Sand spit 1

We mentioned in this post from last month that all vehicles are banned south of the Waimeha Stream mouth and north of there only blokarts are allowed.

But the tyre tracks on the sand spit shown above indicate that there are vehicles that regularly travel over it, and the reason is clear from the example below seen this morning — SUVs containing whitebaiters.

Sand spit 3

Fortunately, the whitebaiting season ends on 30 November.

But what are these vehicles doing driving along the beach if there is a ban?  The question was asked by a Kapiti News reader a few weeks ago and it transpired that the council has issued 24 exception permits to these people.  Why?  The reason given by a KCDC staff member was that they were handicapped.  Really?  The man we observed this morning looked perfectly able-bodied.

It’s apparent to us that these people are simply too lazy to walk from the parking area at the south end of Tutere Street to where they place their nets and chairs — at most about 200 paces, as we measured it.

Instead, these lazy sods get a council permit to drive from the Waikanae Boating Club ramp to the area.

Apart from the natural sculptural effects of the sand and wind being ruined by car tracks, this area is home to nesting oystercatcher birds.

Not acceptable, KCDC.

Sand spit 2

a pair of oystercatcher birds that were nesting not far from the SUV

Comment from Professor John Robinson:

Who would chose to live in a construction site?

That is the state of the sandspit at the mouth of the Waikanae River.  Left alone, the wind blows sand into fascinating patterns, but these are obliterated, churned up by vehicle tracks.  What can be a pleasant walk is ruined, with SUVs driving through and parking there during the whitebait season.

This should be a wildlife refuge, a place for the many birds that come here.  But they are frequently disturbed and a nesting area for oystercatchers has been driven through. There is no respect for nature.

Council has put up signs prohibiting vehicles on this beach.  BUT they then give permits to many to break that rule.  One reason recently given is so unfit people can get there to set up their heavy, unwieldy nets –- which is patent nonsense as only fit people are to be seen.  A few permits –- which should never be given –- left unpoliced becomes in practice an open invitation to drive over the beach.

It is important to move human activity away from areas of special environmental value.  This is recognised by the Marine Reserve along this very coast.  A sandspit is a special place, and must also have particular protection, not this willful destruction.

John Robinson