October 14, 2015
Net ban lifting sets Arkles Bay in turmoil
Tangata whenua and Whangaparaoa residents are upset an Auckland Council committee has allowed the return of set nets to Arkles Bay, a popular recreational beach across an inlet from the Okura marine reserve.
John Watson, who voted against the motion along with Independent Maori Statutory Board representatives Glenn Wilcox and Karen Wilson, says the former Rodney District Council banned set netting on the beach in 2007.
This was in response to the activities of a gang of semi-commercial fishers who intimidated other beach users and whose nets got in the way of swimmers and boats and trapped dolphins and dogs.
He says the councillors lifted the rahui despite near unanimous community opposition.
"They don’t want to set a precedent but what they are overlooking is Arkles Bay has a unique set of circumstances prompted by the proximity to the marine reserve and by this shocking history of five years where the whole community was held to ransom," Cr Watson says.
He says the community will keep the pressure in to bring back the set net ban.
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