News

Waitawheta 4WD track CLOSED

September 28, 2017

UPDATE BY Russell De Luca - Northern Zone PRO. We have recently lost the sanctioned use of the iconic Waitawheta 4WD track located in the Northern Zone, west of Waihi town. Because of concerns relating to sedimentation of adjacent streams allegedly caused by 4WD activity, the track has been closed by DOC and the Hauraki District Council (HDC). This is notwithstanding that NZFWDA Northern Zone members have over the past five or more years spent an inordinate amount of their own time, effort and expense collaborating in good faith with staff of the constituent authorities in the carrying out of works to upgrade the standard of the track and to thereafter implement an ongoing management and maintenance plan so as to enable the track to be reopened to 4WD use. It recently became apparent that the opposition of the Waikato Regional Council (WRC) to resumed 4WD activity had caused DOC and HDC to change their previously helpful positions. The upshot of this was that in May of this year we were advised that we would need to obtain a resource consent in order to undertake further track upgrade works and to thereafter allow 4WD activity to officially resume. This is notwithstanding that previous advice from WRC staff was that no such resource consent would be required. The costs associated with the requirement to apply for a resource consent (which may or may not be granted) is beyond the means of the Northern Zone and the on-going risks associated with being the legal holder of the consent (if granted) would have been unacceptable. The ironic result of this is that unauthorised 4WD (and other) activity of the Waitawheta track will continue to occur in an uncontrolled manner thereby creating far greater adverse effects on the environment than those which would have resulted from managed 4WD activity as offered through the Northern Zone proposal.

This article was posted by Bobbie Kincaid in Central Zone | Northern Zone | Event news | Land access | General news | News (207 reads)