5 Jan 2015

Residents annoyed at waste left on beach

3:46 pm on 5 January 2015

Residents of a Northland beach are disgruntled by waste left behind on the shore by crab-hunters.

Uretiti Beach had grown in popularity attracting more tourists, campers and crab hunters said Craig Brown.

Uretiti Beach had grown in popularity attracting more tourists, campers and crab hunters said Craig Brown. Photo: 123RF

A councillor from the Northland Regional Council, Craig Brown, said Uretiti Beach had grown in popularity, attracting more tourists, campers, and crab-hunters.

"Until recent times, they were quite open, little-used beaches, except by local people, but over a period of time, we've had an increase of holidaymakers, in the number of people in the camping grounds, and there's the popularity with the crab hunting."

Mr Brown said this had brought with it extra rubbish, which was ending up on the beach.

"What we've got is this influx of people coming in there, using a variety of baits, to bait nets and pots, and they discard the waste at the end of it," he said.

"That's the bit I suppose that has the local people saying 'that's not really good enough.'"

He said chicken carcasses had been frequently left strewn on the shore.

"There's a whole variety of baits, because the crabs will be attracted by any meat-based product that's leftovers - chicken carcasses, they've traditionally been the biggest leftover."

Mr Brown said it was not just crab-hunters - he said freedom campers were also leaving rubbish behind, like nappies and food scraps.

He said the Northland Regional Council should educate people when they arrive in the area, and let them know they should take their waste home with them.

"We should say to people visiting our area 'we don't want that', and 'we don't want you to leave behind your waste, we would like you to take it away'," he said.

Mr Brown said the Northland District Council should also help get the message across.

No bin policy in question

Mr Brown said bins had been removed from the beach, as part of a "take in, take out" policy.

"The policy would be implemented with an education programme saying 'you bring your rubbish, you take it home,' now that works well in some areas, I'm afraid it's taking a little longer in our area to learn that when you come to an area, there are no disposal bins, you take it home," he said.

Mr Brown said it is still an issue of education, and the councils needed to keep people well-informed of the behaviour accepted.

"We want people to come up here and continue to enjoy what we've got ... but for God's sake, keep an eye on how you treat it and it will be here forever."

He said it was only a small aspect of looking after the marine area, and it was also necessary to deal with boats carrying marine pests.