Piha’s marketing drawback: Tourists told of beauty and black sand, but not danger & More Trending News


Auckland’s Piha Beach is usually touted as a vacationer vacation spot, but lifeguards say there’s a disconnect between the way in which it’s portrayed and the precise risks.

Visitors are sometimes marketed a picture of lovely black sand seashores. But folks additionally must get the message that the ocean is “not safe, or your friend”, mentioned Surf Life Saving Northern Region chief government Matt Williams.

On Saturday, pals Saurin Nayakumar Patel and Anshul Shah died at North Piha, regardless of lifeguards’ makes an attempt to rescue them after patrols had ended for the day.

The pair, who have been latest migrants to Aotearoa, have been swimming in an space identified to be harmful, Williams mentioned.

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On a listing of high 10 issues to do in Auckland on the 100% Pure New Zealand web site, Piha is described as being “popular with experienced surfers, but also wonderful for picnics, relaxing walks and swims”.

A spokesperson from Tourism NZ, which runs the 100% Pure NZ web site, mentioned they took the protection of guests severely and labored with security businesses to supply details about protected journey – together with water security – on their web site.

YouTube movies selling New Zealand from Expedia and Lonely Planet additionally featured Piha, together with a number of journey vloggers mentioning it in movies.

Moveable signs on Piha Beach advise the public of areas that are dangerous.


Moveable indicators on Piha Beach advise the general public of areas which might be harmful.

Senior Piha lifeguard Dr Jonathon Webber, mentioned there’s a “disconnect” between the way in which Piha was promoted and the knock-on results.

“We have these issues with Hot Water Beach and Muriwai too – these are tourist destinations that can be dangerous.”

Tātaki Auckland Unlimited’s head of customer financial system Annie Dundas mentioned it was a “tragedy” two lives had been misplaced at Piha over the weekend and the coastlines might be “beautiful but unpredictable”.

“We promote a range of attractions and activities across the region, including Piha. It is a treasured taonga that attracts tens of thousands of visitors each year, but all water activities pose risk.

A warning sign near part of North Piha Beach warning swimmers to stay out of the water.


A warning sign near part of North Piha Beach warning swimmers to stay out of the water.

“We advise anyone who visits our coastlines – particularly those unfamiliar with surf beaches – to understand the conditions, observe any signs about swimming conditions, and know their limitations.”

Webber believed to assist maintain Piha protected lifeguards have been wanted on the seashore from nightfall to daybreak.

“In Australia at their popular tourist beaches, like Surfers Paradise and Bondi, they have lifeguards patrolling through the morning until sunset because they know drownings aren’t a good look for tourist destinations.

“They also have information at the airport about swimming between the coloured flags. If we’re going to promote these destinations to visitors we need to provide them with the services needed.”

Lifeguards were patrolling Piha Beach until after Easter weekend.


Lifeguards have been patrolling Piha Beach till after Easter weekend.

While Piha might be a harmful place to swim, Webber mentioned Piha’s drowning toll had been declining in recent times and deaths weren’t “frequent”.

But the deaths of Patel and Shah had proven there was room to “do a lot better” when it got here to protecting swimmers protected, Webber mentioned.

“They didn’t go there expecting to drown. They parked in the official car park and entered the water. They’ve been described as non-swimmers and probably had no idea it was so dangerous.”

Auckland Council’s normal supervisor of parks and neighborhood services Taryn Crewe, mentioned there was security signage put in at Piha, primarily based on suggestions from specialists within the space. It met Australasian requirements, she mentioned.

“This signage utilises internationally known and tested symbols that have been recommended by water safety experts to notify of risks.

”We proceed to encourage folks to do their analysis earlier than they swim, together with swimming at patrolled seashores, to the circumstances and not enterprise dangerous behaviour.”

Williams mentioned it was vital to recollect the ocean may be very harmful and folks wanted to swim between the flags.

“If you swim at an unpatrolled beach, or outside patrol hours, you are placing yourself at an incredible risk.”

Piha’s marketing drawback: Tourists told of beauty and black sand, but not danger

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Piha’s marketing drawback: Tourists told of beauty and black sand, but not danger

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Piha’s marketing drawback: Tourists told of beauty and black sand, but not danger

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