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Drive safely on Muriwai and Te Oneone Rangatira


22 October 2008

Drive safely on Muriwai and Te Oneone Rangatira this summer


Slow down, keep off the dunes and comply with road rules is the message for drivers and bike riders on Muriwai and Te Oneone Rangatira beaches this summer.

There’s been a big increase in the number of incidents involving motor vehicles on these beaches over the last few years, adversely affecting public safety and environmental health.

This has lead to a new and concerted campaign for summer by many of the organisations well known and with responsibility in the areas concerned. Visitors and locals will see more signs up, and an increased presence on the beach of council and police officers enforcing safe and appropriate driving practices.

Cr Christine Rose from the Auckland Regional Council says that Muriwai and Te Oneone Rangatira’s proximity to Auckland means that they are getting busier, both for passive beach users and vehicles and that means more risks and more incidents on the beach.

“Erosion has reduced the safe area for picnicking and walking on the beach at high tide, meaning public space is limited and dunes are more fragile.

“More people are driving or riding on the beach and sharing it with many other users. That’s swimmers, walkers, fishers, children playing and horse riders. Children, and even adults, are much more vulnerable than a 4WD or motorbike, so we’re asking motorised users to really watch out.

“The beach is also home to a host of other inhabitants; wading and migratory birds, shellfish and vegetation. The dunes too are home to many species of bird and plant life, vulnerable and rare native species - together we need to look after these.”

A number of organisations are working together to promote the campaign. These include the Rodney District and Auckland Regional Councils, NZ Police, Department of Conservation, the NZ Defence Force, the Muriwai Volunteer Lifeguard Service, Hancock Forest Management Inc, Ngati Whatua Nga Rima o Kaipara Trust and Te Kawerau a Maki Trust. All have a passion for Muriwai and Te Oneone Rangatira and want to ensure that it’s a safe place that everyone can enjoy.

Drivers and bikers should

• Only enter the beach at the road access points (Coast Road and Rimmer Road)
• Stay off the dunes
• Only drive on hard sand
• Drive slowly and watch for people on foot and on horseback. Your speed should be slow enough to be able to stop quickly without causing injury to yourself.
• Respect the beach and other users

Road rules apply on the beach, so drivers need to wear a seatbelt, and bikers a helmet, have a current WOF, registration and the correct driver’s licence.

This beach is policed.

To report a traffic incident call *555, for an emergency call 111 and for all other enquires phone 0800 426 5169

ENDS

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