A non-slip coating on the timber sections of the walkway near the Art Park on Whangarei's Hatea Loop is being replaced after it cracked and flaked off.

The council hired a contractor to cover the timber surfaces from the playground to the Art Park with an anti-slip coating, in response to complaints the timber was too slippery in 2016. It cost $36,000 at the time.

Whangarei District Council landscape architect Tracey Moore said the contractors will be back tomorrow to replace the coating, at their own expense.

She said when the coating was installed, the timber wasn't completely dry.


"Less than a year after installation, with the extreme dry conditions we experienced last summer, the timber started shrinking. The relatively inflexible resin couldn't accommodate the movement and blistered and cracked off."

Work on the timber sections within the 230m stretch along the length of the Art Park is expected to start tomorrow, weather permitting, and take three working days, finishing on Monday.

Ms Moore said the Hatea Loop will stay open throughout the work and the weekend. The sections will be cordoned off and people will just need to walk around.

She said areas of the coloured boardwalk, near the playground, were repaired by the contractor last year - also at its own expense - by scraping off the ruptured sections of surfacing and filling with fresh material.

"We're happy with the outcome as our contractor has acknowledged that some of their product didn't last as long as guaranteed and they will replace it at their expense, prolonging the life of the boardwalk.

"We're also pleased that the anti-slip material has eliminated the slipperiness previously experienced on the timber surfaces."

Ms Moore said the council had expected the anti-slip coating to last five years.

With a lot of rain recently, she said the contractors will make sure the timber is dry enough this time around.