A Paraparaumu Beach man has been ejected by the Mayor from the Kapiti District Council chambers as he argued against closing off the boat ramp site at Manly Street.
Manly street resident Dennis Grant was forced to leave after making an impassioned argument.
( Editor’s note: Our reporter assures us that Mr Grant was not obscene, offensive, or in any way violent. It appears to KIN the Mayor may have been over-reacting after racial slurs affected students. The Manly St issue was unrelated to that event)
Warning to public
Mayor K Gurunathan had opened the public speaking part of the meeting yesterday with a warning to the public not to make offensive comments.
This came after college students attending the KCDC February meeting discussing the proposed Kapiti Gateway centre said they had been subject to racial taunts.
The standoff between Mr Grant and the mayor came as councillors were facing a June 30 deadline to adopt a new Kapiti Coast District Council beach bylaw. The new bylaw is required under the Local Government Act.
Mr Grant said there was no consistency in the proposal, the cost of keeping the site open had not been mentioned before, and despite the talk about consultation ‘there was no consultation with us.‘
At this point the mayor said he found Mr Grant’s comments excessive and asked him to leave.
Locals want site kept open
The staff proposal accepted that locals had previously asked for the site to stay open.
But it said Manly Street should be closed to boats because the no-driving law on Paraparaumu Beach is continually breached with real safety risks and the site itself has high maintenance costs.
Later though , Kapiti councillors over-ruled Council staffers and Manly street site will remain open as a place to launch boats.
Submitter Helen Punton, a Manly street resident for 19 years, said many people who gained much enjoyment from the access way would be adversely affected by installing a barrier.
She also said the Fire Service had not been consulted about the possible loss of the accessway.
One submitter prepared to give financial support
A third submitter, Roger Foley, said he was prepared to pay himself to keep the access in good condition, in view of its value to people with disabilities who still wanted to get to the beach.
The submitters won their argument when the district councillors voted to keep the Manly street access open. However, they voted for the rest of the proposals to go through despite opposition from hapu representatives.
Des Mullins from Te Atiawa wanted the by-law thrown out, particularly in relation to restrictions on vehicles at the beach.
“You people want to stop me from getting my kai. This model is not working and it’s inconsistent with customary rights.”
The three amigos
And Jim Simmonds representing the Waikanae estuary users’ network used the hearing to ask for the old whitebait permit system to be reinstated.
He reflected the frustration felt by many traditional users about their loss of access.
“It’s the three amigos who decide everything,”
he said, ” DOC, Greater Wellington and the District Council.”