Opening up possibilities: Mobi-Mat makes Tāhunanui Beach more accessible14/04/2022 2:04pm
Caleb Harcus and his son, Ethan, trialled a new Mobi-Mat at Tāhunanui on Monday, a device that allows wheelchair users and those with strollers and walkers, who struggle to get over soft sand, to get closer to the water.
Caleb says the mat will allow him to spend time playing with Ethan at the beach.
“It’s great for me because, rather than waving from a distance over there on Rocks Road, I’ll be down in the action. That’s the main thing for me. It’s fabulous,” he says.
The Mobi-Mat is made from recycled materials and has been funded by Nelson Host Lions Club with some assistance from Nelson City Council.
Community and Recreation Chair Tim Skinner was thrilled to see the Mobi-Mat rolled out for the first time.
“As well as people who use wheelchairs and parents with strollers, the Mobi-Mat is a great way for anyone who has a mobility issue to get on to the beach. I can only imagine how frustrating it must have been for Caleb before now, and I am so pleased that he can now play on the beach with Ethan like any parent would expect.”
Weather permitting, the Mobi-Mat will make its debut this Easter weekend.
The Mobi-Mat will be stored and rolled out by Moana Paddle Nelson, which have a concession at the beach to hire, guide, and sell paddleboards and other light watercraft.
Community and Recreation Deputy Chair Yvonne Bowater said that it was a great example of community initiative and partnering, and applauded the efforts of the Lions Club, Moana Paddle and everyone involved.
"Sometimes we forget the challenges that members within our community face to access the wonderful 'spots' in our region. It's been an amazing collaborative process between the Tāhunanui community, businesses and Council to make one of Nelson's best-loved beaches more accessible."
Moana will roll the Mobi-Mat out on calm, sunny days when they are operating at the beach. To check if the Mobi-Mat has been rolled out, call Moana Paddle Nelson on 027 272 7259.
Council staff will update the Antenno App and our social media feeds to let people know when the Mobi-Mat is in operation during Winter months.
During Summer months, Council will update the public if the Mobi-Mat cannot be rolled out.