Dozens of people gathered at Mauao this morning to bless the opening of the base track.

Kaumatua Tamati Tata, who led the blessing, addressed about 60 people and joked the blessing was meant to be "low key".

Mayor Tenby Powell said he was excited to finally open the track.

Mayor Tenby Powell at the opening. Photo / Zoe Hunter
Mayor Tenby Powell at the opening. Photo / Zoe Hunter

"We are coming up three years now and it was just inconceivable for me to have this closed for another summer season," he said.

Advertisement

Tourism Bay of Plenty's Kristin Dunne said it was amazing to finally have the track open for the many tourists and locals who visit Mauao.

"This has been in their lives for many years and generations," she said.

Dozens turned out for the blessing and opening on the Mauao base track. Photo / Zoe Hunter
Dozens turned out for the blessing and opening on the Mauao base track. Photo / Zoe Hunter

"It is spiritually significant. It is a lot more than just a track opening."

Tauranga City Council staff and contractors had been working tirelessly since a decision was made last month to repair the section of the track damaged by a major slip in 2017.

The repaired section of the base track. Photo / Zoe Hunter
The repaired section of the base track. Photo / Zoe Hunter

The Mauao Trust guided council staff in their engagement with experts to ensure the maunga was safe and accessible for wheelchairs and prams.

The repairs included excavations, track realignment, installing a hand rail, improving drainage, and stabilising the area with geotech cloth and soil nails.

The blessing took place this morning. Photo / Zoe Hunter
The blessing took place this morning. Photo / Zoe Hunter

After the holidays, further work will be undertaken to finalise the repairs. The track section will be formally opened once this work had been completed.

The full cost of the repairs was yet to be determined, but was expected to be a fraction of the $4.65 million that was approved by the last Council.

Advertisement