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Maungawhau-Mt Eden: Changes at the top


Media release
12 December 2011

Maungawhau-Mt Eden: Changes at the top


Changes to vehicle access on Maungawhau-Mt Eden come into place on Monday 12 December. Heavy vehicles, including buses, will no longer be able to use the summit road and a new shuttle service is being added.

“This is a landmark change for Maungawhau-Mt Eden,” says Albert-Eden Local Board Chair Dr Peter Haynes.

“This is the first step to providing a greatly enhanced visitor experience, to protecting a cultural and archaeological site of great significance, and to securing UNESCO World Heritage status for our precious volcanic cones.”

Tour buses, once a familiar sight on the summit road, will now have dedicated access to a parking and drop-off area on the western side of the mountain.

“We have been working with bus operators and the tourism industry on enhancing the visitor experience at Maungawhau,” says Dr Haynes. “We thank them for their cooperation and look forward to continuing this work in the future.”

Visitors with limited mobility will be able to make the short journey to the summit on the free electric shuttle which departs at regular intervals from the historic Mt Eden kiosk building.

Auckland Council Parks, Recreation and Heritage Forum Chair Councillor Sandra Coney says Maungawhau and the volcanic cones are an important part of Auckland’s landscape.

“Auckland’s volcanic cones are a defining feature and a regional treasure, and this council is committed to their protection.

“These changes on Maungawhau were signaled in the reserve’s management plan in 2007 and we are delighted to see them finally implemented,” she says.

Chairman of the Tāmaki Collective of mana whenua, Paul Majurey, says “This outcome is long overdue given the final Maungawhau management plan confirmed this outcome over five years ago.”

Mr Majurey welcomed this initiative as it sets an important marker for future management decisions on the tūpuna maunga of Tāmaki Makaurau.

Light vehicles, which includes cars and vehicles under 3.5 tonnes and with less than 12 seats, are still permitted on the summit road. Emergency vehicles are also able to use the road.

The shuttle is a 12 month trial service. Auckland Council will carry out research into the demand for a shuttle and how it is used, with a view to establishing a permanent arrangement. The two 14-seater electric shuttles will be driven by mana whenua.

Ends


Notes for editors

• The distance between the kiosk drop off area and the summit is 297 metres
• Over the summer of 2011 (December-January) some roadworks will be carried out on the Maungawhau-Mt Eden summit road.
• This will include temporary closures for all vehicles, except for emergency vehicles and the shuttle.
• Work involves Installing devices at the entrance to prevent heavy vehicles using the summit road, enhancing the parking areas at the kiosk to create designated bus parking areas, installing a dedicated bus lane past the water reservoir; creating a pedestrian zone between the kiosk and the summit and updating signs on the site to reflect the changes.
• As yet, works have not been scheduled. When they begin, temporary closure signage will be put in place.

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