Calls to permanently ban vehicles from Muriwai Beach after girl killed

  • 22/01/2024
Two Westpac Rescue Helicopters were sent to the scene on Muriwai Beach.
Two Westpac Rescue Helicopters were sent to the scene on Muriwai Beach. Photo credit: Auckland Rescue Helicopter Trust

There are renewed calls for a vehicle ban on Auckland's Muriwai Beach after a person died and two others were injured when a ute rolled. 

Emergency services, including two Westpac Rescue Helicopters, were called to Muriwai Beach shortly after 2:37pm on Sunday. 

It's been reported the deceased is a teenage girl.  

Witnesses told the NZ Herald a ute had been doing burnouts on the beach, with a girl in the back, before the accident. 

Two males in their 20s were flown to Auckland City Hospital, one with serious injuries and one in a moderate condition.

Rodney Local Board Chair Brent Bailey told RNZ it is time for "some leadership" from central government so local boards can make rules around access, speed limits and managing behaviour.

"It's incredibly complex legislatively to change access to the regional park". 

Bailey said there should be greater control over who could access the beach.

"We need to say that only licensed people can access the beach for a legitimate reasons and wholesale unsupervised access is going to be a thing of the past".

Auckland Council general manager, parks and community facilities Taryn Crewe expressed their condolences after the crash. 

"We are deeply saddened by the tragedy that occurred at Muriwai Beach", Crewe said. "In partnership with Ngāti Whātua o Kaipara, Auckland Council is supporting the implementation of a rāhui in respect of this loss.".

The beach has temporarily been closed to vehicles, while a review is carried out. 

"We have worked hard over the years to introduce measures at Muriwai Beach that aim to enhance safety and protect this fragile environment," Crewe said. "We are working closely with the Rodney Local Board, iwi and emergency services on this and will continue to review how we can manage this popular West Coast beach area in the future."

Police have confirmed the two men in hospital are now in a "stable condition".

The Serious Crash Unit investigation is ongoing.