No penalty imposed for breach of consent

On a fine day, people regularly walk on the breakwater at Oamaru Harbour. Those who access the...
On a fine day, people regularly walk on the breakwater at Oamaru Harbour. Those who access the breakwater will not be fined, the Waitaki District Council says. The council learned earlier this month it was in breach of its consent for the breakwater in Oamaru Harbour if it allowed public access to the 1872 Heritage New Zealand category 1 structure. PHOTO: HAMISH MACLEAN
No enforcement action will be taken against the Waitaki District Council as people continue to access the historic breakwater at Oamaru Harbour.

Otago Regional Council regulatory general manager Richard Saunders confirmed yesterday the regional council would not take enforcement action against the council "related to the public access of the breakwater" because the district council was working proactively to address the issue of the consent breach.

The Waitaki District Council learned in June it was in breach of its consent for the 1872 Heritage New Zealand category 1 structure in Oamaru Harbour if it allowed public access.

Yet, especially on fine days, the breakwater remains well used.

"We are working with [the Waitaki District Council] to resolve the issue through a change of consent conditions," Mr Saunders said.

Waitaki District Council assets group manager Neil Jorgensen said yesterday the council had not issued any infringement notices to members of the public for being on the breakwater.

"It is our preference to use a softer education and signage method so that members of the public know that they shouldn't be on the breakwater at this time. Council may need to look at improving signage if this is not working," he said.

When asked what the fine would be if one were to be issued, a council spokeswoman did not answer the question directly.

"I don't think we would fine people," she said.

Add a Comment

Local journalism matters - now more than ever

As the Covid-19 pandemic brings the world into uncharted waters, Otago Daily Times reporters and photographers continue to bring you the stories that matter. For more than 158 years our journalists have provided readers with local news you can trust. This is more important now than ever.

As advertising drops off during the pandemic, support from our readers is crucial. You can help us continue to bring you news you can trust by becoming a supporter.

Become a Supporter