Tauranga City Council has approved funding to repair a large slip that damaged the Mauao base track in April by rerouting part of the track.
The project is expected to cost up to $2.2 million, which will come from Council's risk reserve.
“We appreciate this is a lot of money, however the more we looked into the slip, the more it became apparent that there is a stretch of about 250m of track which is built on a relic slip,” says Parks and Recreation Manager Mark Smith.
"Generally, if an area has slipped before it will slip again – it's just a matter of when. There's already a second, smaller slip just east of the large one
“Mauao is a taonga of immeasurable value, a ‘must do' for visitors and an important recreational resource for the people of our city."
Mark says it's crucial council choose a long-term, sustainable solution that preserves its natural landscape.
“If we repair just the 14 metre section that's damaged right now, we'll be paying for repairs every time there's another slip in the area. We would also have to reshape part of the mountain, potentially more than once.”
Council also resolved to ask the Mauao joint administration board, Nga Poutiri o Mauao, to investigate options for alternative funding such as donations for future maintenance of the mountain.
The new track will run along the beach, at three metres above sea level. It will offer visitors easier access to the water, and a view of the water and the statue of Tangaroa.
It will be fully wheelchair accessible.
Because of the design, repairing any damage to the new section of track will be quick and relatively inexpensive.
Once the new track is built, the at-risk section of the current base track will be decommissioned.