18 Sep 2008

Kapiti bylaw change to allow nudists on beach

9:18 pm on 18 September 2008

A 45km stretch of beach on the Kapiti Coast could be open for nude swimming and sunbathing under a proposed bylaw.

At present, only one small section of the beach is set aside for nudists.

Legal advice sought by the district council found that naked sunbathing or swimming on a beach is not considered offensive behaviour in modern society.

Kapiti Mayor Jenny Rowan says bylaws banning nudists could breach the Bill of Rights Act.

Ms Rowan says dealing with lewd and offensive behaviour is a matter best left to police.

She says ratepayers will ultimately decide if or where nakedness will be allowed on their beach.

Steve Porteous, a resident and occasional nude swimmer, says he hopes locals will not overreact and will give the proposal a chance to be discussed.

Submissions on changes to the beach bylaw will close on 24 October.