23 November, 2012
Minister visits Mt Tongariro community leaders
Conservation Minister Kate Wilkinson and Taupō MP Louise Upston will visit Turangi today to discuss the recent eruption of Mt Tongariro with the Department of Conservation and GNS Science.
The mountain erupted for the second time this year on Wednesday.
Ms Wilkinson and Mrs Upston will meet with Tuwharetoa paramount chief Sir Tumu te Heuheu and a small group of community leaders. They will be briefed by DOC and GNS officials on the current state of volcanic activity and possible future scenarios for Mt Tongariro’s Te Maari crater.
They will also be briefed on the best way forward to support the community and businesses and potential strategies for re-opening Tongariro Alpine Crossing and Northern Circuit Tracks.
“Tongariro National Park has over 1 million visitors a year and the Tongariro Alpine Crossing is New Zealand’s most popular day walk,” Ms Wilkinson says.
“I am pleased to see that DOC is working hard with GNS to monitor volcanic activity so any re-opening of tracks in the future is done without compromising staff or public safety.”
Mrs Upston said today’s meeting is important in keeping community leaders well informed on the volcanic activity.
“It is great that DOC and GNS are doing this important work so we can help the community during the recovery phase.”