Save Ocean Beach

The natural and physical resources of Ocean beach and its adjacent City Dunedin are under threat and you can help!

from the Otago Daily Times
By David Loughrey on Fri, 16 Apr 2010

The future management of Dunedin's "first line of defence" against the ocean, the city's coastal dune reserves, will soon be decided after hearings held this week.

The coastal dunes reserves management plan hearings attracted 52 submissions from groups including Save the Otago Peninsula and the Yellow-eyed Penguin Trust. Ten people attended Wednesday's hearings to speak.

Under the Reserves Act 1977, local authorities are required to develop reserve management plans.

Dunedin City Council staff identified 10 coastal reserves, including at Brighton, Karitane, Long Beach, Ocean View, Waikouaiti and Warrington, to be included.

The idea was to protect and preserve the natural processes of the dunes, and manage natural, biodiversity, scenic and cultural values, while providing for recreation that did not damage those values.

Hearings committee chairwoman Cr Fliss Butcher said a major issue that emerged at the hearing was horses and dogs on Warrington beach.

There was "definitely" a problem with uncontrolled dogs, and their effect on nesting birds.

The issue of horses may be dealt with in a separate process, but the reserve was a recreational area, and horse-riding was a recreational activity.

Other issues included concerns about erosion, something the committee would bear in mind, Cr Butcher said.

She hoped community groups similar to the Tomahawk/Smaills Beachcare Trust could be set up to look after the reserves, with help from the council.

"It's really important," she said of the plan.

"These dunes are our first line of defence."

The committee would deliberate next week, and the plan would go before the community development committee, before being signed by the council.