Tamaterau Reserve car park construction

  • Project typeInfrastructure improvement
  • Project scheduleMid February – late April 2023
  • Contractor nameHauraki and Sons
Photo of Tamaterau beach showing new carpark, vegetation and bollards.

The project has been developed because of community concerns about safety, the environment, the visitor experience, and swimming in that area.

Work commenced on 13 February 2023 on the Tamaterau Reserve main car park. The construction completed in April 2023.

The parking area, grassy areas and drainage have all be improved at Tamaterau's increasingly popular beach.

The work will make the area safer for people parking, visiting the hall and using the beach.  

These improvements are part of a larger project to improve and protect the reserve, raise awareness of the cultural significance the area holds for many hapū, and to share and celebrate its long and rich history of occupation and cultivation.

What we are doing

Here is a summary of the project:

Tamaterau carpark improvements - project summary(PDF, 475KB)

We made the following improvements:

  • New concrete driveway to the Tamaterau Hall (replacing the metal one), including accessible car park and improvements around the hall
  • Kerb and bollards around the main car park to prevent vehicle access onto the beach – 4 bollards carved by local manawhenua
  • Reinstatement of a two-metre wide grass strip between the car park and beach
  • Renewing of the existing metal car park
  • Stormwater improvements to improve drainage and direct stormwater flows
  • Improvements to better protect the stream from stormwater coming from the car park.

A graphical map showing built features at Tamaterau Beach.

Why we have undertaken the project

The project has been developed because of community concerns about safety, the environment, the visitor experience, and swimming in that area.

Following approaches to us by Discover Whangarei and the community, money for this project came from government’s Tourism Infrastructure fund in 2019.

The vision is to improve public safety, protect the natural reserve, raise awareness of the cultural significance the area holds for hapū and the residents, and to share and celebrate its long and rich history of occupation and cultivation.


Tamaterau is becoming more popular every year. Its population is increasing and more tourists and people involved in water-sports are visiting. It’s also a popular freedom-camping area.

More Whangārei residents are also seeking a sheltered and safe beach for families to enjoy, close to the city.

With more people visiting the beach every year and less separation between people and vehicles, the chances of an accident between a child and a trailer are increasing. There are many nearby facilities available for launching boats.


Stormwater run-off from the car park has affected a significant tree near the car park so new kerb and channelling, and a rain-garden, will help to manage that.

Vehicles driving across grass from the car park to the beach are eroding the edge of the car park, making it more prone to flooding and erosion on spring or king tides. 

Vehicles also damage shellfish under the gravel on the beach. Bollards will protect both the car park and the foreshore.

Planting by the stream will further improve the environment for eels and other in-stream fauna.

Project history

Public meetings about the design were held in 2019.  Concerns raised included:

  • environmental damage
  • the way the bay and reserve are used
  • problems with the old infrastructure
  • ways to improve the area
  • ways to tell the history of the location.

Specific consultation and engagement was also undertaken with the three hapu of the area; Ngāti Pūkenga ki Pakikaikutu, Ngāti Tu, and Ngāti Kahu o Torongare.

The original construction schedule was interrupted by COVID-19, but began last year with upgrades to the pull-over area. Commuters appreciate the pull-over area’s improvements last year. This year’s work, the second stage, will improve the area for recreational visitors and hall users.

A new concrete driveway will replace the old gravel one up to the hall. An accessible car park will be added and there will be a general tidy-up around the hall.

Bollards, including four carved by mana whenua, will be installed around the main car park to keep vehicles off the beach and make the area safer for beach users.

The two-metre wide strip of grass between the car park and beach will be refreshed and the gravel in the car park will be renewed.

Drainage will be improved to control stormwater flows and protect the stream from stormwater coming from the car park. 


Before construction began on the first part of the project (the pull-in bay), consultation on the whole project (including the parking area) was carried out with a number of individuals and groups. 

These included members of the public, the Parua Bay residents group, the Tamaterau Community Hall Committee, Discover Whangarei Heads and Backyard Kiwi, and the three hapū groups connected with the site: Ngāti Pūkenga, Ngāti Kahu o Torongare and Ngāti Tu.


24 June 2019

Tamaterau Community Hall Committee and Discover Whangarei Heads group  

5 August 2019

Public meeting at the Tamaterau Hall. Twelve people from the local community attended.

All supported the design (the first design had the main car park sealed and with kerb and channel edging). The design change from a sealed car park to a metal car park was one of the changes made as a result of the consultation process and a request to maintain the character of the current car park.

Unfortunately an unsealed metal car park design does not work well a kerb and channel edging, and so bollards were put in their place.

While the bollards along the water-facing edge of the car park were not in the first design, this decision met a key purpose of the design, to keep vehicles within the car park area.

September 2019

Communications with Discover Whangarei Heads and Backyard Kiwi with then ward councillor. Focus was on making the location a gateway and installing tourism signage.


Meetings with hapū reps in February, August, September and October 2020. Then ward councillor present and involved.

October 2020

Cultural Impact Assessment preparation started, further consultation with hapū. Completed by March 2021.


Decision made to deliver project into two stages. Stage 1 Layby 2022. Stage 2 Main carpark 2023. 


650 Whangarei Heads Road, Tamaterau 0174  View Map

Google Map