Archived content: This media release was accurate on the date of publication. 


Work on the Tarawera Trail track will soon begin as a certificate of compliance from Rotorua District Council gives the go ahead to start building.

Date:  07 January 2010

Work on the Tarawera Trail track will soon begin as a certificate of compliance from Rotorua District Council gives the go ahead to start building. The certificate of compliance recognises that the walking track meets the key objectives of the District Plan which are to encourage public access and reconnect tangata whenua to the land.

This allows the Department, to start building the track from Rapatu Bay/Hot Water Beach to Oneroa and establishes the criteria that need to be met for the remainder of the track from Te Wairoa Valley to Te Ariki. As long as these criteria are met the track does not require a resource consent as it is a permitted activity under the District Plan.

The trail is an exciting addition to Rotorua’s outdoor experiences as a 42 km multi-day walk around iconic Lake Tarawera. It is also part of a wider concept to involve a network of tracks that could potentially link other scenic locations such as Lakes Rotorua, Tikitapu, Rotokakahi, Okareka, Rotomahana and Okataina.

"The trail is a three stage project. While the certificate of compliance is focused on construction of the first part of stage 1, it reinforces that the remainder of walking track is a permitted activity as long as it continues to meet the criteria under the district plan," says Tracey May, Planning Services Manager for Council.  "Subsequent parts of the project, such as the construction of facilities that enhance the track, the car park and entry at Te Wairoa, will need to meet a higher test through the resource consent process."

The trail is a partnership between the Department of Conservation and several Maori land owning trusts that border Lake Tarawera and Te Wairoa Valley. The trusts see this as a start of the return to the land they left after the 1886 devastating eruption. A steering group was established consisting of tangata whenua, Tarawera Residents and Ratepayers, Te Puni Kokiri, the Te Arawa Lakes Trust and the Department of Conservation, to co-ordinate the project and ensure that all views were considered to this point. Nicki Douglas, Rotorua Lakes Area Manager for the Department says that, "This is an important project for Rotorua and will attract both international visitors and locals alike. We are pleased to have the stamp of approval from Council that we have met the provisions of the District Plan."

Anaru Rangiheuea, the Chair of the Steering Group since its inception said "This is the start of the return of tangata whenua to Tarawera. This project has been 5 years in the making and I am so pleased that we can move forward to construction in 2010."

It is expected construction will begin in March 2010.


Bella Tait
DOC Rotorua Partnerships Ranger
Phone: +64 7 349 7414

Tawhiri Morehu
Spokesperson for the Tarawera Trail Trust and Landowner
Mobile: +64 27 280 9162

Anaru Rangiheuea
Chair, Tarawera Trail Steering Group
Phone: +64 7 362 8858

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