Cyclone Gabrielle has significantly impacted Tāmaki Makaurau, with significant damage across the region and especially for the West Coast of Auckland.
For safety reasons, Auckland Emergency Management has temporarily closed five regional parks in the Auckland region – Waitākere Ranges Regional Park, Muriwai Regional Park, Ātiu Creek Regional Park, Tāwharanui Regional Park, and the western side of Hunua Ranges including Hunua Falls.
Access to parts of the West Coast including Muriwai, Piha, Te Henga (Bethells Beach) and Karekare is severely compromised due to landslips.
Approximately 20 homes were evacuated in Piha last night due to land instability, and an exclusion zone is in place in a large part of Muriwai.
Controller Mace Ward says the parks have been affected in several ways, including flooding, damage to facilities, and access issues. Furthermore, assets outside of the parks have been impacted such as the power network, roading infrastructure as well as the water supply.
“Auckland’s water infrastructure has been impacted by the cyclone. The treatment plant in Muriwai is offline due to the landslide, the reservoir is empty, and so we are supplying residents in the area with emergency water from a tanker,” says Mr Ward.
“When it is open, Muriwai Regional Park, draws up to 50 per cent of the potable water supply which is just one reason why we have made the decision to close some of our regional parks.”
The following parks are closed, including all bookable facilities, until Wednesday 22 February 2023, when closures will be re-assessed:
- Waitākere Ranges Regional Park
- Muriwai Regional Park
- Ātiu Creek Regional Park
- Tāwharanui Regional Park
- Hunua Ranges – western side, including Hunua Falls
All other regional parks are open however there are specific facilities which are closed.
Visitors should exercise caution by avoiding walking under trees. Some tracks will be closed due to slips or dangerous trees, and we ask the public to respect all closures and not remove any barriers or signage.
Our park rangers and staff are continuing to assess damage and accessibility, with a view to opening these areas as soon as practicable.
“Our regional parks are a much-loved asset for Aucklanders and this decision was not made lightly. However, we must put safety first as we work with the affected communities in the West Coast,” says Mr Ward.