Beach access to Cape Kidnappers goes through an active rockfall zone
Image: DOC

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


The track to the Cape Kidnappers/Te Kauwae-a-Māui Gannet Reserve will remain closed over Christmas while the results of a risk analysis report are fully reviewed.

Date:  23 December 2019

Following the injury of two tourists in a landslide along Cape Kidnappers earlier this year, the Department of Conservation and Hastings District Council commissioned a Quantitative Risk Analysis (QRA) to assess risk levels and provide better context for managing these risks.

The QRA report was due to be completed by October but was delayed due to weather conditions and a need to recapture drone survey information.

“Visitor safety has to be our top priority. It’s disappointing that we’re not in a position to make a decision before Christmas, but we appreciate the patience and understanding of the community while we ensure we have a solid grasp of the risks,” says DOC Hawke’s Bay Operations Manager Jenny Nelson-Smith.

“The QRA is being independently reviewed to ensure that we have a full understanding of the level of risk so that we can manage it effectively. Only at that point will we be comfortable to make a decision about reopening the reserve.”

People will still have access to Clifton Beach, which has been open since June. Hastings District Council will continue to manage and monitor the section of beach it administers as per their interim risk management plan. There is also still private access to the gannet colony overland.

Rockfalls and landslides can happen at any time, Jenny Nelson-Smith adds, so any visitors to the open section of the beach should be aware of this before heading out over summer.


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