Back in 2012 Geoff was talking to DOC about Tunnel Creek - " ...it was volunteered that the hut was on the remove list and that was currently being discussed. I was told the hut was beyond repair effectively and that removal was inevitable 'in the near future'".
That got Permolat's attention (see www.remotehuts.co.nz) and after much discussion it was Geof again who took on semi-formal responsibility, by signing a "maintain by community" agreement with DOC, to do some repairs and secure the hut's continued existence. A quick survey revealed the hut structure and metal cladding were sound and maintenance was totally do-able. Any talk of the hut having supposedly reached the end of its life and needing to be removed turned out to be, at best, bureaucratic obfuscation.
After two working trips this winter the classic SF70 design is again weather and rat proof, the matresses are cleaner, the firewood restocked and both the interior and the exterior are being prepped for their first repaint in many years. Now that the five hour valley walk from the West Coast highway has been re-cut and marked, foot access is as good as it has ever been.
<a href="https://www.flickr.com/photos/go_wild/14469132444" title="good for the heart by Hugh van Noorden, on Flickr"><img src="https://farm4.staticflickr.com/3895/14469132444_22d31688b4_c.jpg" width="800" height="534" alt="good for the heart"></a>
To date the work has been done by a small group of volunteers with some material assistance from Permolat.
James Scott has assisted with helicopter time, Ben Monk has been generous with access to his property and Wayne and Ian at Franz DOC have been very positive and supportive.