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Local Government

Hahei speaks out on their choice for Cathedral Cove

This is a submission prepared by the Hahei Residents & Ratepayers, a united voice. – With regard to the Mautohe Cathedral Cove access options as presented at the key stakeholders meeting of 29/4/24 and subsequently released publicly on 30 April 24 HRRA submits as follows
 |  John Jonassen  | 

Blocking off the walk hasn’t detered visitors from walking the track.

Mautohe Cathedral Cove (MCC) is hugely significant economically for both the entire Coromandel Peninsula and the country.

It is imperative that after some 18 months or more of closure the main track down to the cove itself be reopened by Christmas 2024.

We support proceeding with the ‘temporary’ option (option 2a) where the track and steps down to the cove near the main slip are rebuilt and reinstated.

We recognise that we are operating in a dynamic environment and ti may not be possible to have a highly resilient long-term solution without significant investment

The steps down into the Cove should be designed in such a way that water can be directed away

from the old slip site and be able to be easily replaced. There could be some built in redundancy with the bottom of the steps as these are most affected during storm surges.

We support having access from both Lees Road and Grange Road. We consider that the TCDC Hahei Beach Road car park must be utilised providing visitors access by foot to the Grange Road access point.

We are supportive of building toilets above MCC with access from both the beach and the track.

We consider that access via the track to Gemstone Bay should be a priority to enable educational groups (eg schools, Experience Marine Reserves Group) access to a safe snorkel trail. Making good /rebuilding the steps in the original position (as has been done previously) is a sensible and cost- effective solution

We consider closing off the access track from Hahei beach will be difficult to police (observe what is happening at present) and support the rerouting of part of track (option3b). Note the rerouted section could incorporate a couple of viewing corridors to Hahei Beach and the bay

We reiterate that to mitigate risk DOC should consider closing the access track(s) in the event of a severe weather warning or event (as done in the past prior to the current situation). Landslides and rockfalls generally only occur after very heavy rain. Only once (after any such event) the track has been inspected/assessed for any damage and any ‘repairs’ undertaken would the track be re-opened

We consider that this option (front page – option 2A) would be very well received by both the local and wider communities, local business and the general NZ Tourism market.

Enacting this option would then allow DOC to continue planning the longer-term options as discussed. Note any of the longer-term options will still have risk due to the nature of the ground. We consider that reviewing permanent/long term solutions nett present worth analyses should be undertaken for both the ‘temporary’ and the permanent options. We acknowledge that the environmental (and cultural) impact of all options needs to be part of any assessments)

We support the continued access by water noting that any voluntary controls (other than via the concession holders) wil be almost impossible given the number of private pleasure craft that visit the area during peak season.

We are supportive of exploring the potential for local businesses to part fund the ongoing maintenance of the track.

We are committed to supporting a circular walkway that either departs from Grange Road or Lees Road across public and private land and give visitors another option to access the track and its environs. Three potentially affected private landowners are currently working together with TCDC and Herenga ā Nuku Aotearoa exploring options to provide access across their land which would provide additional tracks with possible connections to the MCC access track.

“The biggest hazards were the series of gates installed by DOC in an attempt to stop people walking the track.” LINDA BIRD

See DOC’s full report www.haheicommunity.co.nz