Regional | Auckland

Restriction to extend to all vehicle access to Auckland's summits

Driving up to Auckland's volcanic mountains will come to an end as from next year due to the littering, drinking and stealing.

Ngāti Whātua ki Ōrākei is working alongside the Auckland Council to retain the natural sacredness of these volcanic cones.

Mt Eden will be the first of those volcanic mountains that will in to effect and close their gates to drivers.

Ngāti Whātua ki Ōrākei and the Auckland Council have had enough of people abusing the volcanic cones.

So banning vehicles from driving up to the summits of these mountains is one way to prevent that and keep our environment clean.

Chief executive of Ngāti Whātua ki Ōrākei, Tupara Morrison says, “Their well-being is obviously important to us as is the historical nature of these cones and we want to make sure we protect them for the future.'

A detailed report on how and when the vehicle ban will be implemented will be presented next year in April.

Ngāti Whātua ki Ōrākei has allowed buses and cars to park on volcanic cones such Mt Eden at this point, but they have to walk another 200m up to the summit.

Some disagree and believe this is a load of nonsense.

Tāmaki Hikoi will be the only ones allowed vehicle access to the summit.

It's tour group under Ngāti Whātua ki Ōrākei and the Auckland Council that's been running for the last 10 years.  They carry senior citizens and the disabled for free.

Lyle Te Ohu says, “We want to make sure that all of our manuhiri who come here can come and appreciate the beautiful views.  We also keep track of some of the other manuhiri who are here and some manuhiri need more supervision than others.”

However some believe that Tāmaki Hikoi is just a means for Ngāti Whātua ki Ōrākei to make money for themselves but that's not the case.

According to Morrison, “The more that we communicate around those reasons for people, particularly in Tāmaki Makaurau, the better.  It's both a learning and a knowledge experience for us all - the maunga settlement has highlighted that, the name changing as well.  It's in knowledge gathering for everybody.”

Tūpuna Maunga o Tāmaki Makaurau Authority will make the final decision.  If the vehicle ban is implemented, the rules will also apply to cyclists and mountain-bikers.