Hermit kicked off beach ... again

ROBERT MITCHELL
Last updated 09:39 03/04/2013
Eric Brewer
CAMERON BURNELL/Fairfax NZ
ICON OF OAKURA: Eric Brewer has lost his home on the beach.

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Taranaki beach hermit Eric Brewer has been evicted from his home of 16 years.

Police and New Plymouth District Council staff in white boiler suits descended on Brewer's illegal Tapuae beach hut of driftwood and tarpaulin about 7am today.

Brewer was threatened with eviction last week, however the New Plymouth District Council failed to show up on the day they indicated, leaving Brewer celebrating.

His story made national news and sparked comments from around the country and the world.

This morning the police did arrive and three officers and a number of council staff began to dismantle his house.

The man himself sat quietly to the side while people pored over his property.

He said he had no immediate plans but would consider moving to Wellington to live with his daughter and grandchildren.

The council said it was removing Brewer's home because it was an illegal structure under Section 164 of the Local Government Act.

In a statement it said Brewer had been in breach of both the Reserves Act 1977 and Part 5, Public Places, of the New Plymouth District Council Bylaw 2008.

Council chief executive Barbara McKerrow said: "This has been a difficult issue. Mr Brewer has his supporters but his occupation of this reserve breached both the Reserves Act and the council's public places bylaw.

"Our approach has been to ask Mr Brewer to remove his dwelling and belongings, not to ban him from using the beach like any other member of the public.

"Mr Brewer ignored our requests and so we have taken this action. To reiterate, we have not trespassed Mr Brewer from the beach."

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- Taranaki Daily News

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