The fate of the Mauao base track will be decided today, including the proposed $5.2 million price tag that could come with it.

The Tauranga City Council will present a report today, where elected members will make a decision on the next step for the track and whether additional funding for repairs will get the green light.

The cost to repair the damaged section started out at $2.2 million in 2017, however a new proposed plan to build a 350m track along the coast looked to blow out the figure by more than $3 million.

Weather events caused extensive damage to the track in 2017, resulting in a section being closed and a temporary set of stairs being constructed around the slip. The new track would avoid the current slip and areas either side that were considered to be slip-prone.


The increased price tag had caused some ratepayers to become "sick and tired" of council overspend.

However, as the Tauranga City Council did not own the mountain, a council spokeswoman could not confirm who the project would be funded by until after today's meeting.

In the council agenda, there were two set options presented: fix the track for an additional $3.09 million, or do nothing.

Along with the proposed repair, there were also two sub-options that would come at an additional cost.

One would provide an access ramp to the beach and rock revetment to protect the track for an extra $1.3 million and the other would create a boardwalk from long-lasting composite fibre technology for an additional $280,000.

If all three options were to be voted in, the total cost would sit at $6.8 million.

Chairman of Nga Poutiriao o Mauao, the administration board that managed the mountain, Dean Flavell said the increase of cost came about from a lack of durability of the current track.

The slip at Mauao Base Track. Photo / Andrew Hollis
The slip at Mauao Base Track. Photo / Andrew Hollis

He said the plan for the new track was one that would last over a longer period with "100-year stability" and would likely save ratepayers money in the long run as less small repairs would be required.


The money should be seen as an investment and the board was in full support of anything that was viable, he said.

According to the council report, the reason for the significant jump in cost was because the initial budget was set before risks and issues had been fully explored.

Coordinators of the Mount Maunganui Ratepayers and Residents Association Dawn Kiddie and Andrew Hollis were both "outraged" by the budget blowout.

The slip has caused a section of the mountain to be closed for more than two years. Photo / File
The slip has caused a section of the mountain to be closed for more than two years. Photo / File

Kiddie said it was a "horrendous amount of money" and although Mount residents did want the track fixed, believed it could be done for less.

Hollis said he was "sick and tired" of the council "unnecessarily dipping into ratepayers' pockets" and the slip was something that should have been repaired a long time ago for a fraction of the cost.

He said the anger was one that had built up after a number of budget blowouts from the council and he thought that by the time the track was done, the cost would likely increase even more.

Tourism Bay of Plenty's Kath Low said as the walk was considered one of the country's most popular short walks at the mercy of coastal impacts, it was prone to "wear and tear", so it was important the path was maintained for safety in all conditions.

President for the Mount Runners and Walkers club Melissa Olsen said the base track had a massive appeal to the locals and the current temporary steps meant some residents were not able to enjoy it.

She said the club had been running an event around the track for 33 years and since the slip, people in wheelchairs, with prams and some elderly were unable to get involved.

The meeting will start at 9am tomorrow.