AM host hits out at people speeding on New Zealand's beaches

  • 12/12/2023

AM fill-in host Amanda Gillies has slammed people who speed on beaches around New Zealand, labelling them as "dickheads" who put the safety of people at risk.  

It comes as Bayden Barber, who is the leader of Hawke's Bay iwi Ngāti Kahungunu, told AM on Tuesday morning speeding hoons are using Waimārama Beach, east of Hastings, as their "fun park" leaving locals distressed. 

Barber is so fed up he's taken matters into his own hands and placed large stone barriers in front of an entrance at Waimārama Beach to try and block access. 

"We are saying enough is enough. We need to keep our community safe, our kids safe and our environment safe, our sand dunes, etc. etc, so we've put those rocks there to persuade that type of behaviour," Barber told AM on Tuesday morning.     

It has led to some people suggesting motorised vehicles should be banned from beaches.  

Muriwai Beach has taken that approach, banning motorised vehicles during high-risk and peak summer periods for the next three years. 

The hosts of AM discussed the issue on the show on Tuesday morning, with Gillies particularly upset by the speeding hoons.  

"I know people go down there for fishing, they have to get access to their boat and for good legal reasons to take their cars," she told the show.  

"It's the dickheads though that speed around, do burnouts and doughnuts. We've got kids down there. Our beaches are our most precious thing and it's where we love to take the family and I'm like, if you going to do that, just get out. No interest in it. Don't put anyone else's lives at risk for you to have a bit of fun."  

But fellow AM co-host Melissa Chan-Green wasn't as strong in her stance and wasn't in favour of banning motorised vehicles.  

"I mean most people, if you're sticking to the rules, should be allowed to go and launch your boat or take your little quad bike down with your fishing gear. It is just the people that don't follow the rules that ruin it for everybody," Chan-Green said. 

The show asked for feedback from viewers on the issue with most supporting what Barber had done.  

"No driving on beaches. It's environmental vandalism," a viewer named Darren emailed in saying.  

"Why are there always these types of people out there to destroy other [people's] fun? There will always be dickheads, they should be policed and prosecuted. Sick of these wowsers who think they have the right to destroy others fun," another viewer called Mark emailed in saying.  

But not everyone agrees vehicles should be banned from beaches.  

"The ridiculous council culture continues. It's ruining our country. Driving on the beach is not a problem. It's the very few who choose to drive dangerously. Deal to them alone, which can be done under existing laws," a viewer named Richard emailed in saying. 

Watch the video above for more.