Territorial Authority seaward boundaries standardised

  • John Carter
Local Government

The seaward boundaries of 23 territorial authorities have been standardised to the mean low water springs (low tide mark) to provide nationally consistent seaward boundaries for all 53 coastal authorities, says Associate Local Government Minister John Carter.

“The key benefit of this jurisdiction extension is that it will allow all territorial authorities to locally regulate public nuisances and safety issues on beaches where issues arise,” said Mr Carter.

Prior to the change, 30 authorities had jurisdiction to the mean low water springs, and 23 had jurisdiction to the mean high water spring. This left these 23 councils with no jurisdiction to regulate activities on the full beach area.

“In particular, extension will remove a barrier to managing issues such as the use of motor vehicles on beaches.  It will allow local control where there is a community preference for such measures, and answers the demand from many coastal residents and beach users for safer beaches.

“Before making the decision I consulted with the 23 affected territorial Authorities and with Local Government New Zealand. As a jurisdictional change, the standardisation does not impose any significant direct costs or responsibilities on territorial authorities, but simplifies the management of the area by allowing affected councils to respond to community concerns,” said Mr Carter.