'Tempting' first spring weekend for Aucklanders, but road, track warnings in place

Author
Qiuyi Tan, NZ Herald,
Publish Date
Fri, 3 Sep 2021, 8:44PM
A slip on the road to Whatipu. (Photo / Auckland Council)
A slip on the road to Whatipu. (Photo / Auckland Council)

'Tempting' first spring weekend for Aucklanders, but road, track warnings in place

Author
Qiuyi Tan, NZ Herald,
Publish Date
Fri, 3 Sep 2021, 8:44PM

Auckland Council is reminding people to stay safe and keep activities local as the city remains in alert level 4 for the first weekend of spring.

Severe weather has damaged tracks and roads and tramping is not allowed at level 4, the council's western principal ranger Stephen Bell says.

"No one should be driving to a regional park for any activity like tramping. There is major storm damage across the Waitākere Ranges Regional Park, and we cannot guarantee the safety of the tracks for anyone," he said.

He says any incidents that occur would place unnecessary strain on emergency, medical and search and rescue services.

Access to Te Hengal Bethells Beach remains limited for residents only, via a specially arranged 4WD route. Other roads, including Lone Kauri Rd in Karekare, have also been affected by slips or washouts.

Bell asks residents of Huia, Karekare, Piha and Te Henga Bethells Beach to take care and stay off the tracks, which will need assessing after the week's storms.

Opanuku Walkway in Henderson, which has been damaged by the storm. Photo / Auckland Council

Opanuku Walkway in Henderson, which has been damaged by the storm. Photo / Auckland Council

"We have had reports of entire sections of some tracks being washed away and of some bridges gone. It is simply not safe at the moment."

Some parks and walkways in West Auckland will also have storm damage.

Storm damage to the Opanuku Walkway in Henderson. Photo / Auckland Council

Storm damage to the Opanuku Walkway in Henderson. Photo / Auckland Council

Waitākere ward Councillor Shane Henderson says lockdown means it will take longer than usual for contractors to clear all the debris.

Cemeteries

Visitors to their local cemetery this Father's Day are reminded to follow alert level 4 rules.

Walk-ins are allowed but visitors must wear a mask and observe social distancing.

Gates are closed except for authorised vehicles and there will be security.

All cemetery offices are closed, but essential services are still running.

Closed Auckland facilities

Grey Lynn Pump Track and Victoria Skate Park are fenced off because of their high use during the lockdown.

Victoria Park Skate Park in central Auckland is fenced off. Photo / Auckland Council

Victoria Park Skate Park in central Auckland is fenced off. Photo / Auckland Council

Auckland Council is reminding Aucklanders that under alert level 4 they cannot use recreational facilities, including playgrounds, outdoor exercise equipment, basketball courts, pump tracks and skate parks.

Signage is clearly displayed at all facilities and more than 200 high-use areas have been taped off.

• Here's a list of services that are and aren't available.

Stay safe and local

Mayor Phil Goff says the weather is improving in the first weekend of spring but it's still alert level 4 in Auckland.

"It's tempting to get out and about, but... staying home and within your bubble is the best way to beat the virus so we can all get out of lockdown as soon as possible."

He's also asking people to book a vaccination this weekend if they haven't already.

Under alert level 4, Aucklanders can only leave home for groceries, necessary healthcare, a Covid-19 test or vaccine, exercise in a local area, or work if they are essential workers who cannot work from home.

"You can go for a walk, run or bike ride in your local area," says Alf Filipaina, chair of the Auckland Council's Parks, Arts, Community and Events Committee.

He said dogs must be kept on a leash at all times even in off-leash exercise areas, to avoid coming into close contact with others.

"Do not do activities that may require search and rescue services. If you were to get into trouble, it puts the lives of our emergency responders at risk. Do not go swimming, surfing, boating, hunting or tramping," Filipaina reiterated.

• Auckland Council has a set of resources Together at Home with ideas and activities for lockdown.

Report a breach

• Spot a breach? Phone 105 to report or visit police.govt.nz/105support.

• Report a damaged or removed signage here or phone Auckland Council at 09 301 0101.