Te Mata Peak track removal 'not a cheap thing to do'by Eric Frykberg
The winery that built a track on Te Mata Peak has agreed to remove it after iwi pressure, but it might not be easy or cheap to do.
The path zig-zags up the steep slope of Te Mata Peak, on the Tukituki River side of the mountain.
Nearby Craggy Range Winery ordered the construction of the track after earlier buying the land around it.
But the winery has now agreed to remove it after coming under pressure from the Hawke's Bay iwi, Ngāti Kahungunu.
The tribe argued the path disfigured a mountain which depicted the reclining figure of an ancestral chief.
But some locals want the track retained, and many have used it, despite the path being officially closed off and bollards placed on an adjacent road to discourage would-be trampers from parking there.
The path was designed and built by a Rotorua mountain biker and trail designer, Jeff Carter.
He said removing it could be done but would be difficult.
"To reinstate the hillside we would work from the top down, taking the dirt that we put on the side of the track and putting it back into the track formation," he said.
"We would then try to put grass back on top."
Mr Carter said it would be very difficult to make the hillside look the way it did before the track was built, and the work would be expensive.
"It is not a cheap thing to do, it would have similar costs to the initial construction ($300,000)."
Jeff Carter said 12 months would be needed for a covered-up track to be grassed over and merge back into its original appearance - the same amount of time for the track itself to merge into the hillside if it was left there untouched.
"If you look at the neighbouring farms, they have got bulldozer tracks that are grassed over and no one thinks twice about it.
"In 12 months time, you probably won't see this track either."
Meanwhile, the track has divided the local community, with two rival petitions competing for signatures.
One petition, by a Maraetotara woman, Anna Archibald, has gathered over 5,200 signatures, and calls for the track to be removed.
Will Smith and Darren Aronofsky come together to create a jaw-dropping documentary about Planet Earth.Read more
In time for Anzac Day, books for younger readers make war stories easy to digest.Read more
East Auckland gets a new cafe, Woolfy's, from the brains behind Scout in Torbay.Read more
Grey District's long-serving mayor, Tony Kokshoorn, is retiring from politics next year. We look back at a 2016 profile from the Listener archives.Read more
Sydney swelters and the ruling Liberal Party is bitterly divided between progressives and pro-coal conservatives.Read more
Witi Ihimaera's journey to Commonwealth war graves for a new documentary, In Foreign Fields, is both personal and political.Read more