Date: 23 November 2012
The Tongariro Alpine Crossing remains closed, due to GNS advice that Te Maari could still erupt at any time with little or no warning following the latest eruption.
Barriers are in place at both the Mangatepopo and Ketetahi Road ends. Oturere and Mangatepopo huts remain closed.
A great alternative scenic walk for keen trampers is the southern section of the Tongariro Northern Circuit between Whakapapa Village through to the Waihohonu Hut, including the Tama Lakes, or further through to the Desert Rd.
The Department of Conservation is undertaking best practice risk assessment that indicates that late next week some tracks on the Tongariro Alpine Crossing and Northern Circuit may be open for use, and the Mangatepopo road end may be open.
DOC is very aware of the economic impact on local communities of having the Tongariro Alpine Crossing closed. While wishing to re-open the track as soon as possible, public safety remains the paramount concern.
On Friday 23 November 2012, the Minister of Conservation met with representatives from DOC, GNS, Iwi, the tourism industry, and district councils.
6 August 2012: Te Maari Crater first erupted at midnight. The Tongariro Alpine Crossing was re-opened in stages as GNS monitoring and advice showed that risks to people decreased. The full Tongariro Alpine Crossing was re-opened for Labour weekend. A 1 km hazard zone and Ngati Tuwharetoa Rāhui from the crater is still in place and volcanic hazard flyers were distributed at all entrances to the track.
21 November 2012: Small eruption at 1:30pm which was restricted within 200 m from the vent, while the Tongariro Alpine Crossing was open with a 1 km hazard zone in place. No one was hurt.
Bhrent Guy, Programme Manager Community Relations
Department of Conservation Ruapehu
Ph: +64 7 892 3468