Council Should Protect Families From Beach Nudity

Media Release 26 April 2012
Family First NZ is supporting a call from concerned Papamoa residents for greater protection of families from nudity and sexual activity on Bay of Plenty beaches. Residents are holding a meeting tonight with the police and Council, and Family First has written to the Mayor of Tauranga Stuart Crosby asking for his support of the concerned families.

“Families are rightly concerned that they and their children may be confronted by full nudity and sexual activity in a public place,” says Bob McCoskrie, National Director of Family First NZ. “Freedom of expression must never be at the expense of the right to protect children and families from offensive and inappropriate behavior. We would not allow nudity or sexual activity in shopping centers or outside schools. Doing it on the beach where there are families is no different.”

“Families don’t want their children being confronted by naked men and women or ‘adult behaviour’. The rights of a small minority should not be at the expense of families feeling embarrassed or offended. It is completely inappropriate for children to be confronted with naked adults wandering past them, sunbathing, or couples having sex. It is not for families to ‘get out of the way’.”

ECPAT (End Child Prostitution, Child Pornography and Trafficking of Children for Sexual Purposes) International’s New Zealand director Alan Bell said exposing a child to naked adults was “tantamount to abuse”.

“It appears that the police and Council are already aware of the residents’ concerns. It is time for action to protect children and families, and also tourists visiting the area who are unaware of the offensive behavior regularly happening at these locations.”

Family First is calling on Tauranga Council to amend the bylaws to clarify clearly that nudity and sexual activity are banned from public places. Kapiti Coast District Council passed a Beach Bylaw in 2009 containing a clause “No person shall remain upon any part of the beach in deliberate view of others in such a state of undress as to cause offence.” 

“There’s a place for nudity, but it is certainly not on our main streets or beaches or sand dunes where families and children frequent,” says Mr McCoskrie. “These ‘show-ponies’ should be told to cover up and go home.”

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