Taranaki Crossing boardwalks
Image: DOC

Introduction

Development of the Taranaki Crossing enters a new phase this month when work recommences to upgrade the existing track network from Pouakai Hut through to Manganui ski field.

Date:  08 November 2021

“This phase of work will result in 95% of the tracks forming the Taranaki Crossing being upgraded,” says Department of Conservation (DOC) Taranaki Crossing Project Manager Carl Whittleston.

”Eroding, meandering and uneven sections of the track will be addressed to reduce environmental and cultural impact on the maunga. We will be focussed on improving the condition of track and drainage, and enhancing the resilience of the tracks long-term.

“Respective iwi and hapū are involved in conducting karakia ceremonies to acknowledge the commencement of work taking place on each section of track.”

The upgrade work is expected to run through until May 2022, and consists of five different track sections:

  • Track section 1: Continuing work from Pouakai Hut – Holly Hut, commencing in December. A significant part of this work, including the boardwalk over Ahukawakawa, was completed last summer.
  • Track section 2: Holly Hut – Jacob’s Ladder (AMC/Holly Hut track junction), due to commence 15 November 2021.
  • Track section 3: North Egmont Visitor Centre – Jacob’s Ladder, commenced 8 November 2021.
  • Track section 4: Tahurangi Lodge – Jacob’s Ladder starting in December.
  • Track section 5: Tahurangi Lodge – Manganui Ski field due to commence 8 November 2021.

Work to date has included upgrading parts of the Mangorei track, and building 1.4 km of boardwalk over Ahukawakawa and Pouakai Ranges.

The upgrade of the track from Wilkies Pools to the Plateau will be completed by Christmas.

The Taranaki Crossing is an exciting project for the region, and it has been making steady progress.

“We are excited the next phase of major work scheduled for the summer of 2021–2022 is underway, which will see four contractors upgrading the major track network from Pouakai Hut through to the Manganui Gorge,” Carl Whittleston says.

A major feature of the Taranaki Crossing is the involvement of iwi and hapū working alongside DOC to make informed cultural and environmental decisions on the work underway. This is integral to upholding the mana and mauri (life force) of the maunga and ngā iwi o Taranaki.

“The track upgrades will see a heightened protection of biodiversity on the maunga, increased safety for users and will provide an experience that is consistent throughout the entire Taranaki Crossing route,” says Gareth Hopkins, DOC’s Taranaki District Operations Manager.

There has been a focus on social procurement and delivering regional benefit through these contracts. DOC is looking at ways contractors can incorporate local labour, materials and organisations from the Taranaki region in their work.

DOC has connected contractors to local organisations such as The Ministry of Social Developtment, Tupuānuku and local iwi networks in the efforts to employ local rangatahi, with 12 additional locals being employed so far for the works.

Delivery of the Taranaki Crossing has been funded as part of the $13.4 million from Kānoa – Regional Economic Development and Investment Unit’s Provincial Growth Fund, and $4.9m by DOC.

Current visitor information

  • All tracks on the Taranaki Crossing will remain open, however there may be up to 30-minute delays and diversions when work is in progress.
  • Track closures may also be required intermittently for high-risk works such as helicopter operations.
  • If you are planning to complete the Pouakai Crossing section please allow for an additional hour of delays and include this in your planning.
  • Each section will have up to date signage. DOC Visitor Centre staff and the DOC website will also be kept up to date accordingly.
  • There will be no work in progress over the Christmas and New Year break (24 December to 5 January).

Background information

Taranaki Crossing project webpage

Taranaki Crossing seeks to develop a high-quality visitor experience on Taranaki Maunga in Egmont National Park. The Taranaki Crossing refers to the main track network enabling visitors to travel by foot from Dawson Falls along the slopes of the maunga, across the Ahukawakawa wetland and over the Pouakai Ranges to the end of Mangorei Road. The journey can be experienced as a series of day walks, or a multi-day tramp.

Contact

For media enquiries contact:

Email: media@doc.govt.nz

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