Vehicles on beaches in the Far North

Submissions closing on 13 August 2021, 11:59 PM

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We are seeking feedback from Far North beach users to understand your experiences with the use of vehicles on beaches.

Your feedback will help us draft a new Vehicles on Beaches Bylaw. The purpose of the bylaw is to ensure these public spaces are safe for everyone. We also want to make sure the natural environment is cared for. We want to know if there is anything our communities would like us to consider before we draft a new bylaw.

You can read the current Vehicles on Beaches Bylaw here.

To provide feedback on a beach, click the link below and complete the survey. You can do the survey for as many beaches as you wish.

Share your feedback on how vehicles are used on beaches

Questions & answers

We will collate and analyse the information provided in the survey. For some beaches, we may need further information from tāngata whenua or local communities before making any decisions on what to do. In those instances, we may contact people who filled in the survey to get further information. That may include having face-to-face meetings. Once we have all the information necessary, we will consider whether a bylaw is the best way to proceed. It is not always the case that a bylaw is necessary. If a bylaw is considered appropriate, a proposed bylaw will be drafted and formally consulted on.

Under the Treaty of Waitangi settlement for Te Oneroa-a-Tōhe/Ninety Mile Beach, the Council is required to recognise and provide for the provisions of the Beach Management Plan: Te Rautaki o Te Oneroa-a-Tōhe. The Plan requires the Council to include specific provisions in its bylaws about the use of vehicles on that beach. The new bylaw will include those provisions, taking into account the feedback received as part of the Plan’s consultation process. For further information about Te Rautaki o Te Oneroa-a-Tōhe visit: https://www.teoneroa-a-tohe.nz/beach-management-plan.

The existing Vehicles on Beaches Bylaw prohibits vehicle use on Coopers Beach. This prohibition will be carried across to the new bylaw unless feedback from the Coopers Beach community indicates an alternative approach would be preferred.

The word 'beach' can have a different meaning depending on the context in which it is used:

  • The ordinary meaning (given in most dictionaries) is the sand or pebbles along a shore, or the part of the shore of an ocean, sea, large river, lake, etc., washed by the tide or waves.
  • For coastal management purposes, the Department of Conservation (DOC) uses a meaning that includes both the dry and wet intertidal area and beyond (mud, sand, gravel, cobbles, boulders). DOC considers a beach to extend from some low tide mark (such as the line of mean low water springs) up to the line of vegetation, a rock shelf or a similar landward feature that is the effective limit of storm waves and storm surge.
  • The Council’s existing bylaw uses this definition: the foreshore being any area covered and uncovered by the ebb and flow of the tide, and any adjacent area which can reasonably be considered part of the beach environment including areas of sand, pebbles, shingle, dunes or coastal vegetation, but does not include any private property or land administered by the Department of Conservation.
  1. Leona Cameron
    We often travel in our vehicles on the beach to go fishing, visit family around the reef. If we were not able to drive on the beach
    A) we would not be able to go fishing to feed our family.
    B) wouldn’t be able to take our children to the beach and enjoy the 90 mile/Tokerau Beach.
    C) wouldn’t be able to take our dogs- can run them anywhere else. Very large dogs.
    D) wouldn’t be able to visit or deliver essentials to family around the reef
    E) also wouldn’t be able to launch a boat off the beach either.
    1. Briar Corbett
      Moderator
      Kia ora Leona, thank you for your feedback. We will ensure we capture all comments but please also make sure you fill out the survey to share your feedback, copy and paste this link into your browser: https://www.fndc.govt.nz/Whats-new/Have-your-say/Vehicles-on-beaches-bylaw-early-engagement/Vehicles-on-beaches-survey?transfer=3f0abc68-86c2-49b5-8d14-fad191bceb28
  2. karin carlyon
    I am against the use of vehicles on beaches. Nature and safety should come first.
    1. Briar Corbett
      Moderator
      Kia ora Karin, thank you for your feedback. While we record all comments, we ask you to please also complete the survey. Just click the "Share your feedback on how vehicles are used on beaches" button above. Ngā mihi, Briar
  3. Ian Webb
    Having Lived on the the beachfront at Ahipara it was delightful to see most utilizing the beach appropriately, but there were some fast and reckless drivers endangering others (and some have died). And easy access the beach allowed for absolute pillaging of the shellfish - in some cases, 100's of kilo's take at a time. So while access should be granted, it really does require better controls and monitoring.
    1. Briar Corbett
      Moderator
      Kia ora Ian, thank you for sharing your experience with vehicles using the beach at Ahipara. While we record all comments, we ask that you also complete the survey. Just click the "Share your feedback on how vehicles are used on beaches" button above. Ngā mihi, Briar
  4. Lisa Jurlina
    There are now to many vehicles on the beach and they travel to fast. I think they should be limited, and speeds need to be dramatically reduced. I also don't see any need for 2 wheel motorcycles on the beach
    1. Briar Corbett
      Moderator
      Kia ora Lisa, thank you for your feedback. While we record all comments, we ask that you also complete the survey. Just click the "Share your feedback on how vehicles are used on beaches" button above. We are lucky enough to have many beaches throughout the Far North so if you could also let us know the relevant beach that would be much appreciated. Ngā mihi, Briar
  5. Seabourne Rust
    I think there are a few beaches- the long, flat, sandy ones in particular where vehicles can go easily along the shore below high tide mark and it can be done safely if people drive responsibly. That’s Ok I have done it myself...But on the whole I think most coastal environments are damaged by vehicles and unfortunately those using them being reckless or inconsiderate of wildlife, walkers, bathers, other beach users. Vehicles can destroy delicate dunes, plantings and bird nesting areas, frighten animals... We’ve had a few incidents with vehicles, including quads and motorcycles driving at speed along Omapere Beach. Putting themselves and others at risk. There’s no simple solution but it’s good to have the discussion. Educate people to think first before acting, take better care of ourselves, others and the environment. Some areas are too sensitive and should be no go...
    1. Briar Corbett
      Moderator
      Kia ora Seabourne, thank you for your comments, they are much appreciated. It is good to have the discussion around taking of ourselves, others and the environment. I invite you to also complete the survey to share further feedback - just click the "Share your feedback on how vehicles are used on beaches" button above. Ngā mihi, Briar
  6. Louise Laws
    I support speed limits and responsible drivers who wear seatbelts but I do not support reckless and inexperienced drivers.
    1. Briar Corbett
      Moderator
      Kia ora Louise, thank you for your feedback. While we record all comments, we ask you to please also complete the survey. Just click the "Share your feedback on how vehicles are used on beaches" button above. Ngā mihi, Briar
  7. Ray Hatch
    Please don't remove this enjoyment of New Zealanders of driving on the beach
    1. Briar Corbett
      Moderator
      Kia ora Ray, thank you for your feedback. At this stage we are just asking for information from our communities about their experience with vehicles on beaches and what they would like to see four our local beaches in the future. While we record all comments, we ask you to please also complete the survey. Just click the "Share your feedback on how vehicles are used on beaches" button above. Ngā mihi, Briar
  8. Dale Spanhake
    We use our Can-am on the Rangiputa beach as we are unable to reach the further reaches of Rangauru Harbour to fish and swim without a vehicle. People swarm to fish within the harbour so they have to use their vehicles to reach the parking area.
    1. Briar Corbett
      Moderator
      Kia ora Dale, thank you for your feedback regarding Rangiputa Beach. While we record all comments, we ask you to please also complete the survey. Just click the "Share your feedback on how vehicles are used on beaches" button above. Ngā mihi, Briar
  9. Lynn Masters
    First of all we need access to beaches for many reasons but health and safety number one especially if there is a drowning or accident on the beach.
    Every day we have fast vehicles and doing donuts near built up areas with no police present.
    There should be a speed reduction around 200 metres near a built up entrance e.g. Kaka street
    Police present as it’s just a joke as there are unwarranted and unsafe vehicles every day and night with evidence.
    1. Briar Corbett
      Moderator
      Kia ora Lynn, thank you for your feedback. It sounds like you might be talking about Te Oneroa-a-Tōhe (Ninety Mile Beach). Under the Treaty of Waitangi settlement for Te Oneroa-a-Tōhe/Ninety Mile Beach, the Council is required to recognise and provide for the provisions of the Beach Management Plan: Te Rautaki o Te Oneroa-a-Tōhe. The Plan requires the Council to include specific provisions in its bylaws about the use of vehicles on that beach. The new bylaw will include those provisions, taking into account the feedback received as part of the Plan’s consultation process. For further information about Te Rautaki o Te Oneroa-a-Tōhe visit: https://www.teoneroa-a-tohe.nz/beach-management-plan. Speed limits on Te Oneroa-a-Tōhe are also being reviewed.
  10. Tony Egerton
    Unless totally essential, I believe no vehicles should be allowed on any beaches. They should be kept as a safe, vehicle free area where we can all enjoy our wonderful back-yard to go fishing,swimming,walking the dog, picnics,weddings,boating,Family gatherings,flying the kite,volleyball,nature walks and all sorts of other sports etc etc ,,,, So there really is no place for vehicles amongst all this.
    1. Briar Corbett
      Moderator
      Kia ora Tony, thank you for your feedback. We appreciate our beaches are special to our communities and to visitors and they are enjoyed in many different ways. While we record all comments, we ask you to please also complete the survey. Just click the "Share your feedback on how vehicles are used on beaches" button above. Ngā mihi, Briar
  11. Elizabeth Rogers
    I think we should be allowed to drive vehicles on beaches it would be kind of ridiculous to stop this from happening they are doing no harm to the beaches. All the sandunes are fenced off so they can’t damage those. I think they should be more worried about the wild horses they are doing so much more damage to the land than and truck/car and they are bringing in wild dog, they are dying from on going injuries then they are rotting and attracting dogs + NZ roads are any better so why are they not focusing on that there is a lot more important things to be worried about then people driving on a beach
    1. Briar Corbett
      Moderator
      Kia ora Elizabeth, thank you for your feedback. It sounds like you might be talking about Te Oneroa-a-Tōhe (Ninety Mile Beach). Under the Treaty of Waitangi settlement for Te Oneroa-a-Tōhe/Ninety Mile Beach, the Council is required to recognise and provide for the provisions of the Beach Management Plan: Te Rautaki o Te Oneroa-a-Tōhe. The Plan requires the Council to include specific provisions in its bylaws about the use of vehicles on that beach. The new bylaw will include those provisions, taking into account the feedback received as part of the Plan’s consultation process. For further information about Te Rautaki o Te Oneroa-a-Tōhe visit: https://www.teoneroa-a-tohe.nz/beach-management-plan.
  12. Kade O’Meara
    The beach’s should stay open as there are now
    1. Briar Corbett
      Moderator
      Kia ora Kade, thank you for your feedback. At this stage we are just asking for information from our communities about their experiences with vehicles on beaches. All comments are recorded as feedback, but you may wish to also complete the survey. Just click the "Share your feedback on how vehicles are used on beaches" button above. Ngā mihi, Briar
  13. Mary Woodworth
    What is the actual date that submissions on the vehicles/beach issue? The email we received says submissions are due by midnight on 30 July, but on the survey page it says submissions close on the 13th of August. Which is it, please?
    1. Briar Corbett
      Moderator
      Kia ora Mary, we have extended the closing date to 13 August, 11:59pm. I apologise for any confusion. Ngā mihi, Briar
  14. Far north Roads suck
    Leave the rules as is I like being able to fish from the beach with my wagon with me. Blocking off access is only going to make the people try get on the beaches other ways
    1. Briar Corbett
      Moderator
      Kia ora, thank you for your feedback. At this stage we are just asking for information from our communities about their experience with vehicles on beaches. While we record all comments, we ask you to please also complete the survey. Just click the "Share your feedback on how vehicles are used on beaches" button above. Ngā mihi, Briar
  15. Far north Roads suck
    Leave the rules as is I like being able to fish from the beach with my wagon with me. Blocking off access is only going to make the people try get on the beaches other ways
  16. Lee-Anne Williams
    Some marae are still only accessed on a beach via a low tide. Waitangi had it's beach road before Tahuna Rd was there. Anyway, just keep in mind the range of customary uses when drafting bylaws. Obviously no-one wants the privilege abused though. Keep Hapu in the loop and you'll cover all your bases on that side.
    1. Briar Corbett
      Moderator
      Kia ora Lee-Anne, thank you for your feedback. We have reached out to iwi regarding this bylaw and will consult with relevant iwi, hapu and marae if our communities indicate they would like changes to be considered for any Far North beaches. Ngā mihi, Briar
  17. Anthony atkinson
    in the event that use of a vehicle on any beach is necessary for any legitimate purpose, then the maximum speed on the beach must be strictly limited to 30kph,( including tourist vehicles and buses) with the exception of permitted motor races. At motor vehicle access points there should be signage to indicate that pedestrians have right of way. That Vehicles must keep to the speed limit and at all times give way to pedestrians.
    1. Briar Corbett
      Moderator
      Kia ora Anthony, thank you for your feedback. While we record all comments, please also fill out the survey. Just click the "Share your feedback on how vehicles are used on beaches" button above. Speed limits on Te Oneroa-a-Tōhe are currently being reviewed. The consultation for that review commences Monday 12 July, you will be able to find more information on our website then. Ngā mihi, Briar
  18. Grant Campbell
    Do not take this kiwi enjoyment away. Vehicles on beaches are part of our lives in Northland for family outings, fishing and to enjoy our coastline. Beaches should be speed monitored for safety and and certain areas (some dunes) no go zones.
    1. Briar Corbett
      Moderator
      Kia ora Grant, thank you for your feedback. While we record all comments, please also complete the survey. Just click the "Share your feedback on how vehicles are used on beaches" button above. Ngā mihi, Briar
  19. Ranald Bleakley
    I do not think that the current vehicular access to beaches bylaws should be changed. They seem reasonable in their current form. Many of the beaches in Northland have very limited road access and few have adequate boat ramps, so for many families the only option for getting to their favorite spot on the beach is to drive the beach. Yes, there will be an occasional idiot who offends others by their driving, or is disruptive to the environment, but these people seem to be a small minority of beach users. The vast majority of people who access the beaches by motor vehicles seem to do so well within the current guidelines so I do not think that there should be any change made to the bylaw.
    1. Briar Corbett
      Moderator
      Kia ora Ranald, thank you for sharing your feedback. It is much appreciated. Ngā mihi, Briar
  20. Ranald Bleakley
    I do not think that the current vehicular access to beaches bylaws should be changed. They seem reasonable in their current form. Many of the beaches in Northland have very limited road access and few have adequate boat ramps, so for many families the only option for getting to their favorite spot on the beach is to drive the beach. Yes, there will be an occasional idiot who offends others by their driving, or is disruptive to the environment, but these people seem to be a small minority of beach users. The vast majority of people who access the beaches by motor vehicles seem to do so well within the current guidelines so I do not think that there should be any change made to the bylaw.
  21. Ranald Bleakley
    I do not think that the current vehicular access to beaches bylaws should be changed. They seem reasonable in their current form. Many of the beaches in Northland have very limited road access and few have adequate boat ramps, so for many families the only option for getting to their favorite spot on the beach is to drive the beach. Yes, there will be an occasional idiot who offends others by their driving, or is disruptive to the environment, but these people seem to be a small minority of beach users. The vast majority of people who access the beaches by motor vehicles seem to do so well within the current guidelines so I do not think that there should be any change made to the bylaw.
  22. Ranald Bleakley
    I do not think that the current vehicular access to beaches bylaws should be changed. They seem reasonable in their current form. Many of the beaches in Northland have very limited road access and few have adequate boat ramps, so for many families the only option for getting to their favorite spot on the beach is to drive the beach. Yes, there will be an occasional idiot who offends others by their driving, or is disruptive to the environment, but these people seem to be a small minority of beach users. The vast majority of people who access the beaches by motor vehicles seem to do so well within the current guidelines so I do not think that there should be any change made to the bylaw.
  23. Joe Duncan
    I would like to see simple bylaws implemented that require right of way for pedestrians/foot traffic/stationery vehicles/people fishing/children.
    Simply put, any vehicle passing people on the beach required to slow to 20kph in the same manner as passing a school bus.
    People need to have right of way over vehicles.
    1. Briar Corbett
      Moderator
      Kia ora Joe, thank you for your feedback. While we record all comments, we encourage you to complete the survey as well. Just click the "Share your feedback on how vehicles are used on beaches" button above. We are currently consulting on proposed speed limit changes for Te Oneroa-a-Tōhe (Ninety Mile Beach). Head to our Have your say section if you would like to share your feedback on this proposal too. Ngā mihi, Briar
  24. Bernhard Riegler
    I think it is wonderful, that vehicles are allowed on the beach in New Zealand. It makes it possible to launch boats and get access to outstanding places. But some people spoil it for everyone by going too fast, going where no car should go and doing silly things. If it was done with respect, avoiding bird breeding areas and not ripping up the beach for the fun of it, we would have no problem. There are always some people doing things that spoil it for others. Cars should go past people with a certain distance and not too fast. Walkers should have priority. My dog was spooked by cars going too fast and too close. I don't want car access restricted, but controlled. Beaches in Northland are a recreational area for everyone and we must maintain that. If everybody took their car onto the beach it would not be nice anymore. Nothing wrong with walking. If a car is on the beach it should stay within a strip from the tide mark where driving is save - not all over the beach. That way the tide would wash away the Tyre marks and cars would not interfere with walkers, birds or dogs. We need to make it better, not stop it. Thank you :)
    1. Briar Corbett
      Moderator
      Kia ora Bernhard, thank you for sharing your experience with vehicles on beaches. While we record all comments, we encourage you to also complete the survey about your local beach. Just click the "Share your feedback on how vehicles are used on beaches" button above. Ngā mihi, Briar
  25. Roddy Burgoyne
    I wish to be able to launch my boat from the beach using a ute and trailer.

    I would like to know what is wrong with the current bylaw and why it needs changing?
    1. Briar Corbett
      Moderator
      Kia ora Roddy, thank you for your question. The survey does not say there is anything wrong with the current bylaw. Council has a legal requirement to review the existing bylaw and consult the community about the review. No decisions have been made about whether the use of vehicles on any Far North beaches should be restricted or whether the existing bylaw should be changed. While we record all comments, we also encourage you to complete the survey about your local beach so that your views can be considered. Ngā mihi, Briar
  26. Brad Windust
    Beaches are no place for cars.
    Bad for the environment, and dangerous for people. Keep cars and bikes off the Beaches.
    1. Briar Corbett
      Moderator
      Kia ora Brad, thank you for your feedback. While we record all comments, we encourage you to also complete the survey. Just click the "Share your feedback on how vehicles are used on beaches" button above. Ngā mihi, Briar
  27. Brad Windust
    Beaches are no place for cars.
    Bad for the environment, and dangerous for people. Keep cars and bikes off the Beaches.
  28. Cam Osborne
    I think your all missing a very important point firstly is safe drivers should not be blocked from gaining access to or using the beaches in question this is a major reason people come to the area like we do from the bay of plenty we spend money in the area on accommodation food and important resources that the area needs our money a d our support to survive in Rotorua we ha e invested millions into mountain biking you guys have a natural tourist attraction and your thinking about closing it seems ludicrous to better control paid beach permits policing of (not necessarily by police )of speeds and behavior and beach permits that are paid for and go back into the policing rather than than the general pool in boating everybody knows the 200m shore rule make that a thing with pedestrians and other users lets get smart and stop legislation against rhe people of New Zealand and start working together to support local communities and help them thrive
  29. Brian Page
    We have held two public meetings at Tokelau beach the object of which was to have a police presence over the the Xmas/ New year period. Unfortunately this unsuccessfull so we simply have to cope with the holiday traffic mayhem and wait for the visitors to depart. We have used beach wardens over a 3 year period but they get sick of the abuse and/or being ignored.The public know they have no authority, and “education” is just not going to work with certain people. We toyed with the idea that closing the beach to through traffic over the holiday period would work,but again, uninforcible. We have clear 30 k/hour speed signs on the beach and most of the time that works well, but realistically as we have exhausted most options l am concerned that it will take an accident to bring about a change of attitude