Tauranga should have an area of beach formally designated for nude bathing, say local all-over-tanners.

One Tauranga nude sunbathing fan, a woman in her mid-20s who spoke on the condition of anonymity, said she had "mixed feelings" toward Tauranga City Council's decision not to regulate nudity on beaches.

"I love to tan nude, but I do think it should be in a designated area of the beach to keep everyone safe, especially children."

She said she stuck to a traditional local nude sunbathing spot - known to many longtime locals but a surprise to some newcomers - on Pāpāmoa Beach near Sunrise Ave.


"I walk down to the beach in swimwear, so that's always nearby should I need it. I also take two towels down with me.

"I'm not out there to offend anyone, summer is my favourite season, and I love soaking up the sun... nude.

"If anyone had a problem with me doing it I would cover up. No one's ever complained to me while I'm on the beach nude."

Another occasional nude user of the Sunrise Ave spot, a Tauranga man in his late-20s who did not want his name used, said he would also like to see a formally designated area for naked sunbathing.

"I wouldn't care if it moved if it kept everyone on the right side of the general public."

A majority of the draft bylaw submissions from the public mentioning nude sunbathing were in favour of allowing the hobby.

Others wanted nudity banned at popular beach spots. One submitter said she and her children saw "a fully naked lady sunbathing right in front of us" at Tay St.

"I know Muslims, and most Christians are probably not comfortable with this.

"I'm trying to raise children who value modesty out of respect for the opposite gender."

At a meeting on the same issue in May, councillor Steve Morris said local residents he had spoken to were concerned about "meercatting" rather than nude sunbathing.

He described meercats as "gentlemen who pop up in the sand dunes like meercats ... soliciting each other's interest".

Council policy analyst Emma Joyce said a designated nude bathing area would require a separate consultation process and it may be hard to find a suitable spot.

Nudity by the numbers

A breakdown of issues raised in public submissions to the draft Beaches Bylaw 2018.

37 - supporting right for people to bathe nude
7 - calling for a ban on nude bathing
16 - distinguishing between nude bathing and lewd behaviour
6 - calling for a designated area for nude bathing.

Source - Tauranga City Council