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Tongariro National Park Management Plan partial review

23 June 2017

Tongariro National Park Management Plan partial review – effective engagement

The public was asked to get involved with the Tongariro National Park Management Plan (TNPMP) partial review and they have, with 53 submissions received and 19 submitters speaking to their submissions at the hearings earlier this month.

The hearing panel comprised of representatives from the Tongariro Taupō Conservation Board and Department of Conservation staff.

The panel heard a range of views from submitters on the proposed partial review. Changes will be made to the proposal taking into consideration the written and verbal submissions.

The panel are considering amendments to the TNPMP for the creation of:

an off Ohakune Mountain Road alternative shared walking/cycling track (substantially Grade 2) which would also improve the current end of the Departments Round the Mountain walk;

a shared loop track to connect with the historic Ohakune Old Coach Road, which may also reduce returning cyclists using SH 4 and 49 (Grade 2/3);

a small 600m section providing for the connective off road walking and cycling link between National Park Village and Ohakune to be completed, and

allowing e-bikes on those tracks (and on the Old Coach Road and Pillars of Hercules track, where mountain bikes are currently used).

Several submitters spoke about the detail of future proposals, two discussed the principles of the World Heritage National Park, several described e-bikes, both the positives and the negatives and the role of events as fundraisers was also discussed.

Expert trail designers and mountain bikers encouraged the panel to ensure any future focused policy framework required effective trail design.

They said such an approach would resolve concerns about erosion, maintenance and improve sight lines to reduce conflict. One submitter encouraged the panel to further explain why these trails are needed within the Tongariro National Park and encouraged consideration of mountain biking outside the park.

Three submitters reminded the panel the key driver for the partial review was to provide an alternative off mountain road safe passage for walker and cyclists.

Ngāti Rangi’s submission supported the off-road track down the Ohakune Mountain Road for safety reasons and the iwi have been involved with the project since the off-road track was first identified in 2011.

The Conservation Board has supported DOC in advancing this partial review.

The Minister of Conservations’ views will be sought by the New Zealand Conservation Authority once they have formally received the proposed amendments for their approval likely to be in August or September 2017. The New Zealand Conservation Authority can make any changes to the proposal before approving or declining the proposed amendments


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