The bright blue beach access mat will be back at Mount Maunganui main beach from today.
The portable, rollout mat creates a sturdy and visible path to the beach for people who generally cannot get on to the beach or move across the sand easily like those using wheelchairs, mobility scooters or strollers.
Tauranga City Council Community Development team leader Dani Jurgeleit said it was great that Tauranga was leading the way in helping everyone enjoy the beach.
"This is the first council-owned access mat in New Zealand. We are working towards Tauranga being a fully inclusive city, and this initiative supports that goal. We're excited to see the mat back in action again this summer."
The mat is at the walkway next to the cenotaph on Marine Parade, opposite Pacific Ave and Mount Drury.
It is intended that it will be available throughout the summer, however, part or all of the mat may need to be rolled up during extreme weather, such as a king tide.
"Keep an eye out for the flag at the access mat walkway – if the flag is out that means the mat is out and available for use," Jurgeleit said.
The mat was trialled at Mount Maunganui main beach in December 2016. The matting was purchased the following year thanks to donations from Metro Marketing, Harbour City Lions and a private donor.
Ongoing support and maintenance is provided by Smart Environmental.