March 17, 2019
Cars blocked from Ōwairaka summit
Ōwairaka – Te Ahi-kā-a-Rakataura, also know as Mount Albert, has become the sixth Auckland maunga to become vehicle free.
The tihi or summit was closed off on Saturday, although people who have limited mobility can obtain an access code for a new automated gate at the start of the loop road.
A new visitor car park, toilet block and drinking fountain have been added inside the main entrance to the maunga.
Tūpuna Maunga Authority chair Paul Majurey says the changes recognise the maunga are separate from many other parks and open spaces in that they are wāhi tapu sites of immense spiritual, ancestral, cultural, customary, and historical significance to Mana Whenua.
Ōwairaka / Te Ahi-kā-a-Rakataura was once an important pā and despite extensive damage through quarrying in more recent times, the maunga still retains remnants of early Māori life in the form of historic terraces and food pits.
He says public feedback is that maunga are vastly more peaceful and safer places without cars driving up and over them.
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