Date: 24 March 2017
The Department of Conservation has started a process to identify safer off road options for both walkers and bikers in response to concerns raised by the Ruapehu District Council, local groups and iwi over cyclists and walkers on the Mountain Road.
The formal process started late last year notifying our intention to undertake a partial review of the Tongariro National Park management plan, which provided public feedback for the Department to considered.
“Several submissions raised wider issues around updating the entire plan but the timing was not right to make new wide sweeping policy changes when the pressing issue is off road cycling and walking” says Alan Munn, DOC Operations Director, Central North Island.
The partial plan change has been notified today and is limited to enabling shared walking and off road cycling in three specific locations: Turoa to Ohakune; a loop section that adds to the Old Coach Road and, a short missing section near National Park.
A partial plan change is required to review the policy framework to enable the Department to consider future track options. “This partial plan change process is focused on a few policies that if approved would support community aspirations” explains Deidre Ewart, Special Project Manager, Central North Island. “This planning process includes several critical steps, including the public permission processes. Approval of the changes is required for the community to move forward to the next stage”.
The partial plan change also includes new policies regarding e-bikes. “It is essential to understand people’s views while also appreciating how e-bikes enable more New Zealanders to continue to be active. They allow people to enjoy our beautiful country with friends and family who, for a number of reasons, would not be able to” stated Pete Devlin, Technical Advisor Recreation.
The Department will be holding an open day for stakeholders, which will include view points of the proposed tracks. To register interest in this event please email TNPMPpartialreview@doc.govt.nz.
To get involved at this planning stage, view the draft policies and how to have your say.
Stacey Faire, Senior Ranger/Supervisor Community
Mobile: +64 27 542 8219