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ARC Navigation Safety Bylaw

It looks like we may need the assistance of the Association in objecting to a recent bylaw passed by the Auckland Regional Council, I believe that this bylaw has been significantly influenced by incidents with kite surfers at many Auckland beaches over the past few years. Essentially the ARC and harbour master are sectioning off some of our most popular beaches whereby to restrict areas where you are able to windsurf and kite surf.

http://www.windsurfingnz.org/downloads/ARCNavigationSafetyBylaw.pdf

While I can understand some reasoning behind this I feel that given communication from the right bodies the impact of these restrictions and the effect of what it will do to windsurfing in Auckland should warrant a review. I'll summarise a few points below:

· Windsurfing has been able to share the beaches successfully with other users over the past 25-30 years

· Kite surfing has progressively resulted in more and more incidents with other water users since its introduction to NZ

· Windsurfers have a very small footprint on the water whereby kite surfers typically require 25-30 meters downwind of them, more if they are jumping

· Windsurfers in general don’t usually go out when the weather is calm and swimmers generally avoid the beach or are there in much smaller numbers when we are there

· The best conditions us are usually found within 200m of shore particularly on the east coast beaches and the weather is so rough most people stay indoors

· Windsurfers are respectful of other water users and tend to give swimmers a wide berth which is significantly easier to do than kite surfing

I could rave on for hours but I’m sure you all get the point. I know the NZWA had some success some years ago arguing our case regarding personal floatation devices and this seems like another time where we need to call on you for help.

I guess this is yet another reason for a regional association too, can you give me any guidance on setting one up? Where to start, what needs to be done etc. I don’t think I’ll have any trouble getting enough people together to form it we just need to know what to do.

A thread has been started on deepfried http://www.deepfried.tv/forum/Postings.cfm?HP=0&ID=1426 so I’m sure that we’ll get the usual voices talking themselves up and not doing much but I actually want to see us do something about it...

I also wondered if it might be helpful to try and get someone like Barbara or Bruce to act as a spokesperson for us?

Anyway I hope you can help, looking forward to hearing from you

Thanks in advance

Dan

NZL237

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