Kāpiti Beach Bylaw: Council listens to submission suggestions

Kāpiti Beach Bylaw: Council listens to submission suggestions

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The Kāpiti Coast District Council hosted a submission for the nearing Kāpiti Beach Bylaw changes that renews every decade. It needs new ideas to better look after and improve the beach, which secures protection for the next ten years.

Around nine people attended with submission ideas and suggestions on fixes to the proposed Kāpiti Beach Bylaw. 

Some of the most important topics discussed at the Kāpiti Coast District Council meeting were the blocking of roads, camera security systems, health/wellbeing of locals,  and young ones riding on the beach on their dirt bikes; however, police do not enforce the rules made by the council enough or give out fines to the ones creating the trouble.

New rules for longline fishing systems, horse riding on the beach, disability access and allowing the use of mobility devices, enabling iwi practices and much more was proposed during a meet at Otihanga's Boating Club on October 29 from locals.

Allowing a vehicle on the beach was suggested as a vital lifeline because it would be better to help someone or pick them up instead of making them have to walk all the way back to the car park area if they were to get injured at the beach — another intellect idea about emergency services having the important need of being able to have 24/7 access for cases like this situation, if they were to play out.

Source: CC/ Sam Hudson

However, the focus at the meeting was mainly more on closing the road access than listening to the submission ideas opposing the absurd rules that were introduced into the submission for the next decade; consideration was eventually overhauled after ideas were broadly questioned by the chair and board members of the council.

A new bylaw was suggested by a local attending the meet, who lives in the region, that has driven on the beach all the time and had countless amounts of warnings from the police after driving on the beach but has not received any fines because police do not want them to pay so much over a fine for driving on the beach for doing nothing wrong. 

“The only way we were able to do it [10 years ago with his mates] — we drove from the north point at Waikanae beach, down to the boat club. We launched the kite, one of us driving the van just slowly, 20km an hour roughly. If anything were to happen, we would pull over and go and help each other. There are actually quite a lot of people that kite surf that way, and we have never had any problems with bystanders. We always stayed out of everyone's way.”

“My mates and I go down there after work to 4'o-clock — 4'30, we have a meeting and sit down, do paperwork or take the dogs for a walk. We all park down there by the club and stay away from the boats.”

“I just don't want to lose that freedom. I've got three young kids from six months old to four. I won't be able to take them down there and teach them how to kiteboard, or chuck the kyack in the back of my ute and bring them down to the beach to set-up a massive camp area and go fishing and just have fun.”

The Beach Bylaw is one of several pieces of national, regional and local rules that govern the Kāpiti coastal environment. It works with and is subject to a range of rules under transport, marine and conservation Acts, regional council regulations and customary rights provisions.

The Formal Consultation, which ran for five weeks from October 12 to November 13 has now closed meaning any further submissions can no longer be added.

Hearings will be followed up through many days during the end of November.

Image: CC/ Sam Hudson

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