KRUSTY KRAB: An Ohope Beach icon will be demolished today after a recent party was the straw that broke the camel’s back. Photo supplied

ROWDY drunks, littered glass bottles and bonfires still burning have been the downfall for one beach attraction, the Krusty Krab, as the iconic Ohope structure is set to be demolished today.

Ohope locals have become tired of picking up other people’s rubbish with five separate complaints made to the Whakatane District Council this week alone, as a party on the weekend was the straw that broke the camel’s back.

Council community services general manager Mike Naude said unfortunately it was the same old tale of the inconsiderate actions of a few affecting the enjoyment of many.

“A lot of time and care has gone into the structure and it has largely been well respected as a local hang-out, but it’s the same old story of a disrespectful few who spoil it for the rest,” he said.

“Last week, we received a number of complaints following a large party where a significant amount of litter and broken glass was left on the beach, and a large amount was also added to a bonfire which was still alight the following day, having not been responsibly extinguished,” Mr Naude said.

He added that the council was aware that the partygoers were the ones to blame, but that the structure was the focal point of multiple accounts of unruly behaviour in the area, and so it must come down.

Ohope Beach Top 10 Holiday Park manager Mark Inman is disappointed that such an iconic piece of local art will be destroyed and said the structure was a massive attraction for locals and holiday-makers alike.

“It’s very disappointing, given the fact that people use it responsibly, and then you’ve got youth acting irresponsibly and not respecting the environment,” he said.

“We’re voted New Zealand’s most loved beach and it’s because of things like the Krusty Krab that are in place; locals have a passion for our environment and it’s disappointing that some people can’t control themselves.”

RUBBISH: Bottles and rubbish are often left at the Krusty Krab by partygoers. Photo supplied

As the parties have escalated so too has the rubbish – but it doesn’t stop there.

With new dune planting and fencing jeopardised, letter boxes kicked off their posts and urination on private property being all anecdotal accounts from locals, enough is enough.

“People just think it’s brilliant and now they’re going to rip it all down… it’s just a shame,” Mr Inman said,

“We need to respect our environment so if you’re down at the beach having a few beers, just put your bottles back in your boxes and take them home with you.”

In an ideal world, we would all be good stewards of our environment and be respectful of people and property and when Graeme O’Rourke made the structure two years ago it was for everybody to enjoy.

Parties have been going on there for years but it’s only now that the rubbish has become unmanageable and the young groups of partygoers are disrespecting the beach that action is needed to take place.

“I’m really saddened by the news that the Krab is being demolished, because what we’re doing is reacting to the lowest common denominator, the few who are ruining it for everyone.

“It happens every year that kind of behaviour, it’s nothing new, but the consequence of this disrespect is the deconstruction of something that’s been really positive,” Mr O’Rourke said.

He added that locals young and old had been visiting the Krusty Krab to share a few beverages over the years but in most instances, rubbish was always put back in their beach bags.

“We take our bottle caps, but the young people get down there and they don’t respect it, it’s just unfortunate that it has come to this,” Mr O’Rourke said.

hazel.osborne@thebeacon.co.nz

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