Freedom camping patrols and signage obstruction issues have kept the two compliance wardens in Rodney busy since they started in February.
The wardens are part of a Rodney Local Board pilot programme focused on community safety and protecting the environment.
The compliance wardens are Michael Murray and Sam Phoenixia. Murray is a former police officer of 17 years, while Phoenixia has a background in hospitality customer service.
In a snapshot of last month’s activities, the wardens recorded two erosion and sediment control incidents (one site with insufficient controls and one site with sediment run-off), 224 freedom camping patrols, which identified 21 instances of freedom camping involving seven caravans, 11 self-contained vehicles (two suspected homeless), five non self-contained (one suspected homeless), three tents (two suspected homeless), and 73 cases of signage obstruction.
There were also three instances of parking on a reserve, three illegal dumping incidents, one littering incident, one illegal parking incident, one trading without a food licence and one incident of animal abuse. There were no recorded instances of dogs on a beach against the rules, no driving or parking on a beach, no hull-cleaning, no illegal fishing, no obstructing a boat ramp and no set-netting.
The appointments were for an initial 12-month period, which finishes at the end of next month.
However, Board chair Phelan Pirrie says it took some time to organise how the whole project would work and to do the recruitment, which was held up by last year’s lockdown.
“Consequently, we only ended up with the wardens being employed for six months of this financial year,” he says.
“The original budget was $140,000, but the Board reallocated $50,000 of that budget elsewhere so the cost for this current financial year was $90,000.
“We are proposing to spend $140,000 in the next financial year, if that’s approved at our next business meeting.”
A Board spokesperson says the wardens are a key part of Auckland Council’s graduated approach to enforcement. This starts with providing education and advice to reduce offending and anti-social behaviour. Any sustained breaches are referred to Council’s compliance and investigations team to investigate and take the appropriate action.
To report anti-social behaviour or bylaw breaches, call Council on 09 301 0101. This helps the wardens because if these calls show that trends of non-compliance are emerging in an area, then they can focus on it.