Two Kāpiti Coast politicians say a Council plan to install a barrier and spy camera at the main Paraparaumu Beach access could end a cherished way of life for local boaties.
Locals are unhappy
Councillor Bernie Randall and Community Board member Guy Burns say a change to the beach bylaw is coming and the locals are not happy.
They say the Council wants to install camera-monitored access gates at Paraparaumu Beach — as well as closing the popular north Manly Street boat launch site.
Kapiti is a coastal district with sandy beaches along its coastline.
These beaches are valuable to the local community and to many visitors, especially from Wellington to the Hutt Valley.
‘A slap in the face’
Cr Randall and Board member Burns say putting up gates at the Paraparaumu Beach boating club and restricting access to swipe card holders will be seen by some as a slap in the face to those who regularly pop onto the beach in their vehicles.
A long and customary activity for many locals will come to an end, they say.
“The cost of such an installation and the ongoing monitoring and maintenance is a sledgehammer response to crack a soft nut, and a further pressure and burden on our rates,” they aver.
Only one in four want spy cameras
“A recent Council Beach Bylaw survey found only 24 percent of people thought Council should use cameras for bylaw compliance and no one wanted gates installed.”
They add: “The boat launch access at Manly Street north has been in place for over 50 years and is well used by locals in the area. Now that access is apparently under threat.
Whitebaiters short changed
“Whitebaiters appear to be short changed. Many are elderly some with health conditions.
“Making whitebaiters walk a long way carrying their nets and tackle is unfair for an activity that goes back many years. Their short season runs from winter to spring.”
The pair say the draft bylaw is also intended to modify customary rights, to bring in rules for longline fishing and to restrict disability parking to designated spots on the beach.
Crucial meeting this week
The draft Beach Bylaw will be discussed at the Strategy and Operations committee meeting this coming Thursday, September 24th. Consultation will follow.
But Randall and Burns ask whether the new bylaw be used as an excuse to increase regulation and compliance through enforcement and monitoring.