Upgrade work to protect kauri on the Kitekite track in the Waitakere Ranges Regional Park is complete, and the track will re-open on Boxing Day, 26 December.
“We are delighted to be able to open this popular track in time for the summer period," says Rachel Kelleher, Auckland Council Regional Parks manager.
“Our teams have worked tirelessly to upgrade this track meticulously so that Aucklanders and visitors can enjoy this beautiful and iconic track while protecting kauri from dieback disease.
“More than 50 people have worked on this track for the last few months. We thank our staff, contractors and volunteers for their dedication to this task under a tight timeframe.”
The 2km track surface has been completely refurbished. This has included the construction of 275m of boardwalk, as well as steps, jack mat mesh and aggregate material to ensure people's feet are well above and away from kauri roots.
Each section of the track was assessed by staff from Auckland Council and Te Kawerau a Maki to determine the best mitigation surface based on proximity from kauri trees and roots.
“A dry foot surface has now been created, so you can walk the length of the track at any time of the year, reach the cleaning station at the end and be able to easily clean all visible soil from your footwear and equipment before you leave.
“This upgrade has been focused on eliminating mud through which the spore of the diseases spreads, to protect the existing forest.
“We thank the local community, park users, Aucklanders and visitors for their patience while the track has been closed and this work carried out. It’s so important that we do this right, and this has meant it has taken some time.
“With the track now open, it’s up to all of us to turn up with clean shoes and always use the cleaning stations in and out of this track, and all other open tracks in the park.”
In 2019, public consultation will open on the track reopening plan that has been developed by Auckland Council and Te Kawerau a Maki, to determine what tracks are priorities for upgrades over the next two to five years.
Visit our website for more information about kauri protection, track closures and maps.