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Council wants all to have fun this summer but not at expense of others

Friday 17 December 2010, 8:50AM
By Thames Coromandel District Council


Clean and safe beaches to be monitored daily

Coromandel Peninsula bylaws officers will work with the police and fire services over summer to keep beaches and communities safe and clean.

Thames-Coromandel District Council (TCDC) bylaws officers will check beaches daily for fires and litter from beach parties. Beach fires after dark will be dealt with by police, who may call on local fire brigades to extinguish fires if necessary.

TCDC Bylaw Contract Officer, Steve Hart, said freedom camping, illegal driving or joyriding on beaches, willful damage to property and tagging will also be targeted."

"Early morning and evening patrols will target illegal camping and while on-the-spot fines cannot yet be issued, officers can formally evict anyone located sleeping in vehicles or camping in public places," he said. Over the summer season, officers evict more than 500 illegal campers from beaches, reserves, in car parks and on the roadside.

Mercury Bay Community Board Chair, Alison Henry said "It is business as usual for freedom camping this year and, as in the past, freedom campers will be instructed to pack up, clean up the site, and choose alternative accommodation at one of the many well-run camp grounds in the area."

"We want everyone to come to the Coromandel and enjoy our special places.  The safety of visitors is vital and by respecting our community's bylaws we all get to have fun over the summer holidays. All of us need to do our bit to make sure a few idiots don't ruin it for the rest."

Officers will also monitor events, commercial operators and mobile traders for breaches to conditions of permits, identify any acts of willful damage such as tagging, vandalism and destruction of public property, and check on overloaded private properties.

TCDC employs one full time and five part time bylaw officers. There are also 15 volunteer honorary bylaw officers at various beaches throughout the district. A contractor also undertakes a variety of bylaw-related services. Recent training will ensure there is consistency for enforcing bylaw breaches across the entire peninsula.