Formal Beach Bylaw consultation kicks off
Formal consultation on the updated Kāpiti Coast District Council Beach Bylaw has opened and is the community’s opportunity to have a say on the rules and regulations used to keep our beaches safe.
The Beach Bylaw creates the rules for Council-managed areas of the beach for important things like health and safety, litter, access, vehicles, horses and motorised watercrafts. Consultation will be open until 13 November and will be followed by hearings later that month.
Proposed changes to the Beach Bylaw can be found in the Statement of Proposal at www.kapiticoast.govt.nz/beachbylaw.
Consultation is required by the Local Government Act and follows a long period of discussion with the community on how our beaches are managed in the best way for everyone.
Kāpiti Coast District Council Environmental Standards manager Jacqui Muir says feedback has shown there is overall agreement with many of the current rules, but issues with how some of them are managed or enforced.
Driving on beaches, the use of longline fishing systems and the rules around horses on beaches have been key areas of interest raised by the community.
“The use of vehicles on Kāpiti beaches has been restricted for many years across a range of agencies,” Ms Muir says.
“The Waikanae Scientific Reserve Bylaw restricts all vehicles in this Reserve and is managed by Department of Conservation; the Proposed Natural Resources Plan also protects part of our beach in significant areas and is managed by Greater Wellington Regional Council; manner of driving offences and driving in breach of Beach Bylaw rules are enforceable through the Land Transport Act with the Police the only enforcement authority who have the ability to manage those offences; and the Beach Bylaw restricts driving to protect beach users from harm and nuisance.”
Ms Muir says to help make it easier for all agencies to manage the rules on our beaches and help prevent ongoing issues some operational measures are also proposed.
“These include creating some parking rules in restricted areas which will provide an opportunity for Council to better manage when cars are parked in where they shouldn’t because staff can enforce stationary vehicle offences. We’re also proposing to allow for disability access and improved boat launch and retrieve areas through the installation of a barrier gate to prevent unauthorised vehicle access at some areas.”
Ms Muir says changes have also been proposed to improve safety for all beach users by restricting longline fishing at some locations during the summer months.
“I encourage anyone with an interest in how our beaches are managed to read the Statement of Proposal and make a submission. We want to hear the diverse range of reactions from the community from those that may or may not support the proposed changes,” Ms Muir says.
Visit www.kapiticoast.govt.nz/beachbylaw to find the Statement of Proposal and an online submission form. Submission forms can also be completed in hard copy and will be available at all council service centres and libraries.