By Emma Cropper
Fishing from New Brighton's pier has become so messy and dangerous that locals want it banned.
Casting off the New Brighton Pier is currently allowed and is one of the best spots to fish in Christchurch.
"I just do it for relaxing and the fun of it, you know," says fisherman Ben Rangi.
Almost every day fisherman line the New Brighton Pier, catching anything from crabs to kawawai to sharks. But some are ignoring the rules, at times fishing dangerously and leaving too much mess behind.
It's been an ongoing and escalating issue. A blanket ban was enforced for a short time almost a decade ago; now locals have become so fed up they want it back.
"The concerns are that it's taking over the pier," says Southshore Residents Association spokeswoman Lynda Burdekin. "There are a lot of people fishing and they're not playing by the rules."
There have been reports some fisherman have been confronting, even abusing, visitors, who have now become too intimidated and too frightened to visit the pier.
Now, the Christchurch City Council is stepping in.
"I think it's a disappointing outcome that we've got a small minority that are causing some issues down there that long-term can have an impact on the majority of our people down there who want to enjoy the pier," says councillor David East.
But there are ideas about how to solve the problem.
"Long-term, if we can get a platform underneath that solves the issue completely, there'd be no fishing whatsoever on the top deck," says Mr East.
But until a compromise is found, it will be fishing as usual from the pier.