Following letter is self explanatory. After the Lake Waikaremoana Great Walk closure and disaster, it appears obvious that DOC will give in to their “Treaty Partners” (?) again. The fear from tourists is that the TAC will go the same way? Unfortunately, political pressures win ahead of common sense and NZ’ers’ public preferences again!
From: Drew Divehall <email@example.com>
Date: Wed, 19 Jan 2022 at 11:36
Subject: Tongariro Alpine Crossing management
At previous pre & post season hui with operators we have discussed DOC’s intention to review current and future management of the Tongariro Alpine Crossing (TAC). DOC has identified the TAC as one of the most popular day hikes across the country. The impacts of COVID-19 on tourism with regard to visitor impacts, values and numbers have provided an opportunity to review the future management of the TAC.
In 2021 we began working closely with our Treaty Partners on the scope for this work and to gain a deeper understanding of their cultural values and aspirations for the TAC. This year we intend to set up some meetings to discuss where we have got to and seek your feedback and input on the TAC review process and plans going forward. We are aiming to start this by March 2022 and will be in contact in due course. Thanks.
Senior Ranger, Community – Kaitiaki Matua, Ao Hāpori
Department of Conservation – Te Papa Atawhai
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Lake Waikaremoana Great Walk – an unfortunate precedent…
Lake Waikaremoana is considered the jewel of Te Urewera, the homeland of the Tūhoe people. It’s also home to one of the 10 ‘Great Walks’ and has been enjoyed by generations of non-Tūhoe. But the lake – and the whole of Te Urewera – has been closed for several months, and facilities have fallen into disrepair.
(Report from Stuff’s Investigative Correspondent, Tony Wall.)
At Onepoto Bay in the lake’s south-east corner, a rusty old tractor with two flat tyres blocks the boat ramp, stopping anyone from launching.
Nearby, a sign at an entrance to the Great Walk advises that the whole of Te Urewera is closed at Covid alert level two.
At Āniwaniwa, also known as Home Bay, the Visitor Centre is closed and a dilapidated former Department of Conservation (DOC) truck has been used to block the boat ramp.
All around the perimeter of the lake, entrances to tracks and camping areas are barricaded with plastic fencing or traffic cones. The place is very much closed for business.
Regular lake users and trampers are confused – after all, most facilities are able to operate at Covid level two.
What’s going on? Is the TAC next?