Muriwai will reopen to Aucklanders from 6am on Friday 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,” said Mr Ward.
“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,” he said.
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.
Mr Ward said 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.
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.
“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,” said Mr Ward.
“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.
“Muriwai residents have gone through a very tough time, and we urge visitors to be mindful of the situation.”