Call to apply vehicle ban bylaw

Robert West
Robert West
Dunedin's new bylaw banning vehicles from the city's beaches has been described as a work in progress.

The reserves and beaches bylaw 2017 was made official in May 2018.

Since then, the Dunedin City Council has opted to take an educational approach and hold off on enforcement until the public had time to adapt to the new rules.

The bylaw also bans horses in ecologically sensitive areas and clarifies the requirements for people flying drones over reserves and beaches.

A report written by council parks and recreation group manager Robert West on the implementation of the bylaw was presented to councillors at the planning and environment committee on Tuesday.

Concerns the council was too reliant on signs and education as the main tools of enforcement had been raised by members of the public, the report said.

New signs explaining the bylaw were installed at the end of last year and a combined council and Department of Conservation ranger service was formed in part to help manage it.

Mr West said the bylaw was a work in progress and a working group had been formed, which included both council staff and community board representatives, to help develop new initiatives to inform the public of the changes.

There would be a focus on education, community engagement, improvement of signage and enforcement.

A member of the group, Waikouaiti Coast Community Board chairman Alasdair Morrison, said it would take time to educate residents on the new rules and why they were needed.

''If you've got people driving on to the beach at low tide for 50 years to get some shellfish for supper, you can't suddenly say no you're not doing it anymore, you've got to tell people why,'' Mr Morrison said.

 

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