TONGARIRO ALPINE CROSSING warning…
Please make sure that any patrons you ticket on Alpine Shuttles tomorrow have:
Boots…..water proof.…………NOT sports shoes or sneakers.
Thermal clothing and windbreaker jacket.
There is snow on Tongariro today, wet feet, and when the wind comes off the snow its very very cold.
Tomorrow will be the same, so I must insist passengers are wearing the right gear before I take them on mountain.
New angler access to Tongariro River…
A new access road has been ‘bulldozed’ through the scrub at the end of Grace Road.
The location is just before the car parking area where the gate is usually locked (see photo above) to discourage people from visiting the gravel pit where Downs Pool used to be.
This was the most important brown trout spawning area on the Tongariro River but now WRC – Waikato Regional Council – prefer to extract gravel…
They will no doubt call it essential ‘flood protection’ excavations?
Now another metalled (4wd) road has been formed to connect with the only pool below the Reid/Jones Pool beach – towards where the Bends Pool used to be (but was destroyed by Council ‘improvements’….
Anglers were delighted that the Council have finally provided them with an access track?
One would hope they might advise anglers what is going on? When they say nothing then the local TRM conspiracy theorists claim they do not want anglers to know the real reason. Perhaps they have exhausted the supply of metal from Downs Pool corner beyond Grace Road and are now moving up river towards Reid Pool…?
Grace Road has also been widened (?) by slashing the sides to keep the blackberry back – possibly to allow larger trucks access to the metal quarry.
TRM emailed Todd Baldwin at Waikato Regional Council who advised:
Thanks for the email and pictures.
The track there was opened up recently by private contractor to gain access to the built up gravel shoal on inside of bend there.
Gravel was taken for tracks on surrounding land blocks.
They have finished the work and there is no more gravel extraction planned.
No intention of track being used for 4wd access and should have been blocked off, however foot access should remain.
TRM also enquired from DOC – as follows:
Accretion of river gravel on the inside of this bend in the river has been previously identified as likely to cause accelerated stream bank erosion. This site was identified for potential gravel removal in the WRC 2015/16 Annual works programme.
The purpose of excavating the accumulation of gravel on the inside of this bend is to allow elevated flows to occupy the flood plain of the river channel lessening the previously concentrated water flow on the outside river bank during flood flows that has been causing the bank erosion.
The excavation of this gravel was undertaken by a private operator utilising permitted activity rule 18.104.22.168, with the knowledge of WRC, with permission of the gravel owners being the local Iwi, with the gravel being used on adjacent Whanau land to maintain access on their land.
There is no intent for the road to be used for vehicle access for anglers, although obviously they will be able to use it for foot access.
I can’t elaborate on the further use of the road, as I am unaware if WRC has any intent to remove more gravel at this stage.
Hopefully that helps clear it up?
Operations Manager Taupo Fishery
Turangi Office | Central North Island Region
G Level 1, 69 Town Centre, Turangi 3330
E 027 2370089 or (07) 384 7116
Department of Conservation, Te Papa Atawhai www.doc.govt.nz