Bylaws Subcommittee

Reserves and Beaches Bylaw



Unconfirmed minutes of an ordinary meeting of the Bylaws Subcommittee (Reserves and Beaches Bylaw) held in the Edinburgh Room, Municipal Chambers, The Octagon, Dunedin on Tuesday 14 March 2017, commencing at 9.05 am, Wednesday 15 March 2017 commencing at 9.00 am, Tuesday 21 March 2017 commencing at 9.10 am and Wednesday 5 April 2017 commencing at 9.10 am





Cr Andrew Whiley



Cr David Benson-Pope

Cr Conrad Stedman


Senior Officer                                       Kristy Rusher (Manager Civic and Legal)



Ashley Reid (Parks and Recreation Planner)


Governance Support Officer      Pam Jordan





1       Apologies

There were no apologies.


2       Confirmation of agenda



Moved (Cr David Benson-Pope/Cr Conrad Stedman):

That the Subcommittee:


Confirms the agenda without addition or alteration.


Motion carried (BYL/2017/001)



3       Declarations of interest

Members were reminded of the need to stand aside from decision-making when a conflict arose between their role as an elected representative and any private or other external interest they might have.


Crs Andrew Whiley and Conrad Stedman noted that they were Council-appointed representatives on the Otago Peninsula Community Board and Saddle Hill Community Board respectively, and would withdraw in respect of those submissions.  Councillor Stedman also advised that he was a member of the St Clair Surf Lifesaving Club. 




Moved (Cr David Benson-Pope/Cr Conrad Stedman):

That the Subcommittee:


a)     Notes the Elected Members' Interest Register attached as Attachment A of the report; and

b)     Confirms the proposed management plan for Elected Members' Interests.

Motion carried (BYL/2017/002)



4       Proposed Reserves and Beaches Bylaw - Summary of Submissions


The proposed Reserves and Beaches Bylaw 2017 went out for public consultation on 9 January 2017. Four hundred and thirty three submissions were received and 80 submitters requested to speak at the submissions hearing.  The report summarised the details of the submissions for consideration by the Hearings Subcommittee.


The Subcommittee heard from the following submitters:


Craig Wilson, Department of Conservation


Mr Wilson commented on his organisation's close working relationship with the Council.  As statutory managers of coastal areas they worked closely together.  DOC supported the inclusion of beaches, but felt that the definition should also include all coastal areas such as rocky shores.  He asked for Shelly Beach not to be added to the areas where horses were allowed.  He considered that permits should be required to fly drones anywhere within the coastal area for reasons of sensitivity.  It was important for restrictions to be effectively communicated to the public.


Quinton Prendergast, Pony Club


Mr Prendergast was submitting on his own behalf and that of his teenage daughters and others who used beaches for horse riding.  He was concerned about restrictions on riding horses on beaches but now understood that the area below the high tide mark was under ORC jurisdiction.  He explained that people took horses and ponies to reserves etc for safety reasons.  There were also therapeutic reasons to take horses to the beach as salt water was good for wounds and for tendons.  The beach from Island Park to Ocean View generally had low use but was used a lot by horses and trainers.  Everyone who used the area used common sense.  Accessways and cutaways allowed wind to escape.  There was no evidence that horses caused erosion.  It was also common sense that dogs could be there and there was no reason for them to be in the dunes unless they were on a leash.  He was against vehicles on the sand dunes.  Mr Prendergast was of the view that Ocean View Reserve was a wonderful area for campers and visitors.


Sam Neill


Mr Neill commented that there was some confusion on whether Allans Beach was included in the bylaw and this needed to be clarified.  He had lived there his whole life and knew more about it than anyone.  There were fewer problems at Allans Beach than there ever had been previously and it was also used more than ever.  All horses and users of the beach had to go through their property and DOC land.  The Council only had jurisdiction over a small piece.  The beach was there to be shared and some walkers were very selfish.  Only a few surfers went through to the beach on quad bikes, plus themselves for farm purposes, and vehicles on the beach were not a problem.  Mr Neill was not keen on the use of drones at the beach.


Claire Carey


Ms Carey had been involved in the Save Aramoana campaign.  Aramoana was an unspoiled environment because people of previous generations had been prepared to fight for it.  There was now gradual intrusion and often unthinking carelessness.   Such effects could be cumulative.  One vehicle on a beach allowed others to do the same.  An individual's rights became subordinate to civic rights.  What was safe today needed to be defended.  People needed to be brave enough to resist pressures that degraded their lifestyle and take a stand.


Melissa Barnes


Ms Barnes advised that she was speaking specifically about Warrington Beach and thought all beaches needed to be looked at independently.  She considered that there was no evidence of damage done by horses on beaches, however vehicles caused damage.  The tide came in and washed away hoof prints.  She pointed out an area on Warrington Beach damaged by four wheel drives and asked why Warrington Beach was not on the list of beaches where horses were allowed to be ridden.  Ms Barnes considered that dogs should be on leashes in the dunes but could be off the leash on the beach if they were under control.  She requested Warrington Beach to be added to the list of beaches where horses were allowed.  She also considered that there was no need for anyone to be any further south than the surf club in vehicles and did not see why vehicles needed to go on the estuary.


Kevin McManus, President, Aorangi Hang Gliding Club


Mr McManus wished to comment specifically on Clause 17.  Hang gliders had been using Dunedin beaches for 44 years without disturbing other users.  Pilots were licenced and he believed that this made DCC rules unnecessary.  Many councils supported flying as it added to the ambiance of reserves and beaches.  He requested the bylaw to be amended to allow these activities to continue.


Janet Ledingham, Dunedin Branch of the Royal Forest and Bird Protection Society


Miss Ledingham made supplementary comments regarding Aramoana.  Currently horse treks took people along Big Beach.  She considered that any horse traffic should stick close to the high tide mark to avoid damage.  If there were designated horse areas there could be possible damage to ecological areas and disturbance to yellow-eyed penguins.  In regard to vehicle access at Aramoana, there was a problem when people drove down from the mole and went past the penguin colony. 


Heather Bell


Ms Bell lived at Warrington and found the Council's proposals confusing.  Warrington was a busy village and residents were good about horses in the village.  If there were problems in certain areas that were proven to be attributable to horses the Council should look at that.  If told about damage riders would take note and avoid particular areas.  She did not believe horses did damage to the sand dunes at Warrington.  Ms Bell asked for Warrington Beach to be added to the list of where horses could be ridden.  Ms Bell also pointed out the difference between damage caused by four wheel drives and horses.  She had seen damage caused by a small minority of vehicles.



Moved (Cr Andrew Whiley/Cr David Benson-Pope):

That the Subcommittee:


Adjourns the meeting.


Motion carried


The meeting adjourned from 10.05 am to 10.45 am.



Jane Davidson


Ms Davidson made a PowerPoint presentation.  She was a Purakaunui/West Harbour resident against motorised vehicles on beaches and in favour of limiting vehicle access to avoid disturbing wildlife.  She noted that beaches were not reserves and commented on Long Beach and vehicle access.  Beaches were unique natural ecosystems, and not man made.  Long Beach was a breeding site of several families of sea lions.  She would like to ban all motorised vehicles from beaches.


Colin Weatherall


Mr Weatherall was a local Brighton resident and involved in surf lifesaving.  The majority of activities on beaches created issues.  The hard sand area was used for a lot of activities.  Patrolled areas operated between Labour Weekend and Easter.  Mr Weatherall support restrictions regarding drones but noted that surf lifesaving clubs were starting to use drones in their work as the larger ones could take a rescue tube and there was a need to provide for that.  Clubs also trained at lots of areas.  There was improved health and safety at events where drones were used to check on participants.  He believed that horses should be able to be on Westwood/Ocean View beaches.  The Council needed to take care that the bylaw did not get caught up in events eg vehicles at Brighton Gala Day.


Mr Weatherall also noted that boats needed access onto beaches for launching.  It was safe for recreational boaties to go through areas to launch, then come back out.  The coastline was challenging and emergency services must have access to beaches.  He also considered that access to beaches could be better marked. 


Guy Williams, Guy Williams and Associates, Conserving our Built Heritage


Mr Williams commented that definitions of aircraft may not cover hang gliders and paragliders and he completely supported those things.  Most landed on the area under Otago Regional Council jurisdiction.  Beaches were, by and large, lacking in population.  He was concerned regarding vehicle access.  It was permissible for vehicles to recover vessels but not hang gliders and equipment, and he considered it would be good if vehicles were able to access these areas for this purpose as well.


Scott Weatherall, Chairperson, Saddle Hill Community Board


Cr Conrad Stedman declared an interest as a member of the Saddle Hill Community Board and withdrew from the meeting at 11.15 am.


Mr Weatherall noted that people enjoyed organic gardening and he would like consideration to be given to people being able to take seaweed.  He commented that vehicles were needed for surf lifesaving events and did not want the bylaw to preclude them parking on the beach.  In terms of booking beaches for organised events, he did not see any issues if the Council continued to work with community groups.  He would also like weddings that took place in Brighton on the beach to be able to continue.  Mr Weatherall supported dogs being allowed to walk in the sand dunes but considered they should be restricted in areas of endangered wildlife.  Ocean View Beach should be looked at again in regard to dogs.


Mr Weatherall did not see any issues with drones being used.  He noted that horses had always used the beach area from Westwood to Brighton.  It was used for horse training and people learning to ride and the Board asked that should be allowed to continue.  There should be designated areas where there could be access through the dunes.  He suggested that horse owners could be asked to clean up horse droppings.


Cr Conrad Stedman returned to the meeting at 11.26 am.



Moved (Cr Andrew Whiley/Cr David Benson-Pope):

That the Subcommittee:


Adjourns the meeting until the next submitter.


Motion carried


The meeting adjourned from 11.26 am to 11.40 am.



Murray Brass, Yellow-eyed Penguin Trust


Cr David Benson-Pope declared an interest as a member of the Yellow-eyed Penguin Trust and withdrew from the meeting at 11.40 am.


The Trust was strongly supportive of the extension of the bylaw to include beaches as well as reserves.  There were complications in trying to control access points.  Extending the bylaw to beaches would give the Council more control.  The Trust supported controls on dogs to protect wildlife.  Mr Brass noted that drone use could impact on wildlife and supported controls.  Landowner approval was required for drones and it made sense to apply this requirement to beaches.  The Trust thought controls for horses should apply.  Points near dunes were where wildlife might be found and forcing horses to use this area might create conflicts.  Vehicle controls were required during breeding and Mr Brass suggested wording changes


In regard to particular beaches, there were some areas where penguins would return year after year, but wildlife often did unexpected things so it would be good to have the ability to impose temporary controls.


Cr David Benson-Pope returned to the meeting at 11.50 am.


Karen Anderson


Cr Andrew Whiley withdrew from the meeting at 12.03 pm and Cr David Benson-Pope took the Chair.


Ms Anderson tabled her comments and referred to points of procedure she had raised the previous day in relation to the Summary of Submissions, which had been amended in respect of a comment attributed to Ms Anderson after she had taken up the matter with staff.  The document also raised matters related to the interests of the Chairperson.


Ms Anderson also commented on issues related to the amendment of the Dog Control Bylaw, the number of submissions received and the topics they covered, and what she considered was a flawed process followed during the bylaw review.


Cr Andrew Whiley returned to the meeting at 12.14 pm and resumed the Chair.


Moved (Cr David Benson-Pope/Cr Andrew Whiley):

That the Subcommittee:


Adjourns the meeting.


Motion carried


The meeting adjourned from 12.15 pm to 1.10 pm.



Kelvin Lyon


Mr Lyon (from Warrington) spoke to his submission which included his background to his time living at Warrington and his horse riding.  He noted that he had never received any complaints regarding horses being ridden on the beach.  He also commented on a workshop that had been held regarding the use of the Warrington Domain and that there had been no negative comment.  He reported that there were a lot more campers than riders at the Domain and advised that he had seen a van driving up the Warrington Beach at lunchtime that day.  Riders would not want to be on the beach at the same time that there were surf lifesaving activities.  Mr Lyon would like the Subcommittee to give consideration to allowing horse riding along the beach for exercise activities.  Should areas be restricted, then the horse riding community could be consulted.  He thought that vehicles on the beach would disturb more sand than would horses.  He suggested that complaints would have to be monitored.  He also supported the restriction of vehicles on the beach apart from for specific purposes such as the retrieval of boats.


Allison Barty


Ms Barty spoke to her submission and commented that she had problems trying to understand the proposal.  She remarked on the changes and the reactions of people to this.  She advised that she was a horse rider and had requested maps of where she was able to ride.  She also commented on the website and communication with Council.  Ms Barty questioned matters relating to the timeframe for and enforcement of the bylaw, and communication of the changes.  She had concerns that horse riding representatives had not been included during the development of the bylaw.  Ms Barty was of the view that respect among beach users would go a long way.  She advised that she did not agree with vehicles on beaches unless they were authorised users.


Adrian Hall, Aramoana (Otago) Conservation Trust


Mr Hall spoke to the Aramoana Conservation Trust submission.  He commented on riders on the Aramoana Beach and their behaviour towards wildlife there, the wildlife at Aramoana and that Aramoana was a conservation area.  He considered that it was an exceptional and significant area.  He had concerns with vehicles on beaches, in particular potential conflict with nesting birds and sea lions.  He commented on land yachts, in particular at sun down when penguins returned to land, and that the number of nests had reduced from 18 to four in recent times.  He also advised of the number of injured penguins which came up the beach at all times of the day.  Mr Hall requested that vehicle access be restricted to protect wildlife.  He considered that there were boat ramps at other locations that the community could use.  Sea lions were breeding around the north area of the beach and he considered that they needed protection.  He asked the Council to consult with DOC.  Mr Hall also felt that horse riders should be encouraged to keep a reasonable distance from wildlife.  He considered that dogs should not be allowed beyond Bear Rock on Aramoana Beach because of the yellow-eyed penguins.


Maurice Prendergast


Mr Prendergast tabled and spoke to his submission, in particular about horses on beaches.  He commented on a resolution (September 2016) regarding a review of the bylaw, in particular the use of vehicles and dogs on reserves.  He commented that there had been no reference to horses anywhere in the report that went to elected members pre-election.  Mr Prendergast considered that horses should be allowed on beaches and advised that he had not witnessed inappropriate behaviour on beaches.



The meeting adjourned from 2.02 pm to 2.20 pm.



Shay Dewey, Southern Stringers Ltd


Mr Dewey ran a company dealing in video filming for corporate, news and commercial work, which had moved into use of drones in the last couple of years.  The proposed bylaw would affect the company's use of drones.  The current process was that initially staff would have to talk to the client regarding the drone flight, the flight would be logged with Air Share/CAA which would go to air traffic control.  Southern District Health Board permission was also needed if flying in a certain area.  This was not an efficient process and took some time, after which the occupants of properties that the drone would fly over needed to be spoken to.  This was already an involved process and was a process designed to control drones.  Everyone should be doing this, however most people did not know where and when they could fly and the rules in place.  There were already procedures and most beaches were controlled.  Education was needed rather than another permit.  Operators could not fly drones over groups of people, crowds, events etc. 


Mr Dewey considered that there were double standards as to how drones and other aircraft were perceived.  He explained the technicalities of control of air space and permissions to fly, the rules of flying, height restrictions etc, where people could fly without logging flights, where people could not fly eg above mammals where permits were needed from the Department of Conservation.


Tracey Morrison


Ms Morrison commented on horses on beaches and tabled photographs from her daughter.  She was concerned about a proposal that horses were only allowed above the high water tide mark.  This was strange as it was the area of softest sand and could damage horses' tendons.  These areas were also usually adjacent to sand dunes which required preservation.  The best place for horses was on firm sand at low tide.  It was increasingly more difficult to find safe places to ride horses.  The beach was one of her favourite places to ride.  Also race horses used beaches for training.  Horse riders did not upset other beach users or make them feel intimidated in any way as it was part of their way of life.  Ms Morrison tended to use Warrington and Ocean View beaches where there were established tracks through the dunes.


Debi Riddle


Ms Riddle lived in Brighton and she rode horses on the beach in all seasons at different times of day.  She was concerned regarding vehicles being disruptive on beaches, such as unlicensed dune buggies.  Narrow tracks for access to the beach had been widened by quad bikes and motorbikes.  The biggest problem was people using vehicles without regard to others.  Quad bikes smashed tracks in the sand dunes.  Uncontrolled dogs were also a problem and her horse had been injured getting away from a dog.  Speed limits on beaches were needed for safety reasons but also areas where people could exercise horses in a responsible manner.  Ms Riddle also commented on conflicts between horse floats trying to load and unload to access the beach, and freedom campers at Ocean View.



The meeting adjourned from 3.20 pm to 3.35 pm.



Jinty MacTavish, Landscape Connections Trust


Ms MacTavish commented on the Beyond Orokonui project and showed a map of the community landscape plan to manage ecological values in the area.  There was a range of projects including the Halo Project predator management project, and a network of traps to provide a buffer for the Orokonui Ecosanctuary.  Other projects were sea bird restoration concentrated around Mapoutahi, in response to the massacre of little blue penguins in the area in 2014.  The Trust wanted to express its support for inclusion of beaches in the Reserves Bylaw.  Conservation efforts relied on both beaches and reserves and needed consistency in management of those areas and this was also consistent with the proposed Parks and Recreation Strategy.  The Reserves Bylaw was a key tool in implementing the Strategy.  There was no objection to the Dog Bylaw so long as conservation values were considered as part of that project.


Emma Peters, Taieri District Pony Club


Ms Peters advised that the Pony Club had three branches and was concerned about parking and access issues to beaches.  The Club wanted to make sure that access to the listed beaches was maintained.  Other ones that people used for horses were Long Beach, Purakaunui, Murdering Beach, Doctors Point, Brighton and Taieri Mouth.  Club members were not interested in riding in the dunes apart from for access because of potential for damage to horses' legs.  They just wanted to make sure there was sufficient parking and access.


Glen Turner


Mr Turner considered that the change in restriction was a good compromise.  He commented on the use of drones and noted that there was no expectation of privacy when in a public place.  It was up to users and local authorities to educate people regarding expectations of privacy.  Small drones were not spying on people; this was not possible with small screens.  There was a limitation as to what could be seen with them.  Privacy should not be an issue.  If restrictions were made for drones, then cellphones and cameras would also have to be banned.


Mr Turner had been engaged to document changes at Aramoana and it would cause more damage to walk the area than to use drones.  People using drones were creative people doing good things.  He offered to show the Subcommittee his equipment and the limitations it had.  It was easier to change people's perception of what was being done if they were aware of it.  Rule changes would restrict what he was doing.  Mr Turner explained he was carrying out work at Shelly Beach, Aramoana, for the historic archives at the Port Chalmers Maritime Museum.  The main problems caused by drones were people using them in their neighbourhoods.


Paul McNamara


Mr McNamara commented on horses on beaches and proposed restrictions.  He noted that sand was soft at the mean high water spring mark and could cause muscle damage and trip hazards for horses, and also could lead to wildlife interactions.  Being prohibited from dunes was problematic as there were few areas where people could ride safely in Dunedin and they preferred to stick to established tracks.  There were more quad bikes using the dunes at Brighton and creating their own paths.  No research been done regarding the impact of horses on wildlife.  There was no correlation between research on vehicle damage and horses.  Mr McNamara supported comments regarding restriction of vehicles apart from launching boats etc.  Controls were needed over four wheel drives on beaches.  A quad bike had once caused one of his horses to rear up.


Geraldine Tait, Waikouaiti Coast Community Board


The Board had agreed that it was an excellent idea to restrict vehicles on beaches.  This would provide opportunities for passive recreation.  Ms Tait had lived in Blueskin Bay for over 30 years and considered that beaches were a place to go to take time out and not worry about traffic or whether a child was in danger.  There were a number of access places for vehicles and people could launch kayaks and small boats.  She considered that vehicle access should be for boat launch only.


Ms Tait was concerned about wildlife in the area and considered that birds and sea lions needed protection and could be affected by vehicle traffic.  Wildlife was owed a duty of respect by restricting vehicle access to those special beaches.  In regard to horses, people moved to the area because they liked a quiet life.  Quite a few people liked the beach for horses and she had never seen any galloping.  She thought that Warrington Beach should be accessible to horses, and that they should stick to formed tracks to access the beach.  A horse with sulky was not a motorised vehicle and could be included.  Ms Tait considered that land yachts were dangerous.


Derek Onley and Geraldine Tait, Warrington Reserve Group


The Warrington Reserve Group was an informal group of local residents that had been in existence for at least 15 years and was concerned about the quality of the environment, wildlife etc.  Making the reserve a good quality experience was also important.  The group had concerns regarding dogs being poorly controlled on the beach and vehicles on the beach.  Mr Onley considered that this was a great opportunity to ban vehicles from beaches.  In terms of birds and wildlife the important beaches were Karitane, the Otago Peninsula etc.  At end of Warrington Spit, large numbers of birds roosted, and oyster catchers and godwits were both endangered.  Vehicles blasted through bird sleeping areas.  If endangered birds were disturbed during summer roosting, they did not get to migrate.  The area would no longer be a good place for them to hatch and roost.  The group would like vehicles banned from beaches and would also like these areas to be split off as reserves.



Moved (Cr Andrew Whiley/Cr David Benson-Pope):

That the Subcommittee:


Adjourns the meeting until Wednesday 15 March 2017.


Motion carried


The meeting adjourned at 5.35 pm until Wednesday 15 March 2017 at 9.00 am.



Paul Pope, Otago Peninsula Community Board


Cr Andrew Whiley declared an interest as a member of the Otago Peninsula Community Board and withdrew from the meeting at 9.00 am, and Cr Benson-Pope took the Chair.


Mr Pope noted that Tomahawk and Smaills Beach were used as boat launching access areas and there was a question of how these issues would be dealt with.  There had been a number of rescues at Smaills Beach and people had launched boats there.  There was confusion about what the bylaw covered and conflicting advice regarding whether beaches such as Allans Beach were covered by it.  The bylaw, signage and education all needed to be part of the same package.  Information signage needed to be developed.  There should be the maintenance and development of areas so they were sustainable in the long term.


Mr Pope noted that there was nothing in the bylaw relating to cultural taonga, harvesting, preserving middens and wrecks etc for cultural purposes, also nothing on alcohol consumption.  He considered that horse riders were generally self-regulating and that horses did not work well in dune areas because of injury.  In regard to drones, it was important that the Otago Peninsula was seen as film friendly.  This was regulated by the CAA.  He considered that children should not be stopped from flying small drones.  The Board believed that the bylaw must be fair and transparent and appropriately resourced.  It was important to improve physical access points and people saw access to coastal areas as a right.


Cr Andrew Whiley returned to the meeting at 9.09 am and resumed the Chair.


Peter Gibbons, St Kilda Surf Lifesaving Club


Cr Conrad Stedman declared an interest due to his involvement with another surf lifesaving club and withdrew from the meeting at 9.10 am.


Mr Gibbons advised that he also had authority to speak on behalf of Surf Lifesaving New Zealand.


The Club wanted an exemption to allow vehicles on the beach.  All surf lifesaving clubs used vehicles on their own beaches.  Vehicles were also used for competitions, training of lifeguards and clubs travelled to different beaches depending on conditions on the day.  An exemption was sought for vehicles on beaches for surf lifesaving purposes.  It was also necessary for search and rescue capability to drive onto beaches.  Removal of

"cowboys" using vehicles on beaches was the club's concern.  The club used drones relatively rarely, for safety at events.


Cr Conrad Stedman returned to the meeting at 9.19 am.


Megan Brick, Brighton Pony Club and individual


Ms Brick considered that safety was paramount.  Children rode from Waldronville along the beach to the pony club grounds as the road was totally unsafe.  If there were changes relating to horses on beaches this would impact on numbers belonging to the club.  It was disappointing not to have had contact from Council to stakeholders such as pony clubs, trainers etc prior to release of the proposed bylaw.  She was hoping it was a misunderstood concept regarding horses on beach.


People on horses rode in sand dunes on allocated tracks.  This was a safe environment for children to learn and an enclosed environment.  It was hoped these tracks would not be off limits.  Ms Brick observed that sometimes the only option for training racehorses was to take them to the beach in frosty conditions or when horses were injured.  She felt that this was a good opportunity for the Council to consider dedicated bridle paths and allocated tracks for horse riding.


Catherine Smith, School of Physiotherapy, University of Otago


Ms Smith advised that walking dogs, both leashed and unleashed, provided huge benefits for health through physical activity.  People with long term health conditions benefited.  She questioned whether dog walking access could afford to be further restricted.  One piece of puzzle should not be dealt with without looking at the bigger picture.  She expressed the hope that walking dogs would not be restricted on sportsfields etc.  Ms Smith commented and gave examples of the various physical and mental health benefits from dog walking and also commented on her research.



Moved (Cr David Benson-Pope/Cr Conrad Stedman):

That the Subcommittee:


Adjourns the meeting for 15 minutes.


Motion carried


The meeting adjourned from 9.53 am to 10.10 am.



Carol Dempster


Ms Dempster advised that she lived at Westwood backing onto the Kaikorai Estuary and had been a user of area for a very long time, since childhood.  More discussion was needed about horses in sand dunes.  Horses were not the only ones that would have detrimental effects on dunes.  Motorbikes also caused detrimental effects.  Horses took a cautious approach and cuttings were not the work of horses.  There were other areas where horses were not being ridden where there were troubles of a different kind eg sea damage at St Clair.  Directing horses to use areas of soft sand was unsafe for horses.  Ms Dempster was not convinced that the equestrian community was consulted with well prior to the release of the draft bylaw and suggested that better means of consulting in future were needed.  Ms Dempster noted that the appendix did not include the Ocean View to Westwood Beaches or the Island Park sand dunes area where horses were currently allowed to be ridden.  There was also nothing on the Council website about where people were allowed to ride horses.  It would be nice to see horse riders having some visibility on the website.  There was a need to think about where horses could be ridden as roads were dangerous.  Beaches offered safe riding for children.


Chris Valentine


Mr Valentine commented that the main point about horses on beaches appeared to be a misunderstanding and appeared to have been addressed.  He supported allowing horses on the beaches that were currently mentioned and also that it should be extended to other beaches.  He supported this for riding and for training as long as it was done responsibly.  He could not find evidence of injury to the public relating to horses on beaches.  Mr Valentine agreed with restricting beach access to vehicles except for such reasons as boat launching or sand collection.


Joseph Dougherty


Mr Dougherty was an ecologist involved in conservation with experience in coast reserves.  He noted that there were lots of vested interests as Dunedin was an incredibly significant place with estuaries, incredible marine diversity, and conflict between recreational activities and the environment.  If the Council tried to cater for recreational demands then it might miss out on other opportunities eg Warrington recently had lots of vehicles on the beach which damaged the ecology of the area.  Horses hooves impacted on sand and mudflats, including animals that lived in the sand.  Signage was inadequate eg those signs prohibiting dogs from areas of Brighton where birds nested and roosted.  Dogs killed sea birds and there was a need to do more about this.  Vehicles on beaches also caused problems.  Mr Dougherty noted that most damage occurred in intertidal zones and mudflats and that it was undesirable to have large numbers of horses on beaches.


Stuart Holt


Mr Holt was a resident at Warrington who had observed a lot more people with four wheel drive vehicles.  The car parking area was making the beach accessible to vehicles.  There were a lot more vehicles on the beach, including quad bikes, and these were disturbing nesting birds.  This would not be accepted elsewhere.  He had also observed a sea lion trying to get to her pup through vehicles.  During a surf lifesaving event there were lots of vehicles on the beach.  It needed to be blocked off in a way that the surf club could put its own vehicles into the water.  These things could not be policed and not all beaches could be treated as roads.  There was minimal activity from horses on Warrington Beach.


Sandra Sutherland


Ms Sutherland had been a horse rider for 44 years and rode at Ocean View and Brighton.  She had a long association with the area and noted that the road was dangerous in that area.  The track through the dunes was narrow and very little damage was done by horses.  Most was done by vehicles and problems were also caused by weeds and rubbish dumping etc.  She had looked at university research and little damage was done by horses.  Horse riders contributed to the economy.  It used to be possible to ride on the grass verges of roads but this was no longer possible.  Other safety measures for horses had also disappeared.  Horse riders were always forgotten by city planners.  Other cities had tracks etc.  There were now freedom campers at Ocean View which had halved the parking and made it difficult for horse floats.  Not all groups got on well.  In regard to conflicts between riders and quad bikes etc most people were good and pulled over if they encountered horses in the dunes.  Ms Sutherland also commented on sharing beach areas and asked where people could take recreational vehicles to enjoy them.


Oliver Goldsmith, Hare Hill Horse Treks


Mr Goldsmith commented that people got confused with what was proposed regarding horses on beaches and noted that the wording had now been altered, although that did not solve all the problems.  His business had used Aramoana Beach for 20 years now and he was happy with the way things were.  He wanted to limit the impact they made.  Conflict over the use of resources was not new.  His business limited the number of horses they had on the beach.  A person on foot was with the riders, and removed any excrement.  Some people were still not happy with that.  He had customers that came to Dunedin specifically to ride on Aramoana Beach.  Not too many places in New Zealand offered what his business was able to and he thought it was unique.


Mr Goldsmith noted that other users could be cavalier about removing droppings, however many horse people were self-regulating and self-regulation was best for recreational groups.  Wildlife was less threatened by horses compared to people and dogs.  When there were vehicles on the beach his horses had to vacate as he could not risk people being hurt.  If there were land yachts his horses did not go there.  The treks always gave wildlife a wide berth.


Sarah Hexamer


Ms Hexamer tabled a submission and photos.  In regard to horses and dogs she respected the importance of preserving dunes.  Horses caused little damage to dunes.  Occasionally a seal was encountered in dunes but they were not concerned by horses.  There was a need to manage dunes  and people could be more respectful.  There were not many tracks etc in forestry areas for people to take their horses.  To reduce options for riding in dunes would be quite devastating.  This was safer than riding on roads as gravel was often slippery and damaged horses. 


In regard to dogs, a few ruined it for everyone.  There needed to be some restrictions.  She appreciated there were dog parks but for those who lived in the country beaches were better as long as the dogs were under control.  Dogs on beaches could be a problem if they chased horses, and could be a danger to people on beaches.  She would like responsible owners of horses and dogs to be allowed to continue to use beaches..


Brett Bensemann, Tautuku Fishing Club Dunedin and Haast Inc


Mr Bensemann advised that he was also involved with other fishing organisations.  He considered there was a need to look at why beaches were closed and noted that there were a lot of regulations.  Vehicles taking boats to beaches and going fishing should be exempt.  This was also teaching people to fish and provide food.  The main focus should be on "hoons" in sand dunes etc.  On the subject of horses, sea water etc was good for horses and sea access should still be available for horses.  Also children took their horses to the beach, not just the racing fraternity.


In regard to fears of new technology, privacy, effects on wildlife etc related to drones, they would be a new concept in fishing.  The food chain on the Otago coast was unique.  A drone could take a line out, fish and bring the line back.  If the Council started closing down recreational areas where people could go, there would be problems.  Beaches should be kept available for people to use.  Mr Bensemann also commented on issues with freedom campers at Smaills Beach.



Moved (Cr Andrew Whiley/Cr David Benson-Pope):

That the Subcommittee:


Adjourns the meeting.


Motion carried


The meeting adjourned from 12.35 pm to 1.00 pm



Dr Karsten Schneider


Dr Schneider was quite happy with the changed draft sent to submitters which had addressed most of his issues.  He did not understand why Shelly Beach was excluded from kite surfing.  Kite surfers had an entry point close to the mole.  He was also a jogger as well as a kite surfer and spent a lot of time on the beach at Brighton.  He had come up against dogs and did not know whether dogs would be friendly.  Dogs were often not controlled and dog excrement was left on the beach and moved around by the tide.  Dr Schneider did not support vehicles on the sand unless they were being used for launching etc and he considered that there was no real conflict between kite surfers and horses.


Meghan Mills


Ms Mills was appearing for the Brighton Pony Club as well as an individual horse rider.  She commented on access to beaches at Ocean View.  She lived about 800m from the beach access point and Scroggs Hill riders had even further to go.  It was a dangerous road for riders and she requested consideration be given to easier access.  There was historical access at the bottom of Braids Hill.  She did not have a problem with dunes being off limits to horses.  Beaches were used by locals to ride and horse trainers brought their horses.  There were also other recreational users.  Tracks through the dunes were good but there was potential for damage to horses' tendons.  There were issues with dogs not properly controlled on the beach and historical issues of dogs attacking ponies, with potential for conflict.  Ms Mills considered that there was often huge potential for conflict between horses and kite surfers.


Michelle O'Malley-Scott


Ms O'Malley-Scott considered that the bylaw needed to be renamed the Beach Reserves Bylaw.  She would like to see dunes protected, with weeds removed and natives planted.  The beach was a medicinal help for horses.  She was a horse rider and had encountered dogs.  She did not take her dogs to the beach with horses.  Other dogs were often off leads on the beach and she was not sure about control.  Her horse was not used to other dogs.  Ms O'Malley-Scott did not like the idea of drones buzzing overhead but felt that they could be used in designated flying areas.


She had not encountered dune buggies etc when with horses.  Sand was unpredictable though.  If a vehicle struck a soft patch and got stuck it would often lurch to get out and cause a danger to other users.  She would like beach access to be maintained for as many people as possible.



Moved (Cr Andrew Whiley/Cr Conrad Stedman):

That the Subcommittee:


Adjourns the meeting until 1.50 pm.


Motion carried


The meeting adjourned from 1.35 pm to 1.50 pm.



Moved (Cr David Benson-Pope/Cr Andrew Whiley):

That the Subcommittee:


Adjourns the meeting until the next speaker arrives.


Motion carried


The meeting adjourned from 2.05 pm to 3.03 pm.



Graeme Anderson, Westwood Training


Mr Anderson advised that beaches and horses had gone together without any problems for many years.  His beach was Westwood and he had worked horses on the beach for 12 years.  The beach users got on well and there was no trouble between horse riders, dog walkers etc.  Not many swimmers used that beach.  The bylaw appeared to be reducing the parts of the beach he could use.  He did not impact on dunes at all as he accessed the beach through the estuary area.  No other horses impacted on the dunes as sulkies were used so they did not go through the dunes.  Swimmers generally went to Brighton Beach.  In some areas horse faeces was not picked up immediately.  He did not often see drones or quad bikes using this area.  Other horse trainers used the area regularly or occasionally but these were low impact as they did not use vehicles.  Kite surfers created a disturbance for horses and were very hard to stop.  He could only work at low tide and could not work in deep sand.



Moved (Cr Andrew Whiley/Cr David Benson-Pope):

That the Subcommittee:


Adjourns the meeting until Tuesday 21 March 2017 at 9.00 am (to deliberate).


Motion carried



The meeting adjourned at 3.17 pm and resumed on Tuesday 21 March 2017 at 9.10 am.





The Subcommittee noted that it had heard those submitters who wished to be heard on 14 and 15 March 2017. 


The Manager Civic and Legal advised that emails had been received from Terry Wilson relating to the deliberations.  She had clarified to him that today's deliberations were a continuation of the previous week's hearing and would be held in public.


Moved (Cr David Benson-Pope/Cr Conrad Stedman):

That the Subcommittee:


Confirms the response to Mr Wilson that the deliberations meeting would be held in public.


Motion carried


An email had also been received about the number of submissions and it was to be included in the decision how the number of submissions was calculated.


The matters raised by submitters were discussed by the Subcommittee and the following points made by submitters were suggested for inclusion in the amended bylaw document and/or associated report and implementation plan for recommendation to the Council:


·         New wording regarding the definition of beaches.

·         The permit requirement for drones to be removed given the CAA requirements already in place, with the airspace of sensitive ecological areas to be removed from the areas where drones were permitted to be flown.  It was also felt that it would be useful to have the capacity to add and subtract sensitive areas by Council resolution.

·         Safe management as a purpose of the bylaw was to be emphasised.

·         Sensitive flora and fauna to be emphasised.

·         The expansion of areas available to sensible rider use for horses.

·         The need for clear signage.

·         The inclusion of an implementation plan when the report went to Council.

·         Enforcement issues and a section on Enforcement and Penalties.

·         The need for education around the use of drones and CAA requirements.

·         The parking of vehicles on beaches following boat launching.

·         Provision to allow people to collect driftwood or seaweed for non-commercial purposes.

·         Additions to the lists of vehicles, vessels and other things used on beaches.

·         Definition of events.

·         The installation of maps and signposts at designated beach access points.

·         It was noted that horse training with motorised vehicles may require a permit.

·         The implementation plan to deal with particular user groups and also to cover permit costs (if any).

·         Removal of horse droppings.

·         Provision for the retrieval of hang gliders etc.

·         Provision for vehicles undertaking beach maintenance and for other work purposes.

·         There was discussion on appropriate speed limits eg 10 km/h when not otherwise specified.

·         The schedule of where horses are allowed was to be expanded.

·         Clarification of prohibitions in sensitive ecological areas eg salt marshes, dunes.

The Subcommittee would report to the Council meeting on 1 May 2017.



Moved (Cr David Benson-Pope/Cr Conrad Stedman):

That the Subcommittee:


Adjourns the meeting until Wednesday 5 April 2017 at 9.00 am (for further deliberations).


Motion carried



The meeting adjourned at 11.36 am and resumed on Wednesday 5 April 2017 at 9.10 am.



The Subcommittee recorded that members had attended a drone demonstration the previous day provided by submitter, Mr Glen Turner.


The draft updated bylaw and maps had been circulated in previous days and were considered on a page-by-page basis by the Subcommittee.  The following additional points were discussed for inclusion.


·         Notes to be added regarding public safety.

·         Requirements regarding drones to be in line with those of other local authorities eg reference to 1.5 kg drone weight, however it was noted that technology was changing and provision could be left for change.

·         Explanatory note to be included that the Council only had jurisdiction over parts of beaches.

·         Definition of "camp" to be adjusted.

·         Whether "ecologically sensitive zones" could include a provision "from time to time as determined by resolution of Council".

·         "Fauna" definition also to include insects.

·         Expansion to the definition of "vehicles".

·         There was discussion on horses in dunes and formed and designated access points.

·         There was discussion on provision for events and training on beaches.

·         It was suggested people should take the most direct practical route when launching or retrieving vehicles.

·         Practicalities relating to enforcement and the appointment of enforcement officers.

·         A schedule of ecologically sensitive areas where vehicles, drones etc are prohibited to be added eg Okia Reserve/Victory Beach, albatross colony, Aramoana Beach, Shelly Beach and salt marsh, Boulder Beach etc.  This would be discussed with the Department of Conservation and the Yellow-eyed Penguin Trust.  An exemption would be granted for rangers and vehicles undertaking "approved conservation activities".


Moved (Cr Andrew Whiley/Cr David Benson-Pope):

That the Subcommittee:


Adjourns the meeting.


Motion carried


The meeting adjourned from 10.45 am to 10.55 am.


The Manager Civic and Legal suggested additions to the clause relating to permission and prior approval.


There was discussion on seizure of vehicles for dune damage and disturbance of wildlife.  A penalty section was to be developed.


The schedule where horses are permitted was also to include Tomahawk, Smaills Beach, parts of Aramoana, Warrington, Blackhead to Braids Hill, south of Brighton swimming beach.


Maps would not be included in the bylaw document itself.



Moved (Cr David Benson-Pope/Chairperson Andrew Whiley):

That the Subcommittee:


a)     Notes the report and submissions on the proposed Reserves and Beaches Bylaw 2017;

b)     Makes further amendments to the proposed bylaw following these deliberations and that the amended bylaw be circulated for electronic sign-off by the Subcommittee (with the Subcommittee to meet again if any issues arise);

c)     Recommends to Council the final form of the Reserves and Beaches Bylaw 2017 for adoption, incorporating the changes made following consideration of submissions and hearings.

Motion carried (BYL/2017/003)




The meeting concluded at 11.12 am.