The local papers are certainly interested in this subject. There were two articles today (see below) and Chrissie Williams’ letter was published. There will probably be at least another two articles published in the next week or so in addition to these.
If you want some input into future newspaper articles or know someone who does, let me know.
Gail Sheriff will be the main influence standing in the way of a common sense decision for the pier ban. I have to wonder if her owning or being a director of a local cafe and apartments has got something to do with this ban.
From The Community News:
Pier fishing ban hard on kids, says local businessman
Mixed reaction to ban, says regional parks manager
By Chris Tobin
The weekend daylight fishing ban from New Brighton pier is going down like a lead balloon with children and parents wanting to fish there.
“If necessary, ban it for adults”, said Ross Le Compte, managing director of the New Brighton Sports Centre, “but not for children. There are so many weekend parents these days which is a shame in itself but it (the pier) is the only place in Canterbury where you can take children to a marine environment to fish safely, especially for the under 12s”
Mr Le Compte said more than a dozen people had either phoned him or approached him personally complaining about the fishing ban. He admitted as owner of a local sports business he could be seen as having a conflict of interest, but he felt passionately for the children who were being penalised.
“There’s a very general feeling among adults and parents about this. They phone me and ask, where do we go?”
Robbie Baigent’s seven-year-old daughter Jessica lives with her mother in Nelson. Jessica loved going to the pier to fish with her father when she visited at weekends or during school holidays.
That is now out and Mr Baigent said his daughter was upset.
“The weekend is the only time I can take her”.
“There is nowhere else apart from the pier and I’m not prepared to go to a shingle beach with her because its unsafe.”
The ban follows a decision by the Burwood Pegasus Community Board and city council not to allow fishing from the pier on weekends and statutory holidays between 6am and 6pm during daylight saving. Either a security guard or city council parks ranger is stationed at the pier between these hours ensuring there is no fishing.
“I guess we feel for the parents” said community board chairwoman Glenda Burt.
“It is disappointing for families, but we were asked to make changes.”
She said the ban will be reviewed at the end of daylight saving in April next year. Only one person had approached her expressing concern about the ban.
Regional parks manager Kay Holder said no trespass notices had been issued yet. She could not quantify the public response to the ban and remarked: “Some are happy, some aren’t.”
In her opinion it was too early to decide whether the ban was a good thing or not.
“We need to let it run.”
Reasons the ban was imposed included damage to a handrail and other structures, baiting being done on steps and not on cutting boards in an area set aside for this purpose, people operating up to eight rods, fishing in no fishing zones, using unsafe fishing methods such as overhead casting and leaving a mess behind.
From Todays Press:
‘Disgusting mess’ worse than ever
A Christchurch fisherman says the mess on New Brighton Pier is worse than ever, despite a ban on fishing off the pier.
The Christchurch City Council last month implemented a ban on fishing from the pier following complaints about the mess left by fishermen.
However, local fisherman Danny Reed says the mess is worse than ever.
Reed contacted The Press with photographs of dog droppings, rubble and a crab catcher littering the end of the pier.
“I have not seen such a disgusting mess at the pier before,” said Reed. “It was certainly nowhere near that bad before the fishing ban. So what’s going on?”
“All I see is a public deprived of a very popular recreational and family activity because the council failed to address it properly by dealing with the real culprits.”
Burwood-Pegasus Community Board member Gail Sheriff, who was voted back onto council at the weekend, said the ban would take time to have the desired effect.
“It’s a damned sight better than what it was,
“But it is going to take time to get a full-time person on board to do the cleaning and get it sorted.
Sheriff said the mess on the wharf had “gone on far too long”.
A security guard had been monitoring the pier for “a week or two,” but could not be expected to clean up after people.