Nearly two years after a major slip buried a large section of Mauao's base track, consent has yet to be approved for an eagerly-awaited $2.2 million permanent fix.

A 14m wide slip buried a section of the popular track on the southern point after ex-Cyclone Debbie hit in April 2017.

By July of that year Tauranga City Council had opened a temporary path with boxed steps going over the slipped section.

It made the full loop accessible to walkers but not to people using wheelchairs or prams.


Tauranga mum of two Vicky, who did not want her last name published, was a regular user of the track but said the stairs "put me right off" as they were too hard to navigate with a buggy.

"It's such a shame because its such a beautiful walk and it was a great walk with a buggy - some ups and downs, in the shade, good distance and so on."

She is among those eagerly awaiting the construction of the council's proposed permanent solution: A $2.2 million project to reroute a 250m section of slip-prone track down on to the beach.

The buggy-friendly path would be more resistant to likely future slips while preserving the mountain's landscape.

The consenting process for the new route started in June last year.

The council's acting parks and recreation manager Warren Aitken said yesterday that it was still being worked through.

He said the council expected to "be in a position to consider options within the next two months". He could not say what those options could include.

Construction start dates would depend on the outcome of the consent process.


He said the council and Heritage New Zealand were working on a plan to make public the results of archaeological investigations at the historically significant site.

Slips have been an ongoing issue for the track, forcing partial closures and clean-up jobs as recently as December, and several other times over the past couple of years.

Meanwhile, the number of visitors using the base track, one of New Zealand's most popular short walks, has continued to grow.

It attracted 384,756 visitors in the 12 months to June, an increase of about 100,000 on the previous year, according to a report presented to Tauranga City Council late last year.