Papamoa residents concerned about nudists’ behaviour on a section of Papamoa Beach will meet with Mayor Stuart Crosby tonight to discuss the issues.
A neighbourhood support group approached Stuart at a mayoral forum with concerns of “lewd behaviour” on the stretch of beach opposite Sunbrae Grove.
Stuart says after a long discussion with the uneasy residents he offered to come to the meeting to discuss the issues
“I made the offer to come along and listen to their collective concerns,” says Stuart.
“Councillor Wayne Moultrie will also be attending as a long standing resident of the Mount, he also knows a lot of history around that site.”
Stuart says there are three different types of nudists using the beach.
“There are three levels in my view, first of all there are your genuine nudists that have been there since the 50s and by in large they do not cause a problem.
“Then there is another level of nudists that are there, and when other people walk along, they get up and parade for no real reason other than to parade. This has raised concern.
“Then you have the more deviant type that the police sometimes deal with, who are doing lewd activities. And that’s the bit that is of most concern to the residents.”
Concerned Papamoa resident Shaun Gallagher approached the Mayor with concerns of offensive behaviour at the Western Bay of Plenty beach.
In an article published on familyfirst.org.nz, Shaun says on one occasion he was forced to check the stretch of beach near his home before allowing his young granddaughters to play on the sand.
“This is no longer a desert. It’s a big, big family community. I think if they were genuine, they would go and find somewhere that was as remote as it used to be.”
Shaun feels some of the nudists were holding residents to ransom.
Concerns about the nudity at the beach were first raised in September 1990, when Tauranga City Council was asked to introduce a bylaw to reduce the activity.
Stuart says Council decided it would not be successful and did not pass the bylaw to ban nudity on beaches.
There are no bylaws on nude sunbathing on public beaches, or skinny dipping, and Stuart says as long as people behave appropriately it is not considered an offence.
“I don’t oppose nudity as long as it’s discrete and away from the general public.
“Maybe it’s time another site was found, because it used to be very isolated but now there is a lot of residential development around it.”
The closed meeting will be held at a private residential address in Papamoa tonight.