Hakarimata Summit Track fix a long way off
It could be a long wait before runners and walkers can tackle the popular summit track in Hakarimata Scenic Reserve near Hamilton again.
Engineers are creating a report for the Department of Conservation to get a better understanding of what is required to remedy the storm damage and how long it might take.
Track damage was assessed on Wednesday, Department of Conservation Waikato operations manager Ray Scrimgeour said.
"It is evident even from our own visual assessments that the track has fallen away in at least three places and there has been significant movement of one stairway section away from the hillside towards the adjacent stream.
"We know from past experience there is no quick fix for this sort of damage.
"Again, the engineering report will identify these issues but we are no doubt looking at the need for retaining walls to protect track formation and possibly building consent processes before we can start work on reconstruction."
Scrimgeour said DOC was well aware of the important part the Hakarimata stairs play in the lives of many local residents who have turned it into some sort of giant outdoor gymnasium, with annual usage possibly in excess of 200,000 people.
"We thank the people for exercising patience while the track is under repairs and remind them of the popular Kauri Loop Track just a few kilometres down the road at the Huntly end of the Hakarimata range."
The first section of track is situated on land administered by Waikato District Council, while the upper section traverses the Hakarimata scenic reserve.
The Hakarimata Scenic Reserve near Ngaruawahia is a popular place for tramps through native bush while the summit gives good views across the Waikato Basin and down to Ruapehu.