Looking after our beaches
Kāpiti's beaches are our community's backyard, and we all benefit by keeping them beautiful.
You can help us by:
- not removing more sand, stones or driftwood than you can carry
- keeping out of the dune areas at all times
- using signposted beach accessways
- not allowing dogs to chase or harass wildlife
- respecting rāhui.
The Waikanae Scientific Reserve includes the sandspit at the mouth of the Waikanae River; the reserve is controlled by the Department of Conservation under the Waikanae Scientific Reserve Bylaws 1994.
This is a vulnerable ecosystem year round. During July through to late January, banded and New Zealand dotterels nest and breed on the sandspit, and in our local dunes. These nests are hard to spot, easy to damage, and eggs and chicks are especially vulnerable. The Department of Conservation estimates there are only about tūturiwhatu (New Zealand dotterel) 2500 left in the whole country.
The dotterels nest in the sand and their eggs and chicks are also sand-coloured, so they are incredibly vulnerable to predators and people, dogs, horses, and motorbikes.
To protect their young, parent birds pretend to be injured to draw predators away from the nest. If you see a bird behaving like this, it has eggs or chicks nearby so leave it alone and move away from the area.
Council, the Department of Conservation, and volunteers rope off any nesting areas we know about, but that doesn’t mean dotterels and others aren’t nesting in other parts of the dune and beach areas.
Banded dotterels have a conservation status of Nationally Vulnerable, which means they are facing extinction in the medium term; we can all help to protect them.
Our beaches are amazing places to be, and we're all keen to keep them beautiful for us all to enjoy. Here's some top tips to help:
- Take reusable containers when you're out and about, and take them home with you to help reduce rubbish.
- Always take a reusable bag with you, so you can take any rubbish away with you.
- If a bin's full, take your rubbish home and put it in your bin. Don't leave it beside or on top of the bin – the rubbish could blow into the sea or pollute your park or beach.
- If you smoke, take your cigarette butts with you – don't leave them on the ground or bury them in the sand for littlies to find.
- Always pick up your dog's poo and bin it.
- Know where and when you can drink alcohol in Kāpiti, and please dispose of any glass or take it with you.
- To get to your beach, only use the marked public tracks with blue posts.
- Take only photos, leave only footprints – and let us know what you love about summer in Kāpiti!