Kapiti bares its defiance on nudity

Dominion Post 5 November 2008

Overwhelming opposition to nudity on Kapiti Coast beaches has sparked a flood of submissions on the district council’s draft beach bylaw. Bernie Goedhart, Kapiti Coast District Council’s group manager, said the council had received 369 written submissions. Those included about 900 signatures on three petitions, most of which opposed nudity on the district’s beaches. About 22 submissions out of 200 sorted by staff related to horses, motorbikes and fires on beaches, while the remainder were related to nudity. One petition – with 13 signatures – supported nudity.

The matter sparked fierce debate after councillors decided not to include any reference to naked sunbathers in its draft bylaw. “The councillors agreed that the bylaw was not the way to control nudity on local beaches – if nudists’ behaviour was deemed offensive it would be dealt with by police,” Mr Goedhart said. “Trying to address the concerns of the community will prove a challenge for councillors.”