Fears disabled community's Auckland beach ramp at risk after able-bodied woman breaks foot on it

A new beach ramp for the disabled community on Auckland's North Shore is at risk of being removed after an able-bodied woman injured her foot while walking on it.

The accident happened only a month after it was installed and with the ramp still on trial, there are fears the council may take a dim view of the incident.

Two weeks bed rest after an operation that means she'll permanently have a rod in her ankle isn't the way Emma Tolmie expected to celebrate the start of 2021, but after breaking her foot it's all she can do.

"Just vomiting almost every day from the pain - even the drugs, they take the edge off but not completely," she tells Newshub.

The mother of four was walking down Takapuna Beach and exited on the ramp recently provided for the disabled community - but it collapsed.

"I couldn't see that there was no sand underneath it, so when I fell my foot went up the wrong way," she says.

The problem appears to be where the ramp is situated by one of the beach's main access points which often has stormwater rushing down it.

On a clear day you can see a steady stream of water which comes down washing away the sand which supports the ramp.

It only opened a month ago. Stephanie Buttell was there to celebrate the launch and says it's already changed so many disabled people's lives.

"Young people have spent their first summer with their friends at the beach and listening to music and chilling - just doing stuff that young people do," she says.

The council will have to take this incident into account and there are fears it may decide to close this ramp and stop plans to roll them out across the country.

"The good that's come out of it far outweighs any of the negatives despite that somebody has been injured," Buttell says.

"I just want this mat to be safe for people to walk on, I don't want a wheelchair person or anyone else to have a worse injury," Tolmie says.

Everyone hoping the mats can be made safe so the disabled community - and people walking on the beach - can enjoy Kiwi summers for years to come.