Media Release from Department of Conservation
The patience of the many avid users of the infamous Hakarimata Summit track is soon to be rewarded, and it won't be too long before fitness fans and nature lovers can run up its 1349 steps again.
The Department of Conservation (DOC) accepted a quote from a builder this morning, who has started sourcing materials for the work.
"We can be confident that by next week progress will be made and we will have a builder on site," says Ray Scrimgeour, Waikato DOC Operations Manager. "We see this an important visitor facility, which we want to have back to normal as soon as possible."
Although some people have ignored signs saying the track is closed, Mr Scrimgeour thanks the public for their support and patience and commends the majority of users who have respected the need to stay off the track pending repairs.
"As soon as work starts, nobody can go on site, " he warned. " We will have to take the stairs out of the damaged section, so there will be no thoroughfare. It will be a construction site, and too dangerous for anyone except authorised personnel to be in there”.
The track, which has over 200,000 people running or walking up and down it per year, has been closed since April, when two storm events caused significant structural damage to the track.
Because of the nature of the damage, an engineer’s report was sought, and design plans obtained which needed approval before work could start.
“The Department of Conservation would like to thank all those members of the public who have offered support and advocated patience on and off social media”, says Mr Scrimgeour. “We will be installing barriers to prevent access to the track and would appreciate users spreading the word to keep off the track until work is completed.”
“Once we have the track reopened DOC would also like to put some attention to increasing the focus on biodiversity restoration work within the Scenic Reserve. The many offers of support for assisting with rebuilding the walking track have been very encouraging,” continues Mr Scrimgeour. “I’m hopeful that some of these people may be interested in assisting with other conservation work with the Reserve. If you are interested in this DOC would love to hear from you”.
Jane Hughes, Community Ranger:
027 536 6782