One more week for beach access mat in Tauranga

Beach access mat. Photo: Supplied by TCC

It’s the final week for the Mount Maunganui beach access mat before it will be lifted and put away over winter.

“We hope everyone has enjoyed using our bright blue beach access mat,” wrote Tauranga City Council on their Facebook page. “With autumn upon us, it’s time to lift the mat until next summer.

“The last day the mat will be in place is Monday, 13 May. A big thanks to Smart Environmental for looking after the mat for us over the summer period.”

The Omanu Beach Surf Club trialled a mat this season at the beach access, which was well-received by beach goers.

“We hope it will be back next summer,” was one of the comments on the TCC Facebook page.

On the initiative of council’s Community Development team, the mat was trialled at Mount Maunganui Main Beach in December 2016.

The matting was purchased the following year thanks to donations from Metro Marketing, Harbour City Lions and a private donor.

The summer season this year for the bright blue beach access mat started on December 17 2018, where it was back at Mount Maunganui Main Beach for everyone to enjoy. It was also used on New Year’s Eve at the Papamoa New Year’s celebration at Gordon Spratt Reserve to assist people with mobility challenges to access the event.

The portable, rollout mat creates a sturdy and visible path to the beach for people who generally cannot get onto the beach or move across the sand, like those using wheelchairs, mobility scooters or strollers.

Dani Jurgeleit, Team Leader: Community Development says the mat is rolled out again in December and it’s great that Tauranga is leading the way in helping everyone enjoy the beach.

“This is the first council-owned access mat in New Zealand,” says Dani. “We are working towards Tauranga being a fully inclusive city, and this initiative supports that goal. We’re excited to see the mat back in action again this summer.”

The mat will be in place at the walkway next to the cenotaph on Marine Parade (opposite Pacific Avenue/Mount Drury) for one more week.

It is intended that it remains available throughout the summer period, however, a section of the mat or the entire mat is sometimes needed to be rolled up due to extreme weather, such as a king tide.

Ongoing support and maintenance is provided by Smart Environmental.

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