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Work On Cathedral Cove A Priority

Conservation Minister Tama Potaka has made the reinstatement of the walking access to Coromandel’s Cathedral Cove/Te Whanganui-a-Hei before next summer a priority.

The track to the famous beach - renowned for its natural rock arch feature – was severely damaged by extreme weather events in January and February 2023. The Department of Conservation (DOC) staff determined the track was an unacceptable risk to public walking access.

DOC has now announced its work programme to determine how the walking access can be reinstated in a safe and resilient way, especially given climate change, rockfall and land movement challenges at the site.

“It’s clear we need to make sure visitors can once again safely and fully enjoy one of the country's iconic locations – and DOC staff have made this a priority,” says Tama Potaka.

“Ideally, we want safe walking access to the beach reinstated and our ambition is to have it ready for visitors next summer.

“Cathedral Cove/Te Whanganui-a-Hei is a crucial part of Coromandel’s tourism economy and reinstating walking access to it will help get the district back on track.

“I expect to receive advice from officials by the end of June on the reinstatement options. Assuming there is a safe option for public walking access, I want to see the mahi procured and underway ahead of summer.

“There are some further conversations to be had with Ngāti Hei, the Coromandel community and our stakeholders in the district about how this work is resourced and supported.

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“In its present condition the track is not safe for visitors – and DOC is focussed on finding a resilient solution which will give visitors the chance to again walk to this majestic place,” Mr Potaka says.

A special page on DOC’s website has a range of information on Cathedral Cove, including an overview of the work programme, the Tonkin + Taylor risk assessment report, and information on the current visitor offer and walks across land above the cove.

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