Kāpiti Coast District Council urges moderation for driftwood gathering
Kāpiti Coast District Council is urging driftwood gatherers to go easy collecting chunks of timber from the beach.
Following the recent flood an increased amount of driftwood has washed up along the Kāpiti coastline.
Council has received reports of people with vehicles, trailers and chainsaws harvesting excessive amounts of wood from the beach, which is in breach of district bylaws.
Biodiversity advisor Rob Cross says it’s important for people to practice moderation when gathering driftwood, to be mindful of how much they’re taking and the environmental impact.
“It’s important for harvesters to heed the bylaw in the interests of fairness and conservation. Driftwood is important for the beach ecosystems because it provides vital habitat and nutrients.”
The bylaw says people can’t use power tools or equipment, such as a chainsaw, to chop up or break down materials on the beach in quantities that can't be carried out on foot.
“The bylaw is about sharing the driftwood resource, preventing over exploitation and destructive vehicle use and, if people follow the rules, there should be plenty for others and the environment,” Mr Cross says.
Sue McIntosh, of the Waitohu Stream and Dune Care group, says the amount of driftwood that has washed up is a “huge bonus” because it contributes to beach preservation, restoration and biodiversity.
"The bylaw says that an individual can remove what they can physically carry, not ute loads and trailer loads or the tractor I saw yesterday towing a lovely log.”