Auckland Council stops reckless driving on Muriwai Beach
• May 17, 2023
Muriwai’s scenic beach is threatened by off-roaders breaking rules and driving up onto the dunes. Photo: Harriet Laughton.
Currently, a free permit and driver's license is all that is needed to access the beach.
Vehicles driving onto the dunes quickly destroy vegetation, which causes loose sand to blow inland, devastating the landscape and its wildlife.
“The program is to enable us to have a system where we can manage the numbers of people on the beach and any breaches,” said manager of regional parks Scott De Silva.
“As you go further up the coast where we don’t have these systems in place, that’s where you get those steep cuts to the dunes.
Off-roader Luke Tucker has seen countless cars ditch the main beach to drive up into the dunes.
“There’s so many irresponsible drivers that ignore the rules. I think donuts up in the dunes are the worst part because you see the dunes just completely ruined.”
An estimated 64,500 vehicles drove onto Muriwai in 2021, with some busy 24-hour periods seeing over 1,400 vehicles.
The beach is currently closed due to the effects of Cyclone Gabrielle on the wider area, lack of water supply, and a landslide closing off the main access road to the beach.
Public consultation about beach access was originally held by Auckland Council’s Parks, Arts, Community and Events Committee in September last year.
Kenzie Latch; Hayley Munro; Alana Musselle; Amani Sadique • September 26, 2023