Mauao base track closed for stair removal

Wednesday 07 April 2021

Contractors will begin work on Monday, 12 April, to remove the temporary stairs installed in 2017 after ex-cyclone Debbie caused a 14m slip that blocked part of the Mauao base track.

The base track will be completely closed on 15, 16 and 19 April to ensure public safety during the work. Signage and barriers will be in place at access points, and all other tracks on Mauao will remain open.

The Ngā Poutiriao ō Mauao Board agreed to remove the stairs at a meeting on 2 December 2020. Board Chair, Dean Flavell, said they investigated options to keep the stairs in place; however, the risk of damage to the area was too great.

Tauranga City Council General Manager of Community Services Gareth Wallis said the stairs were a temporary solution so people could still use the base track during the repairs.

"Due to the significance of the site, the emergency archaeological authority granted by Heritage New Zealand was conditional on removing the stairs when the track repairs were complete. The floating design has protected the archaeological features underneath, but they are not suitable for long-term use."

A usage survey in September 2020 showed an average of 180 people per day used the stairs compared to an average of 1,500 people a day using the base track.