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Muriwai beach tragedy

Media release

14 September 2015

Muriwai beach tragedy

Auckland Council’s Rodney Ward Councillor Penny Webster says last night’s fatal crash on Muriwai beach is a tragic accident and our thoughts are with the families of the victims at this time.

“Muriwai Beach is a very popular destination with both tourists and locals and we are devastated that these young men have lost their lives in such tragic circumstances,” says Councillor Webster.

“The weather patterns and terrain of the beach is unique and can make driving conditions difficult at times. Driving on the beach is also very different from driving on the road,” says Councillor Webster.

Council encourages people wanting to drive on the beach to get a permit and read the corresponding safety advice on responsible driving on the beach prior to heading out to this popular location.

Under Auckland Council’s Public Safety and Nuisance Bylaw, vehicles are not allowed on beaches without the written permission of council. On September 1, council began a 12 month trial of a permit system for Muriwai and Karioitahi beaches.

The permit system provides a way for council to explain and reiterate safety requirements for people who choose to drive on those beaches.

Since 1 September, 734 permits have been issued for Muriwai beach.

Rodney Local Board chairwoman Brenda Steele says, “We’re encouraged by the large number of people who have already signed up for this permit, however the permit is the first step. We need to educate drivers further of the importance of being aware of their surroundings, including all the other people and animals using this much-loved beach.”

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Under the new system, people driving on beaches are required to fill out a free online permit. In doing so, they must read the rules and guidelines for driving on beaches, which include staying off the dunes, looking out for partially submerged objects, only accessing the beach three hours either side of low tide and slowing down when there are people or animals around.

Auckland Council continues to work alongside other agencies to improve safety and driver behaviour on Muriwai beach and is currently working on communicating further to beach users prior to the busy summer period.

ENDS


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