It is really sad reading all the letters relating to cars, whitebaiters and others, on the Waikanae River Estuary. Driving along the beach, through the Ka¯piti Marine Reserve into the Waikanae Estuary Scientific Reserve is illegal. There is no way it can be justified.
I am a local who is down on the beach and estuary almost every day.
While down there I weed around the shrubs, pick up rubbish, check my predator traps and generally look out for the area.
It breaks my heart to see the damage the cars are doing. I know all the locals hate seeing the cars on the beach.
The estuary is a nationally important bird sanctuary.
A large number of birds frequent the area and breed in the dunes.
Sadly, it is easy to see car tracks right through the best nesting areas.
Cars, out of control dogs and birds do not mix.
I have been involved in discussions with the Wellington Conservation Board, DOC and KCDC to try and get the law enforced. Sadly, nobody has been brave enough to do this. Mr Turver and his friends obviously go down onto the reserve with blinkers on.
They do not see the large amount of work DOC, KCDC and the Care Group have done to control the large areas of gorse, blackberry, lupins and weeds that used to be in the reserves around the estuary. A very large number of shrubs have been planted in the dunes and around the estuary.
It is an on-going effort but it is having a major beneficial effect.
I suggest the whitebaiters who use cars on the beach join one of the many conservation and restoration groups that are active in Horowhenua, on the Ka¯piti Coast or Wellington to be part of the effort to enhance, not destroy, our environment.
WARREN SUTTON WAIKANAE [abridged]