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ARC takes a stand on beach vehicle issue

ARC takes a stand on beach vehicle issue

7 February 2008

The ARC will escalate its approach to issues around beach vehicle access to a regional and national level.

At a meeting of the Council's Parks and Heritage Committee today, Councillors resolved to lead the development of an urgent plan of action to provide for improved and consistent management of vehicles on beaches that includes collaboration with national, regional and local partners.

Parks and Heritage Committee deputy chair and Rodney representative Councillor Christine Rose says it is critical that the ARC engages with this issue on a national level.

"Maintaining the natural character of the coast is an issue of national importance. Public health and safety has come to the fore with the tragic death of Daisy Fernandez and not a week goes by without severe injury or death on our country's beaches," she says.

The Council will seek to engage with the Ministers of Transport, Environment and Conservation, the Mayor of Rodney District Council, Iwi authorities and other relevant agencies to support an urgent national plan of action.

In addition, the ARC has resolved to conduct field trips, convene a public meeting and facilitate discussions for a plan of action specific to Muriwai Beach, Te Oneone Rangatira and the South Head recreational area.

In order to research the demand and options for recreational motor sport and support an inter-agency education and enforcement campaign at Muriwai, the Council will consider increased funding through its Annual Plan process.

"We need to put our money where our mouth is as we have such a wide range of responsibilities, including under the Resource Management Act and the Regional Policy Statement.

"We acknowledge that motorised recreation is in increasing demand and these demands are only being somewhat met by the forest managers and independent operators.

"It is time to create more urgency around education and the enforcement of road safety rules or we risk further alienating the regional public who have an expectation that they can visit Muriwai Beach safely," says Councillor Rose.


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