Waipoua River Road Works Set To Start
An onsite blessing will be held by Te Roroa on Friday 12 November to mark the start of construction on the $1.8m Waipoua River Road project.
Kaipara District Council Project Delivery Manager Jo Reid says the project will support Waipoua Forest management, regional economic development, help protect access to the trees and support Te Roroa in the work they are doing. “Two years ago Kānoa – Regional Economic Development & Investment Unit, allocated $1.6m from the Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) to seal approximately 1.5km of Waipoua Road from the state highway to the proposed visitor centre. Kānoa has since approved a budget increase to $1.8m, sufficient to complete the project pending the outcome of the current Covid-19 restrictions.”
General Manager of Te Roroa Snow Tane says the Waipoua River Road Sealing project “is part of Te Roroa’s objectives to enable the delivery of the Rākau Rangitira project by creating an enhanced single-entry point for the kauri walks and Tane Mahuta experience”. He added that the Waipoua River Road gateway is expected to improve economic outcomes for Māori and enhance the environmental protection of an at-risk strategic asset of Waipoua Forest. “This work is also part of the Te Tai Tokerau Northland Action Plan 2019 refresh, which supports the Rākau Rangitira project in partnership with the Department of Conservation (DOC) and the governance group Te Roroa (also part of the delivery the 2015 Tai Tokerau Northland Growth study).”
The roading work innovatively involves recycling existing material to create the base for the new sealed surface. The metal on the existing road will be lifted, mixed with lime to stabilise it and placed back on the road. This technique minimises the amount of material that needs to be imported into the forest, reducing the cost of the works and the risk of introducing contaminates such as kauri dieback. While the main objective of using lime is to strengthen the material, due to its high pH it has the added benefit of destroying any kauri dieback spores.
Engineering consultants WSP have completed detailed design of the traffic signals and sealing, while Fulton Hogan will seal 1.5kms of the Waipoua River Road from State Highway 12 to the Waipoua Visitors Centre and will be working with Te Roroa Environs for some of this work. Currie Electrical will complete most of the traffic signal installation. The works are expected to take three months and planned to be completed in March 2022.
The Waipoua River Road Summary Strategic Case (2019) noted that the economic benefits of investing in Waipoua Forest will support attracting visitors to the Kaipara region.
Further, this activity meets the Aotearoa New Zealand Tourism Strategy by improving quality visitor offerings, supporting sustainable growth, improving cultural assets for inclusive growth and enabling regional growth. The investment meets the objectives of the Local Government Community Well-being Amendment Bill by supporting iwi and hapū to connect to local employment opportunities, while supporting improved environmental and cultural outcomes by enabling environmental education and learning in a culturally appropriate manner for Te Roroa.