Tuesday, April 23, 2024

Popular gannet track to remain closed

Auckland Council has announced the popular Maukatia Gannet Track and access to the Takapu Refuge / Gannet Colony at Ōtakamiro Point in Muriwai Regional Park will remain closed over the summer season.

The Council says there is no access from either the top (southern) or bottom (northern) ends of the Maukatia Gannet Track, which also prevents access to the Fisherman’s Rock.

“The geotechnical report for this area has found that land is still unstable and significant remedial work will be required prior to reopening,” Council said in a statement.

“Initial remedial work has begun, but ongoing monitoring of the ground movement in the area is required before any further remedial work can take place. More information on the report’s findings and next steps can be found at the bottom of this story.

“We don’t take the decision to keep the track closed lightly, however our primary focus in on keeping everyone safe. We apologise for the inconvenience this may cause and thank you for your ongoing patience as we continue to work as quickly as we can to restore safe access to this track.

“We ask everyone to respect the barriers and restrictions to this track as these are here to keep you and others safe.”

Council says the gannets can instead be viewed from the safety of either the Maukatia carpark or the beach at Maukatia/Māori Bay.

“We strongly urge visitors to always stay 10 metres away from the cliffs.”

Council says the geotechnical report identified the following key risks, which need to be monitored and addressed before it can reopen the track.

  • Three significant slips have been identified along the northern portion of walkway;
  • The section leading to the Fisherman’s Rock has been undermined and destroyed;
  • The track and handrail above the Muriwai Beach cave are at risk of further slips;
  • Two significant slips have been identified along the southern portion of the walkway;
  • A portion of a slip extends below the gannet colony viewing platform, undermining some of the piled foundations. The remainder of the structure’s foundations are at risk of further slippage;
  • The concrete pathway has dropped from its original levels, with numerous tension cracks and soil pulling away from the slab evident along much of the southern walkway. The most notable movement is along the eastern extent.

“We have begun initial remedial efforts to stabilise compromised parts of the Maukatia Gannet Track. Following this, we will conduct a more comprehensive site assessment, incorporating survey data and subsurface investigations (data collection for geotechnical findings) to develop ground models (a map of the ground’s character).”

“This will help us determine whether specific parts of the tracks are experiencing movement as part of more high-risk landslides (broader, deep-seated landslides). The insights gained from this assessment will provide us with valuable evidence for making decisions about future remedial work,” Council said.

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