Owairaka the sixth and final maunga closed to cars

March 29, 2019

Owairaka the sixth and final maunga closed to cars

For this view, don your walking shoes. Photo: Mollie Edwards

Auckland's Tupuna Maunga Authority permanently removed vehicle access to the summit of Owairaka/Mt Albert last week, making it the last of six maunga in the city to be closed to cars.

The summit loop road is now closed to all motor vehicles, except for people with limited mobility, who must obtain an access code for the automated entrance gate.

Pedestrians are able to walk or cycle to the summit.

The Tupuna Maunga Authority say closing the road to the summit has allowed Owairaka/Mt Albert to return to a place of cultural and historical significance to mana whenua.

“To honour these values and create an enhanced, safer experience for pedestrians and cyclists, the tihi of Mount Albert/Owairaka is being returned to a space free of motor vehicles.”

Members of the public have mixed views about the limited vehicle access. Mount Albert resident Janette Brenner says there are positives and negatives.

“The plus side is that we can walk up without worrying about a car behind us. The minus is that they took away many more car spaces than they gave us back.

"When sports teams are here, we have to park all the way down the hill which can be irritating for dog walkers like me.”

Alisha Patel says running up Mount Albert is her weekly stress relief. With the summit road closed to cars she feels more comfortable going on her run.

“I like the fact that they have closed to the summit road to vehicles because now I can put in my headphones and not worry about a car being behind me or in my way.

“I think it is respectful to return Mount Albert to a place of history and peace.”

The Tupuna Maunga Authority mannage the maunga of Auckland. In a statement, it says the mountains are at the heart of Auckland and represent Maori identity in the city.

“Today, the historic significance and the continued cultural connection over time sets our volcanic landscape apart from others around the world.”

The main entrance of Mt Albert now includes a new visitor car park, toilet block and a drinking fountain connected to a dog water bowl.

For more information on the Tupuna Maunga Authority please visit here

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