Regan Schoultz is an NZME news service reporter based in Auckland.

Mt Eden road works begin four days before car ban

View of Auckland from the summit of Mt Eden. Photo / File
View of Auckland from the summit of Mt Eden. Photo / File

Sightseers wanting to drive to the summit of one of Auckland's most popular tourist spots one last time may have missed their chance.

Roadworks that began this morning at the base of Mt Eden/Maungawhau have blocked the one-way vehicle entrance to the peak.

A total ban on motor vehicles, announced yesterday, wasn't due to come into effect until Wednesday.

But road workers have already dug up the road -- four days early -- in preparation for installing bollards.

The ban applies to all vehicles, including motorbikes and scooters.

It implements last April's decision by the mountain's controlling body, the Tupuna Maunga o Tamaki Makaurau Authority, to extend a 2011 ban on heavy vehicles, including buses.

The authority, which oversees Auckland's volcanic cones, said the consideration of pedestrian safety, congestion and damage to the mountains had led to its "unanimous" decision.

Chairman Paul Majurey said the outcome respected the spiritual and cultural significance of the summit to mana whenua.

"For mana whenua, the tihi [summit] of Maungawhau has always been a place to be treated with respect and reverence. The taonga is loved by all visitors as a place for quiet reflection and connection," he said.

"Motor vehicle restriction on the tihi of Maungawhau was signalled many years ago as a key measure to protect this taonga, and to reflect the mana whenua and community aspirations of their living connections with this taonga."

Mr Majurey said it was "very pleasing to have reached this point".

People who have limited mobility and are unable to walk to the summit, or the driver for someone with limited mobility, are exempt from the ban.

They can obtain a keypad access code from the Auckland Council to lower the bollards at the entrance to the summit road and drive up in their own vehicle.

- NZ Herald

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