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Source: Auckland Council

Another major milestone in Auckland’s storm recovery will be reached on Monday with the lifting of the Motutara Road cordon, at Muriwai.

The main road into Muriwai, Motutara Road was closed in February due to a landslide during Cyclone Gabrielle.
Mace Ward, Auckland Council’s Deputy Group Recovery Manager says that though the landslide was eventually cleared, Auckland Council had ongoing concerns about the area and work has been underway to ensure it could be safely reopened.

“We engaged geotechnical specialists to thoroughly assess the area, and their advice is the road can be safely reopened with the removal of unstable properties above the road. These properties were successfully cleared this week, and we’re pleased to confirm the road will reopen on Monday.

“As part of our work to clear the road, we were delighted we were able to retrieve some personal belongings of great value to the owners of the homes that were damaged, including some jewellery and some precious vinyl records that were thought to be lost.

“The removal of these houses is bittersweet for the owners of these properties, and we must recognise the major impact the weather events this year had on people’s homes and families.

“While restoring access through Motutara Road is a milestone we are pleased to have reached, there is still more work to be done in Muriwai. Six months on, this community is still hurting from the impact of the extreme weather events.

“Many people are still displaced from their homes, and we’re working to support them as we get closer to having clarity on next steps. Our geotechnical assessment of the wider area is almost complete, and homeowners will start receiving initial property risk categories at the end of the month.

“This technical work will also enable us to accelerate the removal of building placards, meaning that some people will be able to safely return to their homes.”
The cordon at Domain Crescent will remain, with residents’ access only and 24/7 security in place.

Driving on the beach

Vehicle access to the beach via Coast Road will reopen on Monday 4 September. Mr Ward says that four-wheel drivers will be pleased to return but wants to remind permit holders that additional care will be needed.

“There have been significant changes on Muriwai Beach over the last seven months, with dunes starting to revegetate and some wildlife returning. Those using the beach may encounter a lot more bird life and a few seals. As a visitor to their environment, please ensure that your actions minimise any disruption to them.

“We would encourage you to take this opportunity to ‘reset’ how you use the beach – refresh yourself with the skills you need to drive on a beach and please be respectful of the environment and community. Make sure your tyre pressure is correct (lower than for general road driving), and that you have the right equipment. Check out the tides, and be aware of no-go areas.

“You have to give way to everybody else if you are a vehicle on the beach. Make sure you’ve sorted your paperwork too – no access without a permit, current registration, and warrant of fitness.”

Click here for information on Muriwai Regional Park, and also see our Rules for driving on Muriwai and Kariotahi beaches.