Auckland Council's Environment and Community Committee decided 10 April to close public access in response to Kauri Dieback Disease. Forested areas will be closed, while beaches and pasture lands will remain open. Some closures will also occur in the Hunua Ranges. The closures will be backed by a Controlled Area Notice under the Biosecurity Act.
The Waitākere Ranges are already subject to a rāhui (customary closure) established four months ago by local iwi, Te Kawerau ā Maki. The iwi called on Auckland Council at the time to establish a biosecurity Controlled Area.
Auckland Counciller, Penny Hulse commented on Radio NZ Morning Report: "Areas that are permanently closed, that will be intergenerational. There are parts of the Waitākere ranges that will be off limits for my lifetime."
Staff are now beginning to decommission tracks and remove signage from the Waitākere Ranges Regional Park.
Once surface improvements and rerouting is undertaken, some tracks will be reopened. The Hillary Trail is affected by the closure, but will be a priority for reopening.
Kauri Dieback is caused by a soil pathogen and infects kauri roots and has been found to be spread by humans. The Waitākere Ranges are the most heavily infected area recorded in the country with over 18% of trees found to be infected in 2016.
Waitākere Ranges Closures (updated 4 May)
The following tracks remain open. All others are closed.
- Anawhata Beach Track
- Rose Track
- Arataki Visitor Centre
- Arataki Nature Trail - Upper Loop only
- Parker Track
- Lookout Track
- Cascade Kauri
- Large Kauri Walk
- Long Road Track - From road end to where paddock meets forest
- Waitakere Dam Walk
- Kakamatua Beach Walk
- Monument Track
- Huia Dam Road - to the dam only (Watercare)
- Manukau Timber Company Heritage Trail
- Pipeline Road
- Spragg Monument Track
- Cave Rock Track
- Mercer Bay Loop Walk
- Pohutukawa Glade Walk
- Taraire Track - Access from Lone Kauri Rd to falls
- Edwin Mitchelson Track
- Muriwai Lookout Track
- Maukatia-Maori Bay Track
- Muriwai Quarry Track
- Takapu Refuge Walk
- Ian Wells Track - Open from Piha Road to Dam only
- Laird Thomson Track
- Lion Rock Track
- Marawhara Walk
- Tasman Lookout Track
- Upper Nihotupu Walk
- Te-Henga Bethells
- Lake Wainamu Track
- Te Henga Walkway
- Whatipu Caves Track
- Whatipu Coast Walk
The following campsites are now closed.
- Odlins 2
- Opanuku Pipeline
- Whatipu Caves
- Pararaha Valley
Other campsites remain open for now.
Hunua Ranges Closures
The following tracks are closed.
- Hunua Ranges
- Lower Mangatawhiri Track
- Mangatangi Ridge Track - from junction with Kohukohu Trig Tack East to Waharau
- Mangatangi Trig Track - from Workman Road to Mangatangi Trig
- Cossey Wairoa Track - from Massey Track to Suspension Bridge Track
- Workman Track - from Workman Road to junction below Mt Workman
- Lower Link Track
- Upper Link Track
- Waharau Ridge Track
- Whakatiwai Track
- Whakatiwai Ridge Track
- Whakatiwai Ridge Track
The following campsites are closed.
- Mangatangi Trig
- Thousand (1000) Acres
- Adam's Lookout
- Waitākere Rāhui, Te Kawerau ā Maki media release, 30 November 2017
- Waitakere Ranges closed, pigs culled to stop kauri dieback, Radio NZ Morning Report, 10 April 2018 (audio)
- Waitākere Ranges forests to close 1 May, Auckland Council media release, 10 April 2018
- Keep Kauri Standing, Kia Toitu He Kauri