• Feedback wanted on vehicle use at Waimārama Beach

Feedback wanted on vehicle use at Waimārama Beach

Vehicle use and public safety on Waimārama Beach is being highlighted as summer approaches and Hastings District Council wants to hear your thoughts on the issue.

Over the last few weeks, Waimārama residents have reported issues to council – particularly speeding drivers, ignoring the summer no-vehicle ban along the busiest section of the beach, driving over sand dunes, and driving dangerously and putting other beach-goers at risk.

Hastings mayor Sandra Hazlehurst says concerns about vehicle use on the beach have been growing as the days have become warmer and longer.

“Waimārama Beach is a favourite place for our community and our visitors. We want everyone to be able to use the beach safely.

“Council is working with Police who are actively enforcing the beach rules as much as possible, but officers can’t be on the beach all the time and we need to look at other ways of dealing with the issue.

“We want to hear from anyone who spends time at Waimārama Beach on what we could do to improve safety.”

A drop-in day for people to give their feedback is being held on December 2 at Waimārama Hall between 10am and 4pm.

All ideas are welcome, but may include: no change, more signs to promote current rules, blocking vehicle access to the beach (noting that emergency services and surf lifesaving will always have access), a complete vehicle ban, banning some types of vehicles, an expanded ban area and/or season, a permit system.

If people can’t attend the drop-in day they can also give their feedback online at myvoicemychoice.co.nz between December 2 and December 23.

Currently driving on the beach is banned in an area in front of the surf club from 8am to 8pm from Labour weekend until April 1.

Driving at speeds over 20km/h on any part of the beach is illegal at all times.