A fiery public meeting was held in Auckland last night over the future of vehicle use on Muriwai Beach.
Auckland Council is making a number of proposals about the future of the popular west coast beach, including an option to close it to cars permanently.
It follows concerns of “tension” between four-wheel drivers and other beach users, including horse riders, according to a council document.
The document also raised concerns that some people felt the beach wasn’t safe or enjoyable as a result.
The council is considering a number of options in response: seasonal closures, restricting car access to the beach at peak times, controlled access to the beach, or the permanent closure of all vehicle access points.
But, the community is angry over the lack of consultation around the submissions process. These feelings boiled over last night at the meeting at Waimauku War Memorial Hall.
The meeting, organised and run by Auckland Council, was very heated. Locals were getting frustrated with one another and at council representatives.
The majority at the meeting want the beach to remain open and the police to patrol it.
It’s the first of three community meetings on the issue, with two more scheduled over the next two weeks.
Public submissions close on May 7.