25 Jan 2019

DOC has hit back at criticism about Cape Kidnappers landslide beach

4:35 pm on 25 January 2019

The Department of Conservation (DOC) has hit back at criticism it downplayed risks at a Hawke's Bay beach where two Korean tourists were injured in a massive landslide this week.

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The cliffs at Cape Kidnappers attract regular tourists groups. Photo: 123rf.com

A 22-year-old woman is in critical condition in intensive care, and a 29-year-old man is in a stable condition, after they were swept into the sea by the rockfall at the beach on the way to Cape Kidnappers on Wednesday, 23 January.

But the district council, not DOC, is responsible for that section of beach, which is a public road, said DOC acting operations manager for Hawke's Bay Moana Smith-Dunlop.

However DOC did carry out a risk assessment of the beach before promoting Cape Kidnappers as one of the country's best day hikes, she said.

Detailed safety checks of all of the organisation's facilities at Cape Kidnappers would be carried out today.

Engineers were assessing the walkway, and rangers were checking the other amenities on conservation land, including a toilet block.

"We have barriers and signage along that cliff face, to prohibit people from moving too close, but we will also be looking at relocating those structures as part of the greater development of the site"

Ms Smith-Dunlop said upgrade plans were underway before the landslide.