Foreshore Act complication
The summer of safety stories marshall themselves between the NZ Herald's red flags:
Controls for cars on the coast called for
More people will die on Northland's beaches unless something is done to control vehicles driving on the sand, a Far North beachside resident says.
Police, councils and the Department of Conservation share his fears. The Northern Advocate newspaper has received a flurry of calls from coastal residents and visitors concerned about the behaviour of some beach drivers...
Waitakere police had launched beach patrols with officers on quad bikes, a possibility in Northland.
Kaitaia police Senior Sergeant Gordon Gunn is concerned a major accident could occur. "The beaches are classed as roads, and they have a speed restriction of 100km/h and all the normal road rules," he said.
So, now that the government has confiscated the beaches they are now bringing out the police force? Maori kiatiakitanga is being replaced with central state authority and that is presumably legally unquestioned now. Quite apart from the long-standing problems exhibited and enumerated in the report is the matter of the Foreshore and Seabed Act that has a deliberately vague statement that the public has:
"s.7 (d) The right to engage in recreational activities in or on the public foreshore and seabed."
Now this is totally undefined and will have to go to court to figure out - because they rushed it through parliament without due consideration to what the hell they were doing (and because they ignored my submission because I was against confiscation). Is shooting recreational? Is driving recreational? They are open questions now as to whether they are rights. Any attempt to contain it better be watertight (as it were) or section 7 (d) must surely be read widely (in keeping with the wording) to include everything not specifically excluded. Any lawyer representing someone caught in breach of any purported restriction will be wise to pull that section out as a defence.