Thursday, December 9

Socially estranged guitar jams on the beach


Some people are locked in the comfort of a motorhome by the beach, and everyone can do it.

Vans outside a wild camping spot on Marine Parade.  Napier City Council is keeping the site open above alert level four.

Vans outside a wild camping spot on Marine Parade. Napier City Council is keeping the site open above Alert Level 4.
Photo: RNZ / Tom Kitchin

The city council has kept a seaside site open in Napier so that people can isolate themselves in their motorhome or van if necessary.

Marine Parade in town is surrounded by the glistening ocean, tall Norfolk pines, and views of Cape Kidnappers and the Māhia Peninsula, often with no clouds in the sky.

This was life locked up for Nikki and her pets, in her truck.

“I have two dogs, a cat and a parakeet and I don’t qualify for rentals, mainly because I have too many pets,” he said.

“Other people have ruined it for some of us and with the housing shortage, there just isn’t enough.”

Usually, he would move around the freedom camp areas of the city in his pickup truck.

“This is one of the places that they camp, in the freedom camp areas. I came here a few days ago and found out that they are going to let us stay a little longer.”

Generally, if they stay more than three nights, they face a fine of $ 200.

Napier City Council blocked most of the free campsites for closure, but kept this one open at the bike pump track along Marine Parade.

A council sign at the entrance said that during the alert level four lockdown, autonomous vehicles could use the park.

Napier City Council notice notice level 4 freedom camping

Photo: RNZ / Tom Kitchin

Nikki said there was nothing like the view from the back of her truck.

“Waking up to this beautiful ocean, beautiful Hawke’s Bay, is amazing.”

Even if it was a little cold sometimes.

“Oh yeah, we freeze. If you don’t have enough layers, it’s a little icy, but that’s what we learn, we learn to make sure you have enough blankets.”

But living without ablutions nearby, since the municipalities had closed the baths, was difficult; She said her shower at the time was with baby wipes and boiling water.

Her friend Quenten said the restrictions were tough.

“They’ve locked all the restrooms, they’ve locked the restrooms, they’ve locked some parts of the entertainment parts there, for the children’s areas and all of that along the Marine Parade.”

But Nikki thanked the council for letting them stay.

“It’s very difficult for us to know where we can be, so they’ve made it a lot easier by letting us stay here, which is good, thanks to the unconditional advice for that!”

The Freedom Campground at Marine Parade has views of Cape Kidnappers at the southeast end of Hawke's Bay.

Photo: RNZ / Tom Kitchin

A few cars down, Robbie was staying in his 40-foot trailer.

He and his wife recently returned to New Zealand from Australia after four decades away.

His plan was to get a caravan and travel the country.

But that was put on hold when they learned of the return of the virus while driving to Matamata.

“Once we realized that it seemed like the Covid restrictions were coming quickly, we got to Matamata … we have relatives in Matamata but we really didn’t want to be locked up in Matamata so we thought ‘I was trying to get to Napier and we got to Napier within the 36 hour window, so we were on time. “

Robbie was enjoying the view and the company, although the nearby noisy train surprised his wife the first night.

“Ruth said the first night, I think she said ‘are you sure you’re parked in the right place, aren’t you going to have a train passing us at any time?’ but no, it was fine. Of course it’s a freight line, it’s the main main thoroughfare into the port of Napier, so there’s a lot of traffic all night long, but the breaking of the waves is way better than all that. ” .

The camping “tribe,” as Robbie called it, occasionally enjoyed a socially estranged guitar jam.

A Napier City Council spokesperson said the site was best suited for self-isolating people in their vehicles.

They said there was a discharge station and access to the water nearby.


www.rnz.co.nz

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