Weekend visitors to Kaipara’s Ripiro Beach were welcomed with a humble sausage in bread and an important message: follow the rules to protect other beachgoers, the environment and yourself.
Representatives from local authorities and the community were stationed at Baylys Beach and Glinks Gully entrances to Ripiro Beach on Friday and Saturday to chat to visitors before they hit the sand.
Kaipara District Mayor, Craig Jepson says the initiative was developed in response to a Notice of Motion passed by Council, which outlined issues around beach behaviour.
“Dangerous driving, dumped rubbish, and threats to native wildlife have had national attention and there is huge community interest and support for behaviour change,” says Mayor Jepson.
The motion resulted in the establishment of a working group, led by Kaipara District Council, which aims to make Ripiro Beach a safer place for everyone.
New signs have been erected at the main entrances to the beach with clear rules and guidelines to make it easier for beachgoers to do the right thing while they enjoy this precious piece of coastline, said Kaipara District Council Chief Executive, Jason Marris.
“We’re hoping education will not only change beach user behaviour, but also empower others to report incidents when they see them happen,” said Mr Marris.
The Ripiro Beach Management Plan project aims to set a pathway to making Ripiro Beach a safer place for everyone.
The project was set up by Kaipara District Council in June 2021 and has since evolved into an ongoing working group of agencies holding authority over the beach and the community to establish a collective approach to managing the 107km stretch of coastline and the surrounding environment.
The working group is comprised of representatives from community, Department of Conservation, Fire and Emergency NZ, Kaipara District Council, Kauri Coast 4WD Club, Northland Regional Council, NZ Police, Red Hill MotoX Club, Te Roroa, and Te Uri o Hau.