Bylaws submissions closed on Monday – we hope you had your say….we sure did!
Auckland Council put Bees under “Animal Management Bylaws” – currently proposed
Suggested new “Control of Bees” rules.
Our view is the old ‘nuisance’ bylaw which supports all residents is sufficient – with beekeeping to continue to be encouraged by Auckland Council throughout Auckland on private properties regardless of land-zoning.
It is important to note: Beekeepers are already being covered under Central Government through MPI and legislation requiring Apiary registration and disease management through that registration. No amount of extra regulation will ‘prevent’ AFB nor has regulation ‘prevented’ animal or insect Excrement! Some of these ideas / rules seem to be unenforceable and I think hard for staff to manage.
I was a bit shocked at some of the comments stated under the proposed animal bylaws – most mentioned are, in my understanding, ‘commercial‘ beekeeping practices. I understand most backyard / urban beekeepers (hobbyists) would not practice such ‘commercial’ practices – no need to kill queens as natural season changes inspire Bee activity! Most ‘Hobbyists’ would capture the natural swarming-effect and split their hive and in my view, with regular inspections and management of Beehives this will contribute to ‘calm’ Bees. So let the Bees be Bees, I say and let Beekeepers keep Bees but let neighbour disputes be dealt with through an ‘issues’ resolution manner.
Local Bee Clubs are a valuable resource available for beekeepers where hive-management training and education can be taken up.
Our belief is that we must encourage “Saving the Bees” world-wide through the Backyard / Urban beekeeping movement which is being promoted as a key to contributing to achieve this.
We hope Auckland Council continue to support all Beekeeping endeavours and reiterate, that for individual neighbour ‘issues’, that they continue to be handled on a case-by-case basis through the ‘nuisance’ bylaw which is available to ALL residents as a way to deal with their concerns, any concerns – the same as with ‘issues’ regarding dogs, noise, etc.
However one change we would support, is a requirement that council provide their staff with a mediation / resolution resource to help them with any ‘difficult’ neighbour disputes.
We support and understand councils need for written consents with no fee on Public Land, as agreed in the 2012 Unitary Plan outcome.
We believe Beekeeping and Beekeepers are contributing to the greater good and health of both the land and people – and Aucklanders should be able to keep Bees on their private land – without any other regulation / rules being required.