Update on work at Tamaterau Beach

Published on 23 February 2023

A graphical map showing built features at Tamaterau Beach.

We’ve seen a bit of discussion lately about the work on the parking area at Tamaterau Beach.

The project has been developed because of community concerns about safety, the environment, the visitor experience, and swimming in that area. This extra information and diagram might help people wanting to know about the project.

Following approaches to us by Discover Whangārei 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, and 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.