Date: 07 August 2012
The Department of Conservation says tracks and huts on Mt Tongariro will remain closed for the immediate future while GNS experts continue to assess volcanic activity on the mountain.
GNS has described the overnight eruption at Te Maari Crater as a small scale hydrothermal event and volcanic specialists are continuing to monitor the situation.
Ruapehu Area Manager Nic Peet says earlier today DOC and police staff visited all four huts on Mt Tongariro.
Ketetahi Hut, which is closest to the crater eruption and was unoccupied at the time, has suffered boulder damage.
He says the wider Tongariro National Park remains open with Mount Ruapehu and the Whakapapa and Turoa skifields unaffected by the event.
Nic Peet says DOC will be liaising closely with GNS, local councils and iwi over coming days and the public facilities on Mount Tongariro will remain closed until assessments indicate they can reopen.
DOC Duty Media Advisor +64 22 312 4313
Enquiries about the volcanic state of the mountain
Duty Volcanologist or Duty Media Advisor +64 7 374 8211
Enquiries about local authority issues
Taupo District Council Communications Manager +64 21 227 3781