Muriwai will reopen to Aucklanders from 6am Friday 16 June when one of the four cordons set up following Cyclone Gabrielle is removed.
Auckland Council’s Deputy Group Recovery Manager Mace Ward says the Tāmaki Makaurau Recovery Coordination Office has been working closely with the community on the opening plan so Aucklanders can again visit Muriwai’s valued public spaces and support local businesses, while also maintaining the security of impacted private properties and the safety of road users.
“Four Muriwai cordons were put in place following the devastating cyclone in February to reduce the risk to public safety and also minimise community distress while the immediate aftermath of the extreme weather was assessed.
“We are delighted to have reached this milestone and to have local and international visitors once again visiting this magnificent location. We thank Aucklanders for their patience while Muriwai been closed to visitors,” says Mr Ward.
The cordon to be lifted will be the outer cordon, on the corner of Waitea Road and Oaia Road.
For security and public safety, the cordons will remain at the following locations:
- start of Domain Crescent
- Motutara Road – from the intersection of Motutara Road and Muriwai Road, to the intersection of Motutara Road and Coast Road.
These cordons will continue to have a security presence to enforce the cordon and restrict access to areas of Muriwai that continue to have a safety risk.
Vehicle access to the beach will remain closed, including 4WD access at Coast Road, which will remained locked. Access to the beach by pedestrians, surfers, kite surfers and horse riders is welcomed. Visitors with horse floats and trucks are asked to avoid weekends due to expected congestion.
Auckland Transport has undertaken geotechnical assessments to ensure the roads that will reopen in Muriwai are safe and can cope with increased traffic volumes.
However, as the roading authority it reserves the right to close the road if high levels of rainfall are recorded in the area, to reassess it again to ensure safety. To keep traffic moving safely, Waitea Road will be temporarily reduced to 30km/h and no stopping will be permitted.
Mr Ward added, “We understand for some residents in Muriwai the decision to lift the outer cordon may cause distress. However, it is important to note that people have a legal right to move freely around New Zealand.
“The cordons were put in place using emergency powers under the Civil Defence Emergency Management Act 2002, and the cordons need to be reasonable and ‘demonstrably justified’ under the bill of rights, which is a very high bar.
“As safety and security issues are resolved and mitigations put in place, the decision to keep the outer cordon closed is no longer justifiable”, he says.
Mr Ward stresses the importance of visitors to Muriwai being respectful to the community and obeying the cordons.
“Muriwai residents have gone through a very tough time, and we urge visitors to be mindful of the situation.”
Track closure reminder
Due to track damage and ongoing safety concerns, the majority of Muriwai tracks have been closed, including the Maukatia Gannet Path and headlands, with fences and signs in place. We ask that people respect the barriers and don’t put themselves or others at risk by attempting to access the closed tracks.
A geotechnical assessment is planned shortly and as soon as the tracks are deemed safe, Auckland Council will re-open them. You can view the status of walking tracks on this map.