Ruakaka, New Zealand: birdwatchers only?

Birdwatchers want to ban kiteboarders from the Ruakaka estuary, in northern New Zealand.

Members of the Bream Bay Coastal Care Trust have been trying to get rid of all wind sports fans for the last four years. The bird lovers believe kiteboarding disturbs wildlife.

The Department of Conservation is still studying the entire process, but has stated this argument could also be applied to swimmers, windsurfers, jet skiers, horse riders, fishermen and even walkers. The final decision will be made based on the impact survey designed by scientist Andrew Beauchamp and its interpretation.

Local kiteboarders think their effect on the birds’ lives is minimal and the whole ban plea is exaggerated. They have even created a management plan to avoid kitesurfing in some high tides.

Hope birdwatchers and sports enthusiasts can reach an agreement in the Ruakaka estuary.

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