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Proposal bars joy-riders from estuary

Tuesday 30 March 2004

Proposal bars joy-riders from estuary at South New Brighton

Christchurch residents are being invited to have their say on plans to prevent joy riders from driving on the Avon-Heathcote Ihutai Estuary.

The proposal includes the installation of a barrier arm gate and landscape planting at the South New Brighton Domain boat ramp and a removable bollard at a smaller boat ramp, just south of the jetty. Genuine recreational users of the area would be offered a $25 access key, with the payment refunded on return of the key.

“The Council has for a long time been concerned about four wheel drive and other vehicles disturbing the delicate ecology and upsetting the birdlife in this environmental jewel,” Burwood/Pegasus Community Board chair, Don Rowlands said. “We need to prevent a range of undesirable activities in the area, while at the same time allowing genuine users to continue enjoying this special part of Christchurch,” he said.

In the past two years at least six cars have been abandoned in the estuary and there have been numerous reports of joy riders driving on the estuary at low tide. The most recent event was on 11 February 2004, when a burnt out car was removed from near the South New Brighton Domain.

“Disturbance of estuary wildlife; pollution and damage to the estuary; danger to the joy-riders and their passengers; and the problem of unwanted or stolen car bodies are some of the reasons why we need to take action,” Burwood/Pegasus Parks and Waterways area advocate Robyn Croucher said.

Environment Canterbury and the Avon-Heathcote Estuary Ihutai Trust have given support to the bond payment system and the Council is now seeking further comment from the local community.

ENDS

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