Nakedness on the streets
note: post updated
After a recent Kapiti Coast District Council bylaw that would allow nakedness on beaches, it has been revealed that you are legally allowed to walk down Wellington beaches - and streets and in churches for that matter completely starkers as well. However walking naked down any street would not be recommended in a Wellington southerly.
Naturally Bob McCoskrie of Family First will be furious about this. Apparently, what the council has done is merely removed a law stating that children under the age of eight don't need wear togs on the beach. So nobody has to wear togs on the beach or clothes on the streets, but if a bunch of grown ugly women run around Oriental Bay on a sunny Sunday afternoon, or walk down Lambton Quay in the lunch hour during school holidays you can be sure people will find that offensive, particularly if they were naked.
So, its not what you display, but where you display it that counts. It's analogous to the 1998 display of the virgin in a condom" artwork at Te Papa that caused debate at the time. Display it in the artists bedroom, that will not be offensive. Displaying it at Te Papa will offend somewhat. However, displaying it during a Catholic Mass will not break any laws, but it will greatly offend.
And if a man offends too many people by his nakedness in crowded areas, he may end up like this man.
I understand the Wellington City Council will be commenting and I'll have that for you when it arrives.
Update Its arrived.
Clarification re nudity on Wellington beaches
Today's Dominion Post story, headed 'Capital's beaches open to nudists', is somewhat misleading. Wellington's beaches aren't 'open to nudists' despite the fact the City Council has removed and replaced an old bylaw relating to the requirement to wear suitable bathing costumes on beaches and other public places in the city.
Under the Local Government Act 2001, Wellington City Council, along with all other local authorities, is required to review and update its bylaws - especially if they contain complicated wording that's difficult to understand, or if they no longer are relevant.
Earlier this year the Council reviewed a number of bylaws - including the old Harbour, Beaches and Foreshore Bylaw - which, in part, required all persons over 8 years of age who were on, or swam at, a beach to wear a swimsuit or clothes. The wording of the old bylaw was 'clunky' and not really suitable for the 21st century.
The review was a fully public process and included extensive public consultation in April - and then submissions to Council meetings before the final decision on the bylaws was made in June.
Admittedly a review of bylaws is not something that usually excites the community greatly - but we received no submissions relating to beach nudity.
The removal of the old bylaw does not mean that people can freely remove all their clothes on any city beach.
If someone removes all their clothes on Oriental Bay beach, for example, and then offends other beach users, the Police could be called and could require the person to put their clothes back on. The Summary Offences Act can be used by the Police to enforce this.
Nudity is really not an issue on beaches in Wellington City - and we're not expecting a sudden rampant increase in nudity as a result of the withdrawal of the bylaw. Generally, for example, people do not go fully nude on Oriental Bay beach.
It is quite well known that the isolated north-eastern end of Breaker Bay Beach, on the South Coast, is Wellington's 'unofficial' nude beach. Because it takes a long and arduous walk through soft sand to get to the beach, relatively few people go there and so people generally are free to sunbathe nude without causing trouble.
For further details please contact:
Richard MacLean, City Council Communications, tel 04 801 3578 or 021 227 8180.
Labels: Family First