Auckland Council’s Parks, Arts, Community and Events Committee has voted on the future management of vehicles driving on Te Oneone Rangatira / Muriwai Beach.
After listening to feedback from the public and council staff, the Parks, Arts, Community and Events Committee voted to move forward on the installation of a gate and development of a fee-based permit system that would provide access via Coast Road for authorised vehicles only and exclude access for non-permitted vehicles.
The implementation of the fee-based system will allow for cost recovery of the permitting process, the installation, and maintenance of the gate.
Driving a motor vehicle on any Auckland beach is currently prohibited, except to launch or retrieve a boat or in emergency situations. If you have a permit and comply with specific rules, including having a registered vehicle, you may drive on Muriwai and Karioitahi beaches.
Auckland Council Manager Regional Parks, Scott De Silva says vehicle access to Muriwai has caused ongoing concerns about beach user safety, environmental protection, fire risk and driver behaviour.
“It’s important to find the right balance of interests for all beach users to ensure everyone’s safety and enjoyment of the beach. However, we also must put measures in place to protect Muriwai’s unique environment and to reduce fire risk.
“Over the summer, we worked closely with other agencies including Police and AT, as well as Fire and Emergency New Zealand, to manage vehicle access to the beach.
“We rolled out a vehicle access management programme that included targeted education for driver behaviour change, improved signage and speed limit changes, continued community engagement and driver behaviour monitoring.
“This decision made by the committee now gives us an additional tool to manage vehicle access to the beach.”
Councillor Alf Filipaina, Chair of Auckland Council’s Parks, Arts, Community and Events Committee, says beach user safety and environmental protection is at the heart of vehicle access management to the beach.
“We’ve engaged with the Muriwai community and beach users all the way along. Our priorities have always been to protect people’s safety and limit damage to the dunes, plants and wildlife.
“This next step helps us stay on the right track as we continue to work with the community to protect Muriwai for future generations – so that the beach can be enjoyed for years to come.”
Continued seasonal closures of permits that allow registered vehicle access to Muriwai beach have also been approved by the committee, including for this summer.