|The vexed issue of Kapiti Coast's status as a potential nude beach has caused much umbrage in the general vicinity of Wellington, with some familiar fundamentalists arousing (...) opposition.
It all began when the Kapiti Coast District Council Resource Management Committee made a submission on beach use to Kapiti Coast mayor Jenny Rowan. In it, the KCDC RMC argued that it was possible that any continued bans on beachside nude bathing and sunbathing constituted a violation of the Bill of Rights.
This led to a spate of ever-more histrionic statements from such adjacent residents as could be mobilised by the Kiwi Party, Family Party, Society for Promotion of Community Standards and Family First. All of the above are calling for the amendment of the Summary Offences Act and Crimes Act to outlaw public displays of nudity. Intriguingly, neither of the mainstream political blocs said anything about it, nor did any adjacent parliamentary candidate during the recent election.
Why is this the case? It may be the case that the aforementioned pressure groups are seen as representing the fringe of social conservative opinion, as opposed to more pressing concerns like law and order, violent crime and drug policy. Remember, the Kiwi Party was one of the casualties of the last general election, with Gordon Copeland polling only 464 votes when he stood against Labour's Annette King in Rongotai, and the Family Party polled even less in total than they did. As for SPCS, it now has less than four hundred members, and is largely restricted to the Wellington region.
Is this an LGBT issue? Well, yes, Jenny Rowan is an out lesbian, and Pekapeka Beach is an unofficial gay beach. Added to which, our communities have always been concerned about freedom of expression. In any case, too, this could be seen as a test of the incoming regime's extent of social liberalism or social conservatism? Will "Nunny State" order a cover up, or not? Craig Young - 13th November 2008