13 May 2020

'We must all continue to be careful and vigilant': Te Urewera to reopen

7:45 pm on 13 May 2020

Te Urewera will reopen under alert level 2 but there will be strict safety guidelines in place.

The guardians of the whenua, Ngāi Tūhoe, closed the huts, campgrounds, boat ramps, walks and freedom camping areas for the duration of level three.

Te Urewera Board chair Tāmati Kruger said it would reopen for visitors once the country moves into alert level 2 tomorrow.

He said all visitors to Te Urewera, whether it be for walking, camping, hunting or fishing, must bring cleaning equipment to thoroughly clean any surfaces.

They should should also bring camping equipment, as social distancing may not be possible in the huts.

Visitors would also be required to fill out a quick trip report beforehand, and fill in intention books in huts or shelters.

Kruger expected an influx of guests to Te Urewera when inter-regional travel was permitted.

"Just as we ask manuhiri to care for nature when they come to Te Urewera by packing in and out their rubbish, we also ask them now to care for the communities of Te Urewera as well as fellow visitors by observing some simple measures to stop any possibility that Te Urewera becomes a site of Covid transmission," Kruger said.

"We know that it is unlikely Covid-19 has been fully eradicated in New Zealand. As kaitiaki for Te Urewera we cannot allow it to get a foothold in our valleys and communities, or let it become a site from transmission to visitors. That is why we must all continue to be careful and vigilant with our actions."

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