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Maintenance of Maungauika / North Head tunnels underway

Work is underway at Maungauika / North Head in Devonport to maintain parts of the historic
defence tunnels.

The work includes reinforcing some of the original iron struts within the concrete structures
and giving additional strength to lintels above doorways. Core testing is also scheduled to
help determine the future programme of general upkeep.

While most tunnels will remain open to the public, some sections of the Northern and
Southern Battery will be closed from this week. Some small areas above ground will also
be fenced off while this maintenance work is carried out on the structures below. Signage is
in place.

The maintenance work will be completed by April 2020.

Nick Turoa, Tūpuna Maunga Authority Operations Manager explains that the work is standard
maintenance and there is no risk to public safety if people remain outside of the cordoned areas.
Similar works have been carried out in the past on other heritage structures on the maunga.

“The construction of the tunnels dates back to the late 1800’s, and as with any heritage structure
of that age, strengthening work may be required over time to preserve them,” says Turoa.

“Through the process to transition the management of Maungauika / North Head from the
Department of Conservation to the Tūpuna Maunga Authority mid-2019, we have been working
with engineers to look at any remedial works required on all of the heritage structures, including
the tunnels.”

“Engineers have identified several areas that, due to natural corrosion, need additional
strengthening to maintain the integrity of the tunnel structure into the future, and that’s the
process we are working through now.”

“We have also worked with heritage architects to ensure that all remedial works in the tunnels
do not compromise the heritage values of the structures and that work follows best practice for
managing heritage assets.”

“In the meantime, the engineers have advised us that the current day to day visitor entry to the
tunnels is safe provided they remain out of the cordoned areas,” says Turoa.

Coastal Track Closure

The coast track that runs around the base of Maungauika / North Head has been closed since
August 2019 due to a large landslide that took place during a storm event. Over the past months
the Tūpuna Maunga Authority have been working with geologists and geotechnical engineers
to ensure the structural stability of the cliff face.

Assessment works have now been complete. Engineers have recommended scaling the cliff
face of loose materials and removing dead vegetation to minimise risk of further landslide or
loose rocks falling on track users.

Works on the cliff face will begin early 2020 and the coastal track will be re-opened once
engineers deem it is safe for public access.

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

© Scoop Media

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