The Paparoa National Park draft management plan proposes opening the door to helicopters flying people into the new Pike 29 "great walk", new climbing routes and e-bikes.

The management plan had to be reviewed to allow the creation of the Pike 29 walk and mountain bike route over the Paparoa Range.

The draft has incorporated suggestions from hundreds of people spoken to during early consultation.

Department of Conservation Buller operations manager Bob Dickson said it aimed for more visitor activity in appropriate parts of the park, such as around Punakaiki, while the northern heart of the park, around the Paparoa Range, would remain a remote zone.


The plan looks only at the national park and not Punakaiki village, which sits just outside the park.

It notes that increased pressure from tourism is affecting visitor facilities, including the Pancake Rocks and Pororari River track, Punakaiki township, State Highway 6 and the visitor centre, and says a 'Punakaiki Master Plan' is needed.

A large part of the draft management plan focuses on the Pike 29 walk, and proposes that walkers and bikers will be separated as they enter or exit via the Pororari River track. The exact route for mountain bikers is yet to be determined.

Five major suspension bridges are proposed, and a day shelter may be required between the two huts. Electric power-assisted pedal cycles (e-bikes) will be allowed on the track.

Aircraft landings are allowed for monitoring the Pike River Mine site and ventilation shaft, and for those wanting to remember the 29 men. The plan will also allow helicopter to fly in bikers and trampers.

The draft notes that the Pike 29 Memorial Great Walk is the current working name, but the final name is yet to be determined.

One change set to please rock climbers is that fixed anchors, or bolts, will be allowed, although they will need authorisation and be restricted geographically.

The draft also proposes liaising with the alpine club to determine additional climbing areas.

A number of limestone caves in the national park will remain open to the public, but Babylon will be partially restricted and Te Ana Titi restricted.

A self-guided caving experience in Nikau Place will be developed, but access to the Ananui (Metro) cave will be only as a concession opportunity.

At a glance

• Identifies opportunities for co-management, or devolved management to Ngati Waewae, of areas, specific sites; improve access to and customary use of cultural materials.

• Encourage initiatives for goat control.

• Profile any historic 'icon sites' and have quality interpretation. Historic sites include the Argyle Dam, 'tin man' grave, and small sea caves at Te Miko.

• Should not authorise grazing.

• Develop an integrated management approach to protect the Westland petrel colony.

• Assess concession applications for deer, pig, chamois and goat carcase recovery, and deer and chamois live capture.

• Consider adding the Bullock Creek to the national park.

Written pubic submissions will be accepted until August 5. The draft plan and information about making submissions can be found on the DOC website

- Greymouth Star