'Naughty' nudists retreat to dunes

By Amy McGillivray

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Nudists kept a low profile at Papamoa Beach this summer - to the relief of nearby residents.

Papamoa residents took a stand against offensive and sexual behaviour by nudists around the Sunbrae Rd area of the beach last summer.

Police and Mayor Stuart Crosby were invited to, and attended, residents' meetings aimed at addressing the problem.

Ben De Kleynen, Neighbourhood Support representative for Sunbrae Grove, said nudists still frequented the beach but there were fewer problems this year.

"It's settled down a bit. They are not so obvious any more. There are a few idiots who cross the beach every time I come down but most of them have retreated into the dunes," he said. "Most of the really naughty things happen in the dunes and we don't see it."

He said most people were considerate and kept to themselves.

There was a group of about 50 nudists who frequented the spot last summer but the number had dropped to about 20 this year, Mr De Kleynen said.

Residents had plans in place ready to fight the behaviour again but found doing nothing worked better.

"I think we're winning the battle by doing as little as possible," he said. "Just ignoring them is probably the best way. Last time we made a lot of noise and they started riding bikes on the beach.

"I think by ignoring the whole thing we might reduce the problem."

Resident Shaun Gallagher was in the thick of last year's debate.

He had not spent much time at the beach this year but had not heard of any problems. "This time last year I had all kinds of people ringing me. This year I haven't had any."

More people in the area and some development work going on in the sand dunes may also have kept some away, Mr Gallagher said.

- BAY OF PLENTY TIMES

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