AM hosts find themselves divided over a prospective height restriction for fences in Hawke’s Bay, a proposal that has stirred up local residents.

The Napier City Council unveiled the details of the proposal on Wednesday, suggesting new height limits for fences on new residential properties, potentially as low as 1.2 meters, as part of its Proposed District Plan currently open for public consultation.

Under the proposal, fences could reach a height of 1.8 meters for up to half the length of the property’s boundary but must be limited to 1.2 meters for the rest.

During their show on Thursday, the AM hosts engaged in a lively discussion about the proposal. Co-host Laura Tupou questioned the effectiveness of a 1.2-meter fence for those with large dogs, to which Ryan Bridge responded, “nothing.” He also raised concerns about privacy and security, saying that a higher fence could deter unwanted individuals from hanging around in nearby parks.

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Tupou, however, argued that the proposal aims to enhance safety and visibility in communities. She mentioned concerns about alleys and public spaces, where high fences might make people feel less secure and unable to see what’s happening around them.

Bridge contended that homeowners should have the final say in determining the height of their fences, emphasizing the importance of individual choice.

The proposal prompted mixed reactions from listeners. Some supported the idea, believing it fosters friendlier and more open neighborhoods, while others expressed reservations about it, citing concerns about privacy and public behavior.

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Residents also weighed in, with many expressing their discontent on the council’s Facebook post. Some questioned the council’s authority over fence heights, while others worried about the safety implications of lower fences. Some argued that the proposal’s intent was to promote community connectedness and safety.

Submissions for the proposed District Plan opened on September 21 and will remain open until December 15, giving residents an opportunity to voice their opinions and concerns on the matter.

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