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National Head Arrives for Blue Flag Event

Thursday 29 November 2012, 2:30PM

By New Plymouth District Council

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NEW PLYMOUTH

The Blue Flag will be raised at Oakura Beach for the sixth season this Friday, and the head of the national organisation will be there to see it.

Robert Acton, Chair of the Foundation for Environmental Education in New Zealand, is travelling to Oakura for the flag-raising.

Oakura, Fitzroy and East End beaches are all Blue Flag-accredited, meaning they meet Blue Flag’s requirements for water quality, environmental education and information, environmental management, safety and other services.

“Having this independent verification of the environmental quality of our premier beaches is great news for the district’s international profile as well as local beach users,” says Mayor Harry Duynhoven.

“Blue Flag is huge in Europe and people travelling to New Zealand know what a Blue Flag status means when they see it.”

Over the last five years New Plymouth’s Blue Flag beaches have had many environmental events take place, including beach clean-ups and dune plantings, and information signs have been erected.

“Blue Flag has helped promote a more community focused approach to managing the beach areas by getting stakeholders involved through beach management committees,” says Manager Parks Mark Bruhn.

“One element we’d like to build on is getting the community involved in monitoring and discouraging unauthorised use of the beaches by motorbikes and vehicles. It’s damaging to the beach and to animals’ habitats, and over time we hope it will be viewed as a socially unacceptable activity.”

Blue Flag beaches