breeding sites throughout the Coromandel are under threat from the effects of increased human pressure ... The department considers that it is important that dotterel are protected at Wainuiototo [New Chums] Beach."

North Island brown kiwi, classified as endangered and in decline, could also migrate through and past the development to be attacked by pets or struck by vehicles, he said.

Mr Goff said in his submission that the beach should be passed on undamaged to future generations of New Zealanders.

"It would be an absolute tragedy to lose this rather than regarding it as part of our heritage," he said.

"I regard it as one of the most beautiful, untouched places I have ever seen anywhere in the world."

In its submission, the Historic Places Trust said there were many archaeological sites within the area proposed for subdivision.

The developers had failed to analyse how earthworks for access roads and wastewater systems could damage the heritage sites, the trust said.

They had also suggested they would further assess archaeological sites before beginning construction - which the trust said would make it harder to make changes.

Despite a nearby pa site, there had been no assessments made from a standpoint of Maori values.

Meanwhile, the community has focused on concerns that the developers filed their application in three parts, rather than for one consent for the whole project.

This meant consent for a bridge into the site was passed without public notification by the regional council.

A spokesman for the developers said they were talking to the Environmental Defence Society and looking at all options.