Re Tongariro National Park Plan Review by ybg79195


									30 May 2003

Greg Carlyon
Department of Conservation
Private Bag

Re: Tongariro National Park Plan Review

Dear Greg

The Club would like to thank the Department for the recent opportunity to
present our views on the draft Tongariro National Park review. There are
several points that come up at the meeting that we would like to expand upon
to ensure that our views are clear.

1)    With regards to Ruapehu Hut situated at Delta Corner, the Club
      still considers that the plan does not reflect the specific character
      of the hut and its user group.

      Ruapehu Hut is a mountain hut – it consists of an entrance
      vestibule area with a drying room and a single
      living/kitchen/sleeping room. Although it does have electricity it
      does not have showers or carpet, and the only fridge is the snow
      outside in winter. The hut is most usually accessed by foot via a
      two hour walk from the road.

      The fact that the hut is situated in the middle of a ski field above a
      large number of ski lodges is seen by Club members as an
      anomaly, not a reason for it to be lumped into the same
      classification as the ski lodges.

      It should also be noted that the hut is exempted from the Iwikau
      Sewage Scheme.

2)    Under section 4.1.14 of the Plan the requirement is that "all
      effluent should be collected for removal for treatment outside the
      park within five years of this plan becoming operative". We accept
      and agree with the intent of this provision, but it may be a
      challenge to achieve the timeframe for the Club’s two huts. The
      Club would need time to gather funds and plan for the installation
      of closed vault systems, bearing in mind the low current low
      occupancy rate for Whangaehu Hut in particular.

      Help from the Department in this regard, and perhaps a revision of
      the strict five year term to ‘over the life of the plan’ may be in order.

3)    The Club does not support a snow road between the two major ski
      fields on the mountain. There are many reasons for this position
      including the impacts of incremental development, environmental
      degradation and safety.

      We understand the route proposed is approximately the 2300m
      contour between the top of Whakapapa Ski Field and Turoa Ski
      Field. This terrain contains a large number of physicals hazards
      such as steep slopes and cliffs. Combined with the changeable
      weather conditions in the central North Island, the level of safety
      for unskilled users can only be described as marginal. Skilled ski
      tourers do not need a road.

      The road would need to be formed, and regularly maintained, with
      large snow groomers, and then patrolled while it was open with
      noisy ski mobiles. All this mechanised transport impacts on the
      natural quiet and unmodified natural environment for which the
      park should be preserved in the first instance.

      Huge compromises have been made within the park to allow ski
      field facilities, and a snow road should certainly not be added to
      the list of man made modifications to the parks landscape.

Thank you again for your consideration and I hope that this letter clarifies
your questions from the submission hearing. Please do not hesitate to
contact us with any further questions or queries relating to the position of the
New Zealand Alpine Club.


Phil Doole
Recreation Advocacy Convenor

To top