Further to the decision made by Auckland Council with regard to the closure of the Waitakere Ranges forested areas, we just wanted to reiterate that we still have access to various parts of the amazing Waitakere Ranges on Auckland’s West Coast.
Our business operates in an ever-changing environment and we often deal with road closures, weather related events or controversial issues such as the proposed closure of the Waitakere Ranges or the restriction of vehicle access to some of Auckland’s Mountains.
As with every tour we plan, we ensure we put the safety and wellbeing of our manuhiri (guests) and our team members first, so where necessary and as clearly stated in our terms and conditions, we have the discretion to amend any tour itineraries or include alternative locations when the need arises. We also pride ourselves on excellent communication with industry partners and other stakeholders advising any changes if required. We are agile and able to adapt to changing conditions and respond as required.
The changes around access to the Waitakere Ranges and the Auckland Mountain Summits affect a number of stakeholders. We are just one of many people who access these amazing resources on our Auckland private or small FIT group tours thanks to our concessionaire and preferred Auckland tour operator status. The closures have not had a major impact on our business or the offered tours to the beautiful west coast of Auckland. This also means we can continue to develop new products, enhance existing ones and seek out new destinations in the future. We support any initiatives where sustainability is a focus so we will support and work with the decisions being made to all environments which we are fortunate to guide in.
The one tour we may need to consider amending is our Auckland Guided Wilderness Walk (AKLGWW) but that is dependent on which tracks Auckland Council decide to close. We will most likely know this within a few weeks. If our tours are no longer feasible once more details become available, we already have a stunning alternative at hand as a backup, Tawharanui Regional Park 1 hour 15 minutes north of Auckland. Just a few days ago, our Company Director Neill Sperath spent a day exploring the area in detail and hiking around this park. Tawharanui Regional Park is one of New Zealand’s gems with plenty of jaw-dropping scenery.
See our official media commentary below:
“Our opinion remains the same that it has and continues to be a privilege, not a right, to enter any areas where our taonga such as Kauri continue to thrive as living legends. We respect this decision has not been made lightly as there are so many stakeholders to consider.
However, our unique flora and fauna don’t have a voice and today’s decision has given the environment priority at this time in the process. Our Kauri were here before people came to NZ and we hope they will be here long after this decision and those of us who will work to preserve their legacy are long gone. “Whatungarongaro te tangata toitū te whenua - As man disappears from sight, the land remains”.