Mount Maunganui residents want the council to let the community pick up their shovels and fix the beloved Mauao base track the old fashioned way.

Two proposals for "cheap" and "quick" permanent solutions to fix the slip-damaged base track were pitched to Tauranga City Council in a meeting this morning.

Both said they believed armies of volunteers would be prepared muck in and help with the construction work.

Mike O'Neill pitched an idea to cut into the bank to create a new pathway - the traditional method used to create the track.


He said he was presenting on behalf of Andrew Hollis, a geologist and co-chair of the Mount Maunganui Residents, Ratepayers and Retailers Association running for council.

Mount Maunganui resident Trevor Clist presented a design he said had been developed by a group of volunteers for a 2m wide timber pathway over the slipped area.

"We can do this manually using shovels and spades and maybe a barrow. Real old school style."

He reckoned the pathway - which would also have a 1.2m high safety wall - could be built within three weeks for $20,000.

Andrew Hollis, Trevor Clist and his timber track model, and Mike O'Neil. Photo / Samantha Motion
Andrew Hollis, Trevor Clist and his timber track model, and Mike O'Neil. Photo / Samantha Motion

Neither presenter had spoken to Mauao's iwi owners or the Heritage New Zealand about their ideas, but both planned to.

Councillor Bill Grainger said the council had to take care to ensure any solution was safe.

"Over a million people per year go around the Mount. If anything does happen the first thing is fingers pointed back at council."

Mayor Greg Brownless said the council have happy to hear ideas for how to reduce the costs but getting permission and resource consent were often the bigger hurdles.


When you add all that up that's why sometimes things can appear to be taking so much longer than they need to."

It has been just over two years since the track was partially closed by a major slip during Ex-Cyclone Debbie in April 2017.

The council built a set of temporary stairs over the slip, which enabled the full loop to reopen but made it inaccessible to some people.

It has also been investigating options for its preferred option of building a boardwalk down on the beach, but is seeking other options after cost estimates blew out to up to $6.8m.