Kapiti Coast beaches going nude?

The Dominion Post 15 September 2008

The Kapiti Coast may soon become one of the world’s longest nude beaches. Nude fishing and swimming is set to get the nod for the entire Kapiti coastline as long as it is not deemed “lewd”. Kapiti Coast District Council’s regulatory management committee last week endorsed a staff recommendation to allow nudity along the 45km coastline from Paekakariki to Otaki in its 2008 Draft Beach Bylaw. In the case of offensive or lewd behaviour, the council would turn to the police. Steve Porteous said he was all for nudity on local beaches. “People have forgotten we are all naked underneath and they are scared of that,” he said.

Kapiti Mayor Jenny Rowan and 10 councillors unanimously supported the stance to be included in the draft bylaw. A staff report on the issue said naked sunbathing or swimming on a beach was not considered offensive behaviour in modern society. “In this age of greater freedom of expression and perhaps greater tolerance to nakedness, bylaws restricting the rights of law-abiding naturists are vulnerable on the basis that they breach … the Bill of Rights Act,” the report said.