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Muriwai Beach Speed Restrictions Operating

Media Release

12 December

Muriwai Beach Speed Restrictions Operating

New speed limits designed to make Muriwai Beach and Te Oneone Rangatira safer for users are now in place on the beach.

Thirty kilometre an hour speed restrictions will operate on the southern part of the beach to just past the Coast Road beach access, while 60 kilometre per hour restrictions will be in place from this access to the NZ Defence Force Bombing Range.

"Muriwai is an extremely popular beach, and vehicle traffic on the beach has increased noticeably in recent years," says Gavin Flynn, Rodney District Council's Western Sector Project Manager. "Local residents have expressed concern about the dangers of speeding vehicles on the beach as traffic has grown."

A joint agency group was formed in 2005 to improve safety on the beach and protect the coastal environment at Muriwai. The group is made up of representatives of Rodney District Council, the Auckland Regional Council, Rodney District Council, New Zealand Police, Ngati Whatua Nga Rima o Kaipara, Reweti Marae Trust Board, the Department of Conservation, Surf Life Saving Northern Region, Hancock Forest Management and the New Zealand Defence Force. This group has been progressing a number of safety initiatives and has been working to improve the beach environment over the past few years.

"When 13 year old Daisy Fernandez was killed on Ripiro Beach near Dargaville by a trail bike in January, Rodney District Council recognised that action was needed to introduce speed limits which would prevent this type of tragedy from reoccurring at Muriwai," says Mr Flynn.

Changes to bylaw regulations were proposed by Rodney District Council and released for public consultation. These changes were generally supported by the public in submissions. As a result of this, speed restrictions are now in place.

There are already some restrictions in place controlling where vehicles are allowed on the beach and these will continue to operate. Only vehicles launching boats are able to turn left off the Coast Road access and there is no public access to the Bombing Range area. Vehicles must also stay off the sand dunes.

Care is needed when driving on the beach as the area is home to a number of breeding birds. Muriwai has one of only two inland gannet colonies in the country and New Zealand fairy tern, an endangered species, also breed there.

Signage is in place on the beach showing where the speed restrictions will apply. The Police will be monitoring the beach area and issuing speeding tickets to anyone caught breaking the rules.

ENDS


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