The Kāpiti Coast District Council and New Zealand Police will be out and about on the district’s beaches over the next few months raising awareness of how people can stay safe and protect the environment in these areas.
Officers from both organisations will be providing information about vehicles, fires and dogs on beaches and answering any questions from the public this Saturday. They’ll be out again every second Saturday after that (12/26 November and 10 December) over a six-week period.
"We’re not out to stop people having fun, but to educate them about how we can all play a part in promoting beach safety and environmental care," says the Council’s Environmental Standards Manager, Jacquie Muir.
"Most people behave responsibly at the beach, but some just need a reminder about the rules and that is what this joint initiative is all about.”
Ms Muir says vehicles on the beaches will be a particular focus.
"People are not allowed to drive on the beach south of Waikanae (except to launch and retrieve boats). However, driving is permitted on parts of the beach between Waikanae and Ōtaki. Where vehicles are allowed on the beach, the speed limit is 20kms per hour and 10kms when driving through accessways. Two-wheeled and off-road motorbikes are not allowed on any part of the beach."
Kāpiti Coast’s Senior Constable Glen Cooper says he and other officers will be joining council staff to give people friendly advice about safe use of the beach over summer.
“However anyone found driving in prohibited areas, driving dangerously or endangering the safety of other beach users could be prosecuted," he says.
Ministry of Primary Industries fishery officers will also be involved in the campaign, advising people on rules around sea fishing.
More information about vehicles (including maps showing beach driving/access areas), fires and dogs on beaches can be found here