Efforts to rebuild the main walking access track at Pāpāmoa Hills Regional Park have been delayed due to the combined effects of Cyclones Debbie, Cook and the wettest April in Te Puke since records began in 1973.
“We’ve been working to restore public access to the Park from Poplar Lane as quickly as possible. Unfortunately back-to-back cyclones and unprecedented levels of rainfall have left us with sodden ground that needs to dry out, and storm damage that needs to be repaired, before we can complete the track rebuild and re-open the Park safely,” said Bay of Plenty Regional Council Kaituna Catchments Manager Pim de Monchy.
Fulton Hogan rainfall records from their Poplar Lane quarry show that the Park received more than 800mm of rain during March and April this year. Normal rainfall for the area during those two months is 303mm (based on average rainfall records for Te Puke).
Mr de Monchy said that a late April re-opening had still been feasible a month ago, but the accumulated heavy rainfall since then has caused boggy ground conditions, slips and water damage throughout and above the logged areas of the Park. This has added to the workload and complexity of the track re-instatement work.
“We know people are keen to be able to use the Park again. We’re sorry to have to delay that further. We’ll keep progressing the slip repairs and track rebuild as quickly as weather and ground conditions allow. Unfortunately due to the sodden ground, and potential for more rain this month, we don’t know exactly when the work will be able to be completed. We’ll let people know as soon as we do,” said Mr de Monchy.
A Park re-opening date will be announced when the track re-instatement is finished. See www.boprc.govt.nz/papamoahills for Park information and updates.