Speed humps and temporary traffic-calming measures are set to be installed in a Far North beachside settlement at the centre of a long-running dispute over speeding cars and road ownership.
Residents at Kaimaumau, on the east coast about 30km north of Kaitaia, have been lobbying the council for years to stop people driving at speed through the settlement, saying it endangers children and creates dust that contaminates water supplies.
Some have taken the matter into their own hands by placing road cones, tyres and rocks on the road to slow traffic.
The road is heavily used in summer by fishers heading to East Beach who maintain, like the council, that it is a public road so they have every right to use it.
Some of the residents are equally adamant the road is on private land so they have the right to restrict access.
The thorny issue was debated at the council's last pre-lockdown meeting with councillor Mate Radich putting forward a motion to install speed bumps on the sealed section of Kaimaumau Rd and remove all illegal obstacles such as tyres, rocks and signs.
''It's very important that we do something like putting in speed humps. We have to move quickly on this. If we keep delaying something bad is going to happen, I can tell you that right now.''
Radich claimed one or two families were holding the council to ransom.
''Let's remove the debris that's causing the problem and everyone will be happy.''
Council chief executive Shaun Clarke, who attended a public meeting at Kaimaumau earlier this year, said there were two sides to the community.
One side objected to speed and litter and maintained the road was on private land; others just wanted the road fixed and the tyres removed.
''There's a risk they'll be torn by this,'' he said.
Clarke said he was confident it was a public road but some residents wanted to go to the Māori Land Court to get legal confirmation of its ownership.
''I feel like we've come such a long way, we just need a third party opinion. Then we can get speed bumps in. Councillor Radich represents the group that wants urgency but I don't want to be on the telly for the wrong reasons.''
Mayor John Carter said the community wanted the situation addressed before Christmas.
''If it went to the Māori Land Court it would take much longer,'' he said.
Councillor Dave Collard agreed on the need for speed humps before summer, and said a footpath was also ''absolutely'' necessary.
''We're of the opinion that it's a legal [council owned] road but we haven't treated it like a legal road. If you've been out there, it's a pretty s****y road.''
Councillor Felicity Foy said she was concerned for children's safety with cars passing at speed, no footpath and large boulders on the road.
She called for a temporary traffic-calming solution that wasn't rocks and tyres, but achieved the same outcome in a safe way.
Councillor David Clendon was concerned about the precedent of allowing people to take traffic matters into their own hands.
''We shouldn't tolerate the road being blocked by apparently dangerous items,'' he said.
Councillors passed Radich's motion to install speed humps on the sealed section of Kaimaumau Rd and remove illegal obstacles, and added an amendment calling for a trial of traffic-calming measures on the unsealed part of the road. They also voted to seal a short section of road near the public toilets.
The total cost is expected to be about $50,000.