Date: 26 February 2019
DOC is working closely with Hastings District Council who are managing the response to the landslides at Cape Kidnappers, says DOC’s Heritage and Visitors Director, Steve Taylor.
“We take this matter and the safety of visitors extremely seriously. Immediately after the incident the department initiated an internal investigation to examine our processes and inform our future work.”
“New Zealand is a geologically dynamic environment. Natural hazards are an inherent part of nature and many of the most interesting landscapes and features that people are drawn to. While DOC can never fully eliminate all hazards in the outdoors, managing risks to our visitors is a critical part of the department’s work, including assessing, prioritising and treating significant hazards that could impact visitors,” says Steve Taylor.
“There is freedom of access to conservation areas which is a right all New Zealanders and overseas visitors enjoy. As individuals are responsible for ensuring their own safety, alongside providing quality facilities, DOC’s primary focus for managing risk is to provide the right information in the right way, so visitors can made good decisions regarding what level of risk they are comfortable with.”
“We continually review these systems to ensure best practice including how and what information we provide and work with others like the Mountain Safety Council on safety advice for visitors.”
“As part of this work, it’s standard for DOC to undertake an investigation after incidents of this gravity occur in order to fully understand any underlying causes, and that’s the purpose of our current investigation.”
Cape Kidnappers Walking Track was part of a DOC network of five ‘Day Hikes’. These Day Hikes were selected from existing tracks in 2017 alongside a ‘Short Walk’ network. The walkway incorporates a number of land tenures with DOC administering a small section of the walk, called Black Reef Nature Reserve, and Cape Kidnappers Gannet Protection Reserve.
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