In New Zealand a road is nothing else but a “legal road”.
If you happen to come across a sign that says “Our Roads are Shared Footpaths” please disregard this message as it is quite removed from the reality of road usage in New Zealand.
Footpaths are, for the most part, non existent on Great Barrier Island.
As a pedestrian on Great Barrier Island please do everything possible to protect your own personal safety & to ensure you do not become a hazard to other road users.
In most situations as a pedestrian, you do not have the right of way, regardless of how long you have been a visitor to the island.
There are a few exceptions such as pedestrian crossings & courtesy crossings, neither of which exist on Great Barrier Island.
Also, many drivers are blissfully unaware of the give way rules at intersections so, as a pedestrian, it is in your own interests to be fully aware of your surroundings at all times and the dangers that are associated with your surroundings.
SO PLEASE… FOR YOUR OWN SAFETY…
Whether you are a pedestrian or cyclist…
If vehicle traffic is approaching please revert to a single file formation & move to the left or off the road as much as you possibly can until that traffic has safely passed.
If you choose to travel 2 – 3 abreast in the middle of the road without making any effort to allow vehicle traffic to pass safely, as so many do, you are literally taking your life into your own hands and the responsibility is entirely yours.
Please do not randomly slow to a crawl or stop in the middle of the road to appreciate the view or whatever else might take your fancy.
By doing so you are disrupting the flow of traffic which is an offence in New Zealand.
Please be a responsible driver and pull over to the side of the road so other traffic can pass to ensure you are not creating a hazard for every other road user.
The first rule of driving on New Zealand roads is to keep left as far as is practicable.
The roads on Great Barrier Island are not very wide with few centre lines so you must always be aware of the keep left rule.
The last thing any of us want is to witness, or be involved in a head on collision – the results are usually disastrous.
During peak periods there are many people that perform totally bizarre & dangerous manoeuvres on our roads with seemingly no regard for other road users.
There are also many “free range children” walking around.
Gravel roads are common & particularly dangerous, if you have to hit the brakes you will skid for at least 6 metres before you will stop.
Visitors & locals alike need to be aware of this and reduce speed accordingly.
USE YOUR INDICATORS!
If you do not employ the most basic of vehicle accessories how are we to predict your actions?
The confusion created can easily result in totally unavoidable accidents & road rage incidents.
WEAR A HELMET!
If you are riding a motorcycle, scooter, trike, quad or bicycle please ensure you are wearing the appropriate head gear.
Riding without a helmet is an offence, choosing not to wear a helmet is just plain foolish.
Motor cycle accidents can be quite horrendous for our first responders, head injuries are common, brain damage is usually the result.
Speaking from experience, the last thing any of us want to do is scrape your blood & brains off the road because you think it is cool to ride around without a helmet.
BRING A GOOD TORCH!
There is no street lighting on Great Barrier Island & a good torch is essential.
Without one the chances of falling into a ditch or off a bank in the middle of the night are quite high.
You will find a head torch to be the most useful thing you have ever owned when spending time here.
There is no lifeguard service on Great Barrier Island.
If you are not a confident swimmer the west coast beaches offer the safest swimming for all ages ( Tryphena ).
East coast beaches are open to Pacific Ocean swells, currents & rips and can be very dangerous for the inexperienced.
Learn how to spot rips and dangerous conditions before venturing in & don’t ever swim alone, too many people drown in New Zealand by not knowing how to spot these dangers.
CASH IS KING!
There are no ATM’s or banks on Great Barrier Island.
Bottlenecks usually occur at the local stores around the electronic payment devices.
You can easily avoid lengthy wait times by having cash on hand.
A discreet money belt is the safest way to carry your cash.
THINK SAFE, BE SAFE!
After all of that…
PLEASE REMOVE YOUR OWN RUBBISH!
For some bizarre reason our local authority has seen fit to remove the majority of public rubbish bins on the island.
The majority of people have no problem with removing their own waste but if you are in the minority please be aware that as residents we end up taking responsibility for your laziness & disregard for the environment.
BOATIES, PLEASE DO NOT THROW YOUR RUBBISH OVERBOARD!
It all washes up on our beaches and again, as residents we end up taking responsibility for your laziness & disregard for the environment.
PLEASE CHECK FOR STOWAWAYS!
Keeping unwanted species out is extremely important for Great Barrier Island.
When traveling to Great Barrier Island there is a risk of transporting invasive species as stowaways in, or on your luggage, supplies, materials and vehicles.
Please check all your belongings, vehicles & boats before departing to help in reducing these risks as much as possible.
HELP FIGHT KAURI DIEBACK!
Kauri dieback is a disease that kills most, if not all the native Kauri trees it infects.
Whenever you enter or leave a forest area please clean all soil off your footwear and other gear and then disinfect.
Cleaning stations are provided in many locations around Great Barrier Island for this purpose.
Please stay on the designated tracks to help prevent the spread of this disease.
AND ABOVE ALL… PLEASE…