Vehicles on the beach, hoons in the dunes, dogs, rubbish and the cultural clash of thousands of daytrippers fishing for crabs are among concerns a Bream Bay group wants local authorities to act on.
They were aired at a meeting at Ruakaka on Monday where residents expressed concerns about breaches of bylaws and other behaviours they said undermined beach safety and enjoyment by the general public.
The meeting was called by Sam Towns to get a "community feel" for how big the perceived problems were and what solutions might be sought.
The conclusion - and the subject for another meeting at which the as yet unnamed Bream Bay group hoped to engage with authorities such as Whangarei District Council, Department of Conservation, Ministry of Fisheries, NZ Police and Asian community representatives - was that more public education and more enforcement of laws were needed.
The group would collate and document concerns, including evidence of breaches, in a study tentatively titled Investigation of Public Safety and Nuisance, which would enable the community to "put an argument forward based on evidence, not anecdotal".
The desired outcome would be Whangarei District Council and other authorities coming down harder on certain behaviours, enforcing bylaws and monitoring problem areas.
Auckland City had instigated specific measures at Omaha (formerly Rodney District) and the Waikato District similar at Raglan, resulting in a dramatic reduction in unwelcome behaviour, the meeting heard.
Speakers stressed that while there was some ill-feeling about the effects of the annual summer influx of crabbers, there were wider safety and environmental concerns.
Locals as well as visitors ignored traffic rules, including four-wheel-drive vehicles and motorbikes in the dunes, and vehicles and dogs in the Ruakaka Wildlife Refuge, the meeting heard.
Concerns were raised about the Tip Rd, Uretiti, access where vehicles revved up the soft-sand ramp on to the beach, sometimes veering dangerously close to walkers coming up the other side; and the number vehicles that got stuck on the beach.
Others said they no longer took their children to Uretiti and Ruakaka beaches because of dangerous litter, such as chicken carcasses left behind by crabbers.
Several speakers reiterated the sentiments of the meeting's facilitator, Ken Andrews: "This is not just about the crabbers. It's about lawlessness, and the need for the laws and bylaws that are in place to be enforced."
The next meeting will be at the Bream Bay Community Trust hall, Ruakaka, on January 31, at 7pm.