Paremata Bridge jumpers
I write concerning recent publicity regarding the young folk swimming near the Paremata boat ramp.
My concern is not that there is an issue that needs sorting, but that draconian actions might be taken that will have an impact on the youngsters’ right to play in the area.
As has previously been highlighted, if the problem is considered holistically there are three agencies involved, along with the various users.
Our big fear is that a solution may forcefully eject the kids from bridge jumping. Doing something they enjoy and have the right to do – enjoying life, testing their physical agility and mental skills.
Let’s not kneejerk in response to an identified issue – the hazard
at the boat ramp created by boats and swimmers.
We ask the agencies to take care not to stifle the youngsters and make them feel unwanted, disgruntled and angry perhaps.
We need to find a solution to cater for the youngsters and not destroy their right of passage, jumping from Paremata Bridge.
The kids mean no harm and show no malice in what they are doing. They are youngsters full of the joys of life.
The agencies involved need to work together and come up with a solution. We need to ensure the youngsters’ needs are met. We need to involve them.
A final plea. The solution to the boat ramp issue does not lie in larger signs, as some suggest. There is far too much visual pollution around already.