Papamoa Hills Regional Park will temporarily close on October 5 for up to four months due to a pine harvest operation on land leased for and adjacent to the park.
"It's a shame to have to close the park just as spring is arriving but the closure is necessary to protect public safety. We expect to re-open again in February so that people can still enjoy some summer park time," said Bay of Plenty Regional Council Kaituna catchments manager Pim de Monchy.
The 25 hectare harvest area is owned by Fulton Hogan who have commissioned contractors for the harvest.
The harvest operation area includes the area surrounding the Poplar Lane car park and part of the main access track which services the Papamoa Hills Regional Park.
"There's a narrow earthworks season window that constrains when a harvest like this can be done. We're starting the harvest as early as possible to minimise the impacts on summer Park visitors," said Fulton Hogan regional manager Gavin Riddle.
Mr de Monchy said that Regional Council was taking advantage of the closure to harvest and additional six hectares of immature pines on a Regional Council owned portion of the Park.
"We've brought that harvest forward so that we can avoid another closure in future and to take advantage of harvesting efficiencies and access opportunities through adjacent private land," Mr de Monchy said.
"We're really sorry for any inconvenience to our regular Park visitors. We hope they can be patient with us and take the opportunity to enjoy some of the other fabulous parks and walking tracks nearby in the meantime.
Some suggested alternatives are listed on our webpage at www.boprc.govt.nz/papamoahills.
Mr de Monchy said that park re-opening updates will also be posted to the web page when available and promoted through local channels.