The Conservation Department is hoping to have the Tongariro Alpine Crossing track open again in time for summer following this month’s volcanic eruption.
GNS lowered the alert level for Tongariro back down to level 1 late last week following the continued silence from the mountain.
DOC’s Ruapehu Area Manager Nic Peet said with the alert level lowered the hazard and risk zone had also been revised, and the centre of the eruption was now focussed on Upper Te Maari crater reducing the risk area to a 3km radius.
“The 3km hazard and risk zone will remain in place for some time, and will only be reduced once we have further information and a better understanding of the gas and ash composition to determine possible future scenario probabilities.”
“We are now planning the staged re-opening of facilities and tracks outside the hazard and risk zone, “ he said.
DOC is meeting this week with iwi, community and business partners to discuss the timing and sequence of re-opening.
The Tongariro Alpine Crossing as a whole will take longer to re-open as the damage to facilities and tracks needs to be made safe, and DOC staff are unable to get into the area to do the work until the high risk zone is further reduced.
Planning had also begun for the repair of the damaged tracks and facilities and this will be underway as soon as it is safe for staff to get into the area.
“If the current activity or inactivity continues the Tongariro Alpine Crossing will be open before the summer trekking season starts,” Nic says.
All other facilities, activities and alternative walking tracks are fully operational within the Tongariro National Park.
- © Fairfax NZ News
Do you agree with Hamilton City Council's plan to introduce a minimum living wage for its lowest paid workers?Related story: Hamilton City Council backs living wage