The Waitakere Ranges Track Plan
Auckland Council is currently consulting on the future reopening of tracks in the Waitākere Ranges, which were closed to stop the spread of kauri dieback disease. Forest & Bird believes that if council focuses on building high quality tracks which stop the movement of any soil, and that they only open tracks that are on the forest edge and coastal areas rather than in the centre of the forest, we can better protect these precious kauri forests from further infection. Here’s a summary of our submission to the Council that you can use as a guide to make your own. You can make your official submission to Auckland Council right here.
Summary of Forest & Bird’s submission:
3. Does the proposed track plan provide a good balance of recreation experiences and forest health?
3A. Tell us more about why you agree/disagree with the tracks shown on the plan:
Answer: It does not include currently open tracks, all of which need to be upgraded to meet the required Controlled Area Notice (CAN) standard for kauri safe tracks before any work is done towards opening new tracks.
4. Are there any specific tracks that are not currently in the future work programme that you think should be included?
Answer: All currently open tracks, as these are having to take significantly increased traffic and are already severely degraded.They need considerable work to be fit for purpose and this must be the first priority, and should be in the 2019 work programme.
4A. Please name specific tracks and explain reasons why you consider these should be included.
Answer: As above
5. Of the tracks identified in the future work programme, are there any that you would particularly like to see prioritised?
Answer: Priority should be given to those on the FOREST EDGE and in COASTAL AREAS before opening those within the forest.
6. Are there any specific tracks that are currently in the future work programme that you think should be removed?
Answer: The Hillary Trail section from Whatipu to Karekare should be rerouted along the beach. The only track along this section that should be reopened is the one from the beach to the Pararaha Campground. All other tracks should remain permanently closed.
7. Do you have any other feedback?
Answer: We need to focus on the QUALITY of the upgrades, not the quantity. All track upgrades need to comply with the CAN standards (i.e. no movement of soil) and the opening of any track needs to be agreed to by Te Kawerau ā Maki. Cutty Grass track is currently closed but is occasionally used by heavy machinery by Vector. This therefore needs to also be upgraded to CAN standards.
This consultation is now live and will be running through until the 14th of March 2019. You can find maps of the tracks here.
The Council will also holding a series of public information evenings and drop-in sessions.
- Info evening:, Piha, Barnett Hall, 7 Feb 6.30 – 8pm
- Info evening: Titirangi War Memorial Hall, 21 Feb 6.30 – 8pm
- Drop in session: Huia Community Hall, 23 Feb from 1 – 3pm
- Drop in session: Arataki Visitor Centre, 28 Feb 3 – 6pm
Other ways to submit feedback:
- Email feedback to: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Post feedback to: Track Plan Consultation, Arataki Visitor Centre, PO Box 60228, Titirangi, Auckland 0642
- Hand in written feedback at the Arataki Visitor Centre (300 Scenic Drive, Titirangi)