The idea of naked swimmers and sunbathers on beaches north of Wellington has horrified a family rights’ group.
Kapiti Coast District Council looks set to allow nudity along its coastline from Paekakariki to Otaki.
It is proposing removing clause in a new bylaw which attempts to prevent nudity on the beaches.
Council spokesman Tony Cronin explained because of the progress in human rights law, the council was not able to enforce the clause and there was “no point whatsoever having a law you can’t enforce”.
Any lewd or offensive behaviour would be a matter for the police.
Cronin said the council was not encouraging people to go naked on the district’s beaches but it was hard to prevent them.
He said the issue applied to the whole country.
District Mayor Jenny Rowan said the draft beach bylaw, which has been opened up for a month’s formal consultation, was about more than nudity.
“The council endorsed the bylaw with all of these (other) changes going out for consultation. That does not mean we endorse nudity on the beaches without any reservations.
“It’s clear from our legal advice that bylaws against nakedness are vulnerable in that they breach the Bill of Rights Act and recent case law says that merely being naked does not make a person liable to causing an offence.”
Family First national director Bob McCoskrie said the rights of “nudists to hang loose 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 or sunbathing.
“Once again, the protection of families and the welfare of our children are being cast aside in favour of so-called freedom of expression and tolerance to nakedness.”