Thursday, July 7, 2022

Council drives consultation on Muriwai Beach access charges

Auckland Council is seeking community feedback on a proposal to introduce fee-based vehicle access to Muriwai Beach.

Auckland Council Manager Regional Parks, Scott De Silva says vehicle access to the beach has caused ongoing concerns about beach user safety, environmental protection, fire risk and driver behaviour.

“We need to find the right balance of interests for all beach users to ensure everyone’s safety and enjoyment of the beach,” he said.

Council’s Parks, Arts, Community and Events Committee this week approved public consultation on a fee-based permit for vehicle access to Muriwai Beach from Coast Road.

“We need to find the right balance of interests for all beach users to ensure everyone’s safety and enjoyment of the beach,” said Mr De Silva.

“We also need to put measures in place to protect Muriwai’s unique environment and to reduce fire risk.

Continued seasonal closures of vehicle access to the beach were also approved by the committee.

“Over the summer, we worked closely with other agencies including 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.

“The results of the summer programme were positive, with the proposed fee-based permit system being an additional tool to control vehicle access to the beach,” said Mr De Silva.

Chair of the Auckland Council’s Parks, Arts, Community and Events Committee, Councillor Alf Filipaina says the committee needed feedback on the proposal.

“We’ve engaged with Muriwai’s community and beach users all the way along. Our priorities have always been to protect people’s safety and limit environmental damage,” he said.

“Are we on the right track with this proposed next step? Let us know.”

Auckland Council’s General Manager Parks Sports and Recreation, Mace Ward agreed, saying beach user safety and environmental protection was at the heart of vehicle access management to the beach.

“We recognise that beach users have different recreational needs and it’s important to ensure that everyone can continue to use the beach responsibly.”

“Having your say on the proposal will help the committee to decide if a fee-based permit system is another measure to achieve this.”

Consultation with the community opens on Monday 13 June, closing 5pm, Friday 8 July. Have your say at: akhaveyoursay.nz

Results of the consultation will be presented to the Parks, Arts, Community and Events Committee in September.

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