At the last meeting for the year of the Waikanae Community Board, Alison Lash of the council gave a report on development policy for the beach area.

As has been previously observed, she said that most people want no, or only minimal development; but unfortunately there is certain to be some.

She also mentioned that many locals near the beach are concerned about animals on it — primarily dogs but also horses — dropping their excrement on the beach.

Animal droppings are not just unsightly, on the beach they are also a health hazard.

Council bylaws prohibit owners allowing dogs to drop crap without picking it up after them and they are liable for a $300 fine if they do.  The problem is that it is poorly enforced.

In our view there needs to be:

  1. Signs stating the bylaw
  2. Council enforcement officers at least during weekends.

A ‘carrot and stick’ initiative which Raumati Beach took a few years ago was for volunteers to hand out warning notices about the bylaws to dog owners and also rewards for doing the right thing in the form of a voucher for a local café.

The other issue is where dogs can run off-leash: at present there are restrictions which vary according to the time of year. Our view, however, is that the section of the beach for about 1 km north from the river mouth to the stream near Heperi Street should be a leashed area.