Plans in place to make Karioitahi visits safe

Publish Date : 29 Nov 2021

Franklin Local Board’s Waiuku representatives are liaising with police to prevent unwanted behaviour around Karioitahi Beach over summer.

Member Sharlene Druyven says meetings have been held about issues that continue to occur at the beach, and what can be put in place to minimise complaints and respond to safety concerns.

“The school holidays, Christmas and New Year are always busy and seem to attract more complaints. It’s frustrating because everyone just wants to have a nice time and most people are not a problem.

“But because the beach is a road, there are problems that are unique to Karioitahi. Even so, a little common sense and consideration would go a long way.”

Franklin’s twin coasts bring strong visitor numbers over summer, and the board is already working with council staff and police, building on an approach first taken last year.

Waiuku representative Matthew Murphy says both coasts are magnets to families, attracting thousands of visitors.

“First and foremost, we need anyone in a vehicle to slow down. Karioitahi might be legally gazetted as a road, but it’s not a speedway.

“A moment’s inattention can have terrible consequences and the area in front of the surf club, in particular, is often crammed with families with little ones who can be unpredictable.”

Both members have also appealed to people to take their rubbish home.

“There are always those who don’t treat our precious asset with the respect it deserves. The only thing you should leave at a beach is your footprints. We all need to take responsibility for keeping them clean,” Druyven says.

“It’s not hard to take a rubbish bag so your litter goes home with you.”

Illegal camping and anti-social behaviour around alcohol, are also common. Auckland Council staff will be conducting daily checks and working with police where needed until February.

Waiuku police community sergeant Dean Borrell says everyone should be able to go to the beach and enjoy the experience.

Police say they will be working to make sure everyone who visits the area treats it with respect, enjoys the opportunities available and returns home safely. They will take enforcement action where needed, particularly around dangerous driving, anti-social behaviour, and dishonesty offending.

Subject to other operational demands, they will have an increased presence over summer to meet the needs of the community and visitors. 

He says a common issue is vehicles, particularly off-road motorbikes, driving dangerously among other beach users. “Consideration for others is a great first step towards keeping our beach safe. Since the beach is a road, all the responsibilities that go with driving on a road apply.”

Police will be patrolling regularly including setting up random checkpoints and are looking at roster changes to allow the Waiuku team to cover weekends more frequently on busier days.

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