DOC has closed Motutapu Island, in the Hauraki Gulf, to protect the public.
Slips and washouts, caused by heavy rain, blocked the island’s roads and tracks and shut down key infrastructure.
A contractor has cleared the roads. But an assessment by a geotechnical engineer has identified four sites on Motutapu’s main road where there’s a risk that more heavy rain could trigger fresh slips.
Facilities used by the public on Motutapu are closed because of slips and washouts caused by the heavy rain. The camp ground, all toilets and the staff accommodation at Home Bay are closed. The island’s walking tracks are also closed.
“Because of the risk of further slips on the island’s main road and the shutdown of public facilities, we’re keeping the public off Motutapu,” says DOC Auckland Inner Islands Operations Manager Keith Gell.
The closure applies primarily to boat owners as the ferry service to Motutapu is limited to one sailing to Home Bay every two weeks.
“To keep them safe we’re not allowing boat owners to land on Motutapu,” says Keith Gell.
DOC is working with its partners on the island - the Motutapu Restoration Trust, the Motutapu Outdoor Education Camp Trust and Motutapu Farm Ltd - to enable them to have safe access to their facilities so they can address their storm damage.
“We’ve closed Motutapu to the public to keep the public safe,” says Keith Gell.
“The island is likely to be closed to the public for some time as mitigating the risk of further slips on the main road will be difficult. We regret any inconvenience this may cause. But keeping the public safe is our number one priority,” says Keith Gell.
Rangitoto Island, which is connected to Motutapu by a short bridge, is open. Ferry services and guided tours on Rangitoto are running as usual.