Frustration with a lack of action by the Far North District Council over unsightly, and they say dangerous, plastic netting and wire on the beach at Ōmāpere has boiled over for residents Norma Lyon and Marcel Pouly.
Lyon said she had first called the council on December 18, asking that 140m of plastic mesh and fencing wire be removed from the beach. She told the council that the waratah standards had been removed and the netting left.
"This a marine and human hazard," she said.
"The wire is partially covered with sand and a danger to people with bare feet. The mesh is already deteriorating, and is very close to the high tide mark. Apparently contractors signed the job off on January 16 as 'complete.' This is obviously not the case."
At the council's request, she took, and passed on, more photos on February 4, but as of last week nothing had been done.
"I would recommend that the detritus be removed and that no further attempt be made to fence on the beach," she said.
"The elements will always win, and the plastic will remain in the sea for many years."
Last week Lyon told the Northland Age that the netting was still lying on the beach, thanks to inefficiency and lack of communication within the council.
"Today (Friday last week) I again rang the council to let them know that over the long weekend the waratahs on the top of the bank, in the Lucy Baxter reserve, had also been removed, leaving the same scenario of collapsed netting and wire sticking up in a dangerous manner," she said.
"I was told that my email and photos sent on February 4 had not been attached to the request for service (RFS). In fact, when the call centre staff member tried to find it he couldn't, because of 'IT issues.' When I asked him why it had taken this long to clear incoming emails he said they were short-staffed. Inefficient, perhaps?
"I understood that the council committed to clear all Ask Us correspondence within 72 hours," she added.
"We feel that we are in a Kafkanesque situation, along with all the other ratepayers who are trying to get action from a dysfunctional organisation. We do wonder, if this was happening at other tourist hot spots, if the netting would have been removed promptly?"
FNDC manager infrastructure Glenn Rainham apologised for the council's failure to remove the fencing when the issue was first raised. Contractor Recreational Services had promised to remove the netting on Tuesday. (It was - editor).
It was not "entirely clear" why they were told the job had been signed off, but he suspected more than one request for service had been lodged, and it was likely that one of them had been completed.