Rubbish and parking issues a blow for New Brighton Kite Day

Waste disposal and parking issues are under review following New Brighton’s annual Kite Day, with Coastal Ward city councillor Celeste Donovan demanding a smoother running of the next edition.

Celeste Donovan.
Celeste Donovan.
While weather conditions were optimum – with a peak wind gust of 46km/h and a maximum temperature of 25.6 deg C – on Saturday, January 13, it wasn’t all smooth sailing at the popular event.

An estimated 8000 people converged on Marine Pde, the foreshore and the pier, so rubbish bins were soon overflowing. Car spaces were also at premium, prompting some motorists to park illegally.

Donovan was at the beach and sought answers from Christchurch City Council staff last Monday after receiving adverse feedback during and after the event.

Star News was told 12 extra rubbish bins were placed at the event area by city council events and arts manager Lucy Blackmore, but Donovan was undeterred.

"I still think there’s more than needs to be done in terms of the waste management strategy in general,” she said.

Blackmore said there was no waste overflow or excess rubbish when the temporary bins were removed about 90 minutes after Kite Day.

But Donovan said that was because local business owners tidied up the area.

"It shouldn’t fall on other groups to clean it up. I saw them picking up rubbish and doing some of that work themselves. They packed some of the excess rubbish themselves.”

Blackmore said the council had not received any public feedback regarding illegal parking and a lack of enforcement.

Photo: Supplied
Photo: Supplied
Concerns were evident about parking – and rubbish – on the New Brighton Residents Association Facebook page.

"Extra rubbish bins needed and extra parking enforcement needed as visitors were parking anywhere and everywhere, and not always legally either . . . Oram Ave especially,” posted Laurine Driscoll.

Leonie Bowkett agreed, adding: “I know I saw some shocking dangerous parking. Needs enforcement.”

Donovan urged a review of the event management plan with the aim of avoiding a repeat in 2025.

"I’d like to know what was in place so we don’t have these issues in the future, we don’t want anything to detract from what is a showcase event for the area,” she said.

"We want to make sure the focus is on the positive side of it, those things are quite avoidable. You need to take into account you’ve thousands and thousands or more people coming through.

"During the summer we have these big spikes (in visitors to New Brighton) for events and I’m not sure we’re responding to some of the issues as quickly as we could be.

"Having said that, 95 per cent of the event was really smooth.”

Meanwhile, Kite Day was a resounding success for the Youth Alive Trust, which sold out 500 kites for the first time ever as a fundraising venture.