Local Govt | National News Video | Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Search


World-class visitor boardwalk coming to tihi of Maungawhau

14 October 2019

World-class visitor boardwalk coming to tihi of Maungawhau / Mt Eden

A new boardwalk planned for the crater rim at the tihi (summit) of Maungawhau / Mt Eden in Auckland will support this iconic Tūpuna Maunga (ancestral mountain) as a major New Zealand tourist destination and deliver much needed protection of important heritage features.

The boardwalk will include a viewing platform on the northern knoll at the summit, positioned for panoramic views over the Waitematā Harbour and Auckland city centre.

Construction begins mid-November 2019 and is scheduled for completion in early May 2020. Visitors can still access the summit road and the southern part of the summit. The crater loop track will be closed for the duration of works.

Paul Majurey, Chair of the Tūpuna Maunga Authority, says the boardwalk solution answers an urgent need to save the tihi from erosion and preserve the natural and cultural features that are of international significance.

“Maungawhau was one of the largest and most important pā in Tāmaki Makaurau and is of immense cultural, spiritual and historic significance to thirteen iwi and hapū of Ngā Mana Whenua o Tāmaki Makaurau.”

“Today Maungawhau is recognised as one of the most well-preserved pre-historic fortifications of its type in the world. Features of the original pā survive, including historic pā tūāpapa (terraces) and rua (pits) around the crater area, but the inadequate track is damaging them,” says Maurey.

The crater track was last upgraded over ten years ago with aggregate paths which are now significantly degraded. Aggregate has washed into the pā features and the track has uneven surfaces and deep ruts which are getting gradually worse through constant foot traffic and the channelling of rainwater.

The poor condition of the paths has caused people to make alternate tracks which are scarring the mountain. In places this has created a path over six meters wide.

“With more than one million people visiting Maungawhau every year and with that number expected to rise, the time is right to build a ‘best of class’ track solution that can support the numbers and offer an enhanced and safer walking experience, while also preserving historic features,” says Majurey.

“The Auckland maunga, including Maungawhau / Mt Eden, are already on the tentative list for UNESCO World Heritage Status. There is much to be done before a formal bid to UNESCO is submitted, and a key part is demonstrating that the internationally significant natural and cultural heritage values are being properly protected. This boardwalk is another step in that direction.”

The planning and design of the Maungawhau boardwalk over the last twelve months has included consultation with industry experts in New Zealand and abroad, and a review of boardwalk design at historic locations and World Heritage sites around the world.

Nick Turoa, Tūpuna Maunga Authority Operations Manager, explains.

“It was important for us from the outset to deliver a world-class boardwalk that incorporates the latest techniques being used worldwide today. We’ve reviewed boardwalks protecting ancient sequoia forests at Yosemite National Park in the United States, boardwalks at the Ġgantija temples in Malta and track and trail innovations at Stonehenge in England, to name a few.”

“The Maungawhau design includes techniques perfectly suited to our unique heritage values. Foundation footings will be screwed into the ground using a hand tool, eliminating digging or excavation. It’s a reversable technique, meaning the foundations can be removed in the future, leaving no trace that the structure was there. A steel frame will support a platform of hardwood timber and steel mesh, allowing grass to grow naturally beneath,” says Turoa.

“To minimise the visual impact of the boardwalk, it will follow the contours of the terraces, and use materials that will weather and age naturally.”

Turoa appreciates that the long construction period may be frustrating for visitors.

“People may wonder why we are doing this work over summer when visitor numbers are highest. The heritage protections require that ground disturbance is minimised, so work must be undertaken in months of dry weather. Working in wetter conditions over winter months would cause too much damage.”

“There will also be a period where visitors see no work occurring. This is because the steel frame of the boardwalk can only be designed and fabricated after the foundations are positioned precisely amongst the volcanic rock. As the boardwalk foundations will be in the centre of the old walking track, it is not safe to walk around them. It is important for safety reasons that visitors do not attempt to walk the closed crater loop track during the upgrade.”

Signage around the tracks will explain the project and where people can walk.

Visit www.maunga.nz for more information about the Tūpuna Maunga Authority.


© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On Why The Dice Are Loaded Against Women In Public Life

If they enter public life, women can expect a type of intense (and contradictory) scrutiny that is rarely applied to their male counterparts. If they are relatively young and conventionally attractive, such women will tend to be written off as lightweights – yet if they’re older and obviously competent, doubts will then tend to be raised about their “electability” and whether they are “warm” and “likeable” enough to connect with voters. Too conventionally feminine or not conventionally feminine enough? Too cold and too cerebral, or too warm and flighty to be seriously considered for high public office? For women in the public spotlight, the Goldilocks moments (when things are just right) are few and far between. More>>


PGF Kaikōura $10.88M: Boost In Tourism & Business

The Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) is investing $10.88 million to boost business and tourism opportunities in Kaikōura, Parliamentary Undersecretary for Regional Economic Development, Fletcher Tabuteau announced today. More>>


Whitebaiting: Govt Plans To Protect Announced

With several native whitebait species in decline the Minister of Conservation Eugenie Sage has today released proposals to standardise and improve management of whitebait across New Zealand. More>>


Education: Resource For Schools On Climate Change

New resource for schools to increase awareness and understanding of climate change... More>>


In Effect April: New Regulations For Local Medicinal Cannabis

Minister of Health Dr David Clark says new regulations will allow local cultivation and manufacture of medicinal cannabis products that will potentially help ease the pain of thousands of people. More>>


RNZ: New Year Honours: Sporting Greats Among Knights And Dames

Six new knights and dames, including Silver Ferns coach Dame Noeline Taurua and economist Professor Dame Marilyn Waring, have been created in today's New Year's Honours List. The list of 180 recipients - 91 women and 89 men - leans heavily on awards for community service, arts and the media, health and sport.


Gordon Campbell: On What An Inquiry Might Look Like

Presumably, if there is to be a ministerial inquiry (at the very least) into the Whakaari/White Island disaster, it will need to be a joint ministerial inquiry. That’s because the relevant areas of responsibility seem to be so deeply interwoven... More>>






InfoPages News Channels