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Safety is the first priority

As with any ocean beach, it is important to be careful when having fun!

Swimming within the surf club flags is recommended. Refer to Surf Club website.

If swimming or surfing in other areas, take note of the conditions of currents, rips, tides, wind and surf.

Surfers and swimmers should avoid the estuary mouth and be aware of boats in the navigation channel.

The estuary low tide is approximately 60-90 minutes later than the ocean tide, depending on recent rain and ocean swell.

Boating or kayaking: when going out to sea, know the boating code, check the weather, and make sure someone knows your intentions. Share your plans!

It is recommended that you navigate the estuary channel carefully, and cross the ocean bar two hours either side of high tide

There is a rock in the channel to watch out for.

Ensure you have all the relevant safety equipment, such as a correctly sized life jacket for each person on board (a legal requirement), essential equipment and emergency communications. This is the skipper's responsibility.

More information is available on which has an excellent free safe boating pack, and also on

Caring for our beaches and coastline

Please help to protect our beach dunes by only using the marked-out pathway down to the beach or use the closest beach access.

There are numerous marked access ways, most with sand ladders, along Pukehina Parade, to provide safe routes to both the beach and the estuary. Please use these to protect the sand dunes from damage.

Coast Care know that native dune plants play a vital role, binding light blowing sand onto the beach, and making stable sand dunes. Without these plants, the sand blows away and dunes disappear leaving the land vulnerable.

Grazing by stock, excavation for development, introduction of exotic plant species and trampling by pedestrian have significantly reduced the abundance of these specialised native dune plants. Many dunes are fenced for protection.

The Coast Care Coordinator and Coast Care contractors offer advice on reducing and repairing dune damage, help facilitate activities, and supply the volunteers with free resources.

The resources include native dune plants, informative brochures, fertilisers and building materials for constructing fences and sand ladders and great morning and afternoon teas on project days!

The Western Bay of Plenty District Council is responsible for the maintenance of the existing sand ladders.

Coast Care, Bay of Plenty Regional Council, is a community partnership programme, which uses local knowledge and enthusiasm to restore the form and function of the dunes in the Bay of Plenty. Ph: 0800 884 880 or 0800 368 267 or

The dunes are the backbone of our beaches, the buffer between the land and the sea. A properly functioning beach system will contain a wide, well vegetated and gently sloping dune, which is a reservoir of sand. During a storm the dune is a sacrificial zone, buffering the effects of large waves.

Shellfish and Fishing in Pukehina

We are fortunate to have an abundant supply of shellfish in our area.

Most of the year we all enjoy collecting and eating these delicacies.

At times, there are health warnings that apply to all bi-valve shellfish including mussels, pipi, tuatua, cockles, oysters, scallops as well as cat's eyes and kina (sea urchin). Shellfish in the affected area should not be taken or consumed.

Paua, crayfish and crabs can still be taken but, as always, the gut should be removed before cooking.

Consumption of shellfish affected by the paralytic shellfish toxin can cause numbness and tingling around the mouth, face or extremities; difficulty swallowing or breathing; dizziness; double vision; and in severe cases, paralysis and respiratory failure. These symptoms usually occur within 12 hours of a person consuming affected shellfish. Anyone suffering illness after eating shellfish should seek urgent medical attention.

For up to date information on health warnings in the Bay of Plenty please visit and click on health warnings or call 0800 221 555 and select option 7 to speak to the on call health protection officer.