January 18, 2017 at 3:35 pm #16490EddiebKeymaster
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A council sign warning against riding motorbikes in the area has been vandalised itself.
Motorbike hoons cause chaos on public walkways along south Auckland foreshore
Shiri Te Whatu got a major surprise during a recent walk with her 9-year-old son.
They were almost bowled over by a young man riding a motorbike on the walkway along the Clendon foreshore in south Auckland.
“I could hear him coming and he started yelling at us to get out of the way,” Te Whatu says.
Manurewa Local Board member Simeon Brown and locals Shiri Te Whatu and Gerry Romley are calling for a crackdown on motorbikes along the foreshore.
“I stopped and said ‘what do you think you’re doing? Get off our footpaths’.
“He said ‘this is my beach, I live here’.”
The near miss on January 12 highlights the problem of people riding motorbikes on walkways and through public reserves along the Clendon and Weymouth foreshore.
Te Whatu, who’s a former chairwoman of the Clendon Residents’ Group, says the motorbike rider began swearing at her.
“He said ‘f*** you’. Nobody ever wants their kids to hear that sort of language.
“He shouldn’t have been telling pedestrians to get off the footpath.”
Grass along the Clendon foreshore has been damaged by people riding motorbikes.
Manurewa Local Board member Simeon Brown says he’s talking to police and Auckland Council parks staff about how to tackle the ongoing issue.
“It’s causing significant safety issues. A lot of walkways there are quite narrow and people are riding motorbikes in these places at fast speeds.”
Clendon local Gerry Romley, who uses the walkways regularly, says the motorbike riders cause turf damage to public reserves.
“I sometimes see one on their own or two or three together.
“They look to be of secondary school age, from 13 to 16.
“I see them in the morning, late afternoon and at night.”
Te Whatu is also concerned about the impact the motorbikes are having on the area’s extensive birdlife.
“We see the birds go ‘woosh woosh’ [taking flight] as they’re disturbed,” she says.
“They ride on their nesting areas.”
Brown says the Clendon neighbourhood policing team will monitor the problem.
He urges people to phone police when they see someone riding a motorbike by the foreshore.
“If they let the police know they’re there, and officers are in the area, they will take it seriously and come down.
“Also, if anyone knows where these people live, the police need to know so they can talk to them and sort it out.”
Brown hopes to have signs warning against motorbike riding near the foreshore installed at walkway access points.
A letterbox drop may also be held to inform locals about the issue.
“The last thing we want is for something to be done after a child has been hurt,” Te Whatu says.
The council’s Public Safety and Nuisance Bylaw 2013 states people cannot use a vehicle or motorised scooter in a public place recklessly or in a manner which may intimidate, be dangerous, or cause injury or nuisance.
People must also not drive, ride, propel or wheel any vehicle on a park except in areas specified by the council, which takes a ‘graduated’ enforcement approach to the problem.
It includes education, warnings, bylaw notices, and ultimately prosecution if someone continues to breach the bylaw.
A person who’s prosecuted can be fined up to $20,000.
Acting area commander Inspector Adam Pyne says police understand the frustration of those by such behaviour.
“We want to assure them we are working with the council to look at how we can prevent it.
“Nobody wants to have people riding illegally on a motorcycle outside their house at all hours of the day, particularly in the early hours of the morning.”
People who see motorbikes being ridden along a south Auckland foreshore can phone the council on 301 0101 or the police on 111 if the person is riding dangerously or recklessly.
Anyone with information on the identities of people who ride motorbikes in the area can phone Counties Manukau central police on 268 5800.
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