Sharing our Beaches Safely

As the warmer weather arrives, the Waimakariri District Council is reminding people dusting off their fishing gear and togs of the rules in place around using the District’s beaches.

“This isn’t to spoil your fun but to make sure that everyone can access our beaches safely.” says Mike Kwant, Community Projects Officer.  “While the vast majority of beach users are considerate and do the right thing, we do still see some issues, particularly around vehicles and dogs on the beach”.20201007 - Ashley Rakahuri Estuary

The Council recently supported Environment Canterbury in prosecuting a 4WD driver who ignored warning signage and drove through the Ashley-Rakahuri estuary in breach of the Bylaw. The driver caused significant damage to the estuary, which is home to several endangered and rare species of birdlife.

Mike says the Council will be once again joining Environment Canterbury’s Rangers over the summer to make sure people are aware of the rules, “We always aim to educate people first, however we will take steps to enforce the Pegasus Beach Bylaw for the most serious cases.”

“Overall, we’ve seen a huge improvement in behaviour since the introduction of the bylaw.” says Mike “Our residents value our beaches and are showing us that they want to protect them for future generations.”

The Pegasus Beach Bylaw was adopted in 2016 and designates areas for vehicles, horses, dogs and other activities like kite surfing and land yachting.

Recreational driving isn’t allowed on any area of the Northern Pegasus Bay coastal strip and especially not in our fragile coastal dunes. Vehicles should be driving below the last tide mark and show consideration to people, horses, other animals and birds.

Dogs are welcome on the beach as long as they are keep under control either on a lead or voice controlled. This is really important when dogs are around horses and to protect our natural wildlife, they are not allowed in the Ashley-Rakahuri estuary and wetlands.

Find out more about the Bylaw and rules around beaches at waimakariri.govt.nz/beaches