The stream that usually runs across the beach to the sea at Ahipara, several hundred metres west of the Kaka St beach access, has moved, not for the first time, creating a significant traffic hazard.
The stream now turns towards the sea at the end of Kaka St, having scoured a channel that on the landward side, creating a sheer drop of at least two metres.
The drop has claimed at least one victim, a motorist failing to see it in time on Saturday night. Neither he nor his passenger were injured when the four-wheel-drive effectively landed on its nose, hitting a log at the bottom, but the vehicle was extensively damaged.
The beach can still be accessed by turning right upon exiting Kaka St, but a regular beach user said a warning sign was needed.
"You don't see a washout like that at night until you're right on it, and by then it's too late," he said.
The stream has changed course many times over the years, frequently turning east from where it meets the beach to run below the bank that supports the most seaward houses, and the Far North District Council's sewer, and which is slowly eroding.
Attempts have been made in the past to force it to maintain its direct route to the sea, but have never succeeded for any length of time.
On Tuesday mayor John Carter asked FNDC to talk to the Northland Regional Council and the NZTA.
"What we don't want is for someone to drive over and be badly injured or killed," he said.
"What we need is for one of us to erect a reflective barrier so drivers can see not to drive in this area at night. This needs to be with urgency, hopefully this afternoon."