Security callouts $1100-plus

Since November, Waitaki ratepayers have footed the bill for a security contractor to clear people...
Since November, Waitaki ratepayers have footed the bill for a security contractor to clear people from the Oamaru Harbour breakwater most days. PHOTO: HAMISH MACLEAN
In the past two months, Waitaki ratepayers have spent more than $1100 for a security contractor to clear people off the breakwater at Oamaru Harbour.

The security contractor was contacted most nights as the weather has warmed this year, and in each of the past two months more than 50 people have been required to be cleared off the 1872 Heritage New Zealand category 1 breakwater.

"The Otago Regional Council issued a coastal permit to Waitaki District Council ... and condition 4 states ‘The public shall not have access to either the breakwater or the causeway.' To comply with this condition, council has installed signage in the area, the gate underneath Portside (Restaurant) that provides access to the breakwater remains locked and security is called when council is made aware of people accessing the breakwater," council property manager Renee Julius said in a supplementary statement, accompanying information provided to the Otago Daily Times in response to a Local Government Official Information and Meetings Act information request.

"There is an upwards trend of the number of security callouts to remove people from the breakwater at a cost to the ratepayers.

"The last two months’ invoices have more than doubled and from the data gathered so far for this month, it looks to increase again."

Ms Julius said "every effort" had been made to provide all the invoice information requested, but she suspected "based on the dates of invoices" some invoices were missing from the summary.

In November, more detailed information was gathered and recorded relating to access on the breakwater.

This included the date, the number of people, whether security was called and the time.

During June, July and August, there were 14 callouts to remove people from the breakwater. In October alone there were 17. In November, there were 16 callouts, including Friday, November 15, when security was called twice in one night.

In the first nine days of December — when the summary period of information provided by the council ended — there had been a callout each day.

Each callout costs ratepayers $30.

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