From today, the bright blue beach access mat will be back at Mount Maunganui Main Beach for everyone to enjoy.
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 it’s great Tauranga is leading the way in helping everyone enjoy the beach.
“This is the first council-owned access mat in New Zealand. 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 is in place at the walkway next to the cenotaph on Marine Parade (opposite Pacific Avenue/Mount Drury).
It is intended that it will remain available throughout the summer period, however, a section of the mat or the entire mat may need to be rolled up due to extreme weather, such as a king tide.
“Keep an eye out for the flag at the access mat walkway – if the flag is out that means the mat is out and available for use,” says Dani.
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.
Ongoing support and maintenance is provided by Smart Environmental.