Cable car to summit of Te Mata

By Andrew Austin


The view from the top of Te Mata Peak is simply stunning and well worth navigating the tricky, narrow road to get there. It is worth spending some time up there and simply soaking in the beauty around you.

The road up may not be the best and over the years there have been a number of accidents - some of which have been careless driving and others, unfortunately, have been people deliberately wanting to go off the edge.

This week the issue of safety on Te Mata Peak Rd was in the spotlight again when a Havelock North teenager was found dead under a tree after being flung from a Mercedes Benz near the summit.

The reason for this crash has not been determined yet, so I won't dwell on this particular case.

There have been some calls over the years to make the road to the top safer, but Te Mata Park Trust Board chairman Bruno Chambers has previously said that relative to the traffic on that road, there are few accidents. He also makes the good point that the nature of the road makes it self-regulating.

If someone is determined to harm themselves on that road, safety barriers are probably not going to help.

It is, therefore, up to people driving on the road to make sure they take care.

Sometimes it can be tricky coming around a corner and seeing a car coming towards you, especially if it is going faster than it should.

Once, I came across a group of teenagers on their skateboards going down the hill. One of them would drive a car slowly with a skateboard just behind him followed by a second car.

The theory was that the two cars would protect the skateboarder from other vehicles and from losing control and hurtling down the hill.

Either way it seemed to me to be a rather risky operation and one that could so easily go wrong.

So Mr Chambers is right, it is up to each individual to be responsible and get up and back in one piece.

It is the only way we can ensure that we all get to enjoy the spectacular views.

Unless, of course, a tourism operator came up with a plan and was granted a permit to operate a cable car to the summit of Te Mata Peak. Imagine how that would boost our tourism.

Any takers?

- Hawkes Bay Today

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