Resident Tracey Heka told a public meeting on the Kaimaumau foreshore last month that she was going to erect a gate to prevent vehicles from driving past her home, and others. The road provides the only vehicular access to the western side of Rangaunu Harbour and East Beach.
Yesterday a pipe gate was in place, 400m from the end of the seal, but it was wide open.
Far North District Council chief executive Shaun Clarke said yesterday that the council was currently engaged with "interested parties," working to identify the specific issues that needed to be addressed. In the meantime, the council remained committed to retaining full access for all road users on council-owned roads.
The issues at Kaimaumau were not yet resolved, but the council was grateful for the willingness of all parties to engage, and for the tone of the conversation. There was to be another meeting yesterday afternoon.
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One point of contention was around the alleged encroachment of Kaimaumau Rd on private land that was of "particular interest to complainants." It had been confirmed by survey, however, that it was council-owned, clear of any private interests, and was therefore a public road.
Far North District councillor Felicity Foy had earlier told the Northland Age that she had queried whether the formed carriageway was within the legal gazetted road in 2017, after rocks and tyres had been used to create chicanes at the southern end of the unsealed section to slow traffic. It was confirmed then that it was a legal road.
Meanwhile Cr Foy said funding of significant work, such as sealing, would be provided via the regional land transport plan, which was compiled every three years by the Far North, Kaipara and Whangārei District councils, and the Northland Regional Council. Another option would have been the government's tourism infrastructure fund, although she was unsure if that would still be available given the financial demands created by Covid-19.
"I have raised Kaimaumau Rd, as well as Maitai Bay, Henderson Bay and Rarawa Beach roads, as a few of the many coastal roads that provide public access to our coastline, that I feel should be considered for weighting in the matrix, as well as consideration for government and NZTA funding, given that they are important tourist roads," she added.
"This is also a relevant issue, I feel, to raise with Waka Kotahi NZTA, as domestic tourism is growing, as is the influx of visitors to the Far North. If the government gave funding for these tourism routes, sealing would be much more affordable and therefore more achievable."
Mayor John Carter said yesterday that the council had offered to address traffic issues via means including judder bars and grading (which had been done on Tuesday). As he understood it, however, one of the major concerns for residents was that some people who used the road were routinely leaving rubbish on the beach, which the locals had to pick up and dispose of.