Protecting Oreti Beach

Oreti Beach will be protected more effectively following the finalisation of a Memorandum of Understanding.

The Memorandum involves the Department of Conservation, Environment Southland, Invercargill City Council, Southland District Council, Ministry of Primary Industries, Police and Waihopai Runaka and outlines the duties of each organisation to protect the sand dunes and toheroa beds and to reduce littering.

Invercargill City Councillor Alan Dennis said the Memorandum provided a better guide for the public and agencies. “It works to put a stop to motorbikes, quad bikes and four-wheel drive vehicles being driven over the sand dunes, as well as curbing littering, burnt-out cars and dangerous driving. The roles are clearly defined but major projects involving the beach can be a shared effort.”

Waihopai Runanga representative Michael Skerrett said the beach was one of the only sites in New Zealand where abundant quantities of toheroa could be found. “The Memorandum gives us tools moving forward to address issues that may arise around their protection. This is the start of an education programme to help encourage love and protection of the beach.”