Date: 20 April 2017
Two recent storm events in the Waikato region have caused significant damage to the Hakarimata Summit Track at Ngaruawahia, resulting in its closure until repairs can be completed.
Department of Conservation Waikato Operations manager Ray Scrimgeour says the track damage was assessed yesterday (19 April 2017) by consulting engineers and their report will give DOC a better understanding of what is required to remedy the damage and how long it might take.
"It is evident even from our own visual assessments that the track has fallen away in at least three places and there has been significant movement of one stairway section away from the hillside towards the adjacent stream."
"We know from past experience there is no ‘quick fix’ for this sort of damage. Again, the engineering report will identify these issues but we are no doubt looking at the need for retaining walls to protect track formation and possibly building consent processes before we can start work on reconstruction."
Ray Scrimgeour says DOC is well aware of the important part the Hakarimata stairs play in the lives of many local residents who have turned it into ‘some sort of giant outdoor gymnasium’, with annual usage possibly in excess of 200,000 people.
"We thank the people for exercising patience while the track is under repairs and remind them of the popular Kauri Loop Track just a few kilometres down the road at the Huntly end of the Hakarimata range."
The first section of track is situated on land administered by Waikato District Council, while the upper section traverses Hakarimata Scenic reserve. DOC will be posting progress with repair work on its website.
For media enquiries contact:
Des Williams, DOC Communications Advisor
Mobile: +64 27 483 3465