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Upgrades On The Way For Maungauika / North Head Track Network

Since formally taking over management of Maungauika / North Head in Devonport from the Department of Conservation (DOC) in 2019, the Tūpuna Maunga Authority

has undertaken a comprehensive assessment of the condition of tracks, staircases and fences across the Maunga. This work has informed the development of an upgrade programme, with work starting this month.

Work will occur along existing tracks and stairs on lower slopes mainly to the south and east of the tihi (summit) and will include replacement of the Cheltenham Beach staircase.

Work to restore some of the historic assets on the Maunga will also continue. This includes additional reinforcing in some of the tunnels to ensure that they remain safe for public access.

Nick Turoa, Tūpuna Maunga Operations Manager, explains.

“The intent is to bring the Maungauika tracks, fences and stairs up to the standard of similar upgrades across the Maunga network, to deliver a safer walking experience and to halt erosion and deterioration of the Maunga. We also want to ensure that the historic tunnel network remains open to the public for as long as possible. The improvements will remove visual clutter in some cases and provide an updated, consistent and cleaner look for Maungauika.”

“As with all similar upgrade work across the Maunga network, the provision of quality, appropriately located tracks aligns with and supports the Maunga Values within the Tūpuna Maunga Integrated Management Plan (IMP). The work is also about ensuring that track circulation and wayfinding reflects the cultural, spiritual, historic and geological significance of the Maunga,” says Turoa.

The first phase of work will involve replacing existing boxed steps which have reached the end of their useful life and constructing new boxed steps where necessary.

The resurfacing of some tracks, and work to place steel reinforcing in some of the tunnels, will also be undertaken as part of this phase. This work will begin 9 November 2020 and will be completed by mid-December ahead of the large number of visitors expected on Maungauika for the December America’s Cup racing.

The second phase will involve reshaping and resurfacing some existing tracks, rebuilding and widening the staircase to Cheltenham Beach, and replacing the eclectic mix of fencing across Maungauika with a new and simple design that will sit well within the natural landscape of the Maunga. This phase of work will occur between January and May 2021, outside of America’s Cup activity.

All of the proposed track and fence upgrades have been designed to have a minimal visual and ground impact on the Maunga. The installation will involve pinned foundations instead of concrete and posts, which means minimal excavation. This technique is now standard across the Maunga network.

For safety reasons, tracks being upgraded will be closed while the work is completed, and signage will be in place advising of track closures ahead. Given the number of walking routes on Maungauika, there will be minimal disruption to visitor access on the Maunga.

The coastal walkway is not part of this upgrade programme.

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

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