Community rangers patrolling Dunedin beaches and reserves
Dunedin (Monday, 17 December 2018) – Two community rangers will be visiting Dunedin beaches, reserves and Department of Conservation (DOC) sites over the summer, informing people about rules around freedom camping, vehicles on beaches and interacting with wildlife.
The new initiative is being introduced by the Dunedin City Council and DOC from this Thursday, 20 December.
Dunedin City Council Parks and Recreation Planner Stephen Hogg says, “By creating this advocacy role, DCC and DOC are collaborating to look after Dunedin’s special places and environments. The role is about educating beach users about why we have these rules, not handing out tickets.”
Department of Conservation Acting Operations Manager Craig Wilson says, “We’re pleased to be working with DCC on this initiative. The rangers are about encouraging positive behaviour from visitors so that they stay safe, protect our natural environment and wildlife, respect our culture and preserve our places, spaces and species for generations to come. Visitors have a role to play as guardians of the land and keepers of our values.”
The rangers will be visiting Tomahawk Beach, Long Beach and Warrington Beach, informing people about the Reserves and Beaches Bylaw 2017, which prohibits vehicles on beaches, apart from boat launching and retrieval, lifeguards and emergency services. They will also be patrolling freedom camping areas in Warrington, Ocean View, Brighton Domain and Thomas Burns Street. They will be talking to visitors interacting with wildlife sites and monitoring tour operators at Tunnel Beach, Smaills Beach, Sandfly Bay, Sandymount, Allan’s Beach, Victory Beach and Aramoana.
They will be distributing information, undertaking surveys and checking facilities. One vital part of the role is speaking to locals and tourists about the importance of sharing the beach with our endangered yellow-eyed penguins/hoiho, NZ sea lions/rāpoka and birds and ensuring visitors stay at least 20m away from them.
They will be patrolling beaches and reserves from 1pm to 8pm seven days a week until 30 April 2019.