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Park news

Updated 9 October 2018 9:40am

Greater Wellington regional parks and forests visitor numbers reach record high

The love affair with Greater Wellington region’s parks and forests just keeps growing, with a Greater Wellington Regional Council survey indicating more local visitors than ever before.

The survey reveals that 72% of our regional population have visited at least one regional park in the last 12 months – up 4% from 2017.

“Our bumper summer last year may have contributed this result, but we’ve also put considerable energy into making our parks more accessible to a wider range of people over the years,” says Parks Portfolio Leader Cr Prue Lamason. “Residents say they appreciate the sense of freedom that our parks offer, as well as the chance to relax and get away from city living.

“We were especially pleased to see that visitor satisfaction remains high, with 95% of those surveyed expressing a high level of satisfaction.”

Queen Elizabeth Park was the most visited park (31% of people visited in the last 12 months) – up seven percent from last year, followed by Kaitoke Regional Park and the Hutt River Trail (both at 29%).

Walking and bush walking were the most popular activities (75%); with 48% enjoying family outings, recreation, picnics and barbecues; 24% mountain biking or cycling; 16% walking or running with their dogs and 12% camping.

Family activities in the parks increased 10% from the previous year. However, horse riding, fishing and hunting, driving (4WD and trail biking) have all decreased.

The biggest reasons respondents gave for not visiting the parks were ‘lack of time’ and ‘other commitments’. The ‘weather’ was cited less as an influence for not going to a park this year – only 2% compared with 9% last year.

“We use this research to improve our parks for our visitors,” says Cr Lamason. “We can already see the benefits of having this research as we continue to improve the activities available and access to the parks.”

The full research report is available here: GWRC Parks Survey Report 2018

Access improved at Rainbow Court - Sept 2018

Following a number of enquiries over time about improving access to Queen Elizabeth Park at Rainbow Court, Raumati South, we’re going to trial completely removing the barrier there  so we've removed the barrier from today 21/9/2018. There has been feedback from parents with buggies, cyclists / mountain bikers with child carriers and trailers, and people with mobility scooters all having difficulty accessing the park.

The barrier was originally put in place to prevent issues with motorbikes and horses. The main reason that motorbikes are prohibited at Queen Elizabeth Park is for the health and safety of legitimate park users. They can also do significant damage to the park environment in a very short time. With removal of the barrier we will be relying on the local community to actively look out for each other. Please contact the police if you observe motorbikes or scooters using this entrance to access the park.

 Horses are not permitted on this section of track or the sealed Te Ara O Whareroa track due to the damage they can cause to the surface and potential clashes with other users. The nearest park access for horse riders is at Mckenzie Ave. See other permitted horse riding areas.If you do observe horse riders using this access point please report this to the Greater Wellington Regional Council (GWRC) contact centre on 0800 496 734.

Tree work - June 2018 

Greater Wellington Regional Council contractors are about start work to remove dangerous Poplar trees from the banks of the Wainui Stream.

From the 2nd to the 24th of June the Wainui stream track will be closed for short periods of time whilst trees are felled and cleared.

For your own safety please adhere to any instructions given to you by our contractor.

We apologise for any inconvenience. For further information, please contact Gary Wheaton at 027 223 7115.

Roadworks - May 2018

There are some roadworks planned for outside the entrance to Queen Elizabeth Park which will be undertaken by contractors on behalf of NZTA. More information about these roadworks can be found here.

Riding the QEP cycleway more of a picnic than ever - April 2018

Great news for people cycling and strolling Queen Elizabeth Park’s Te Ara O Whareroa cycleway and trail. Courtesy of a $14,000 donation from Kapiti Coast Rotary Pathways Trust, Greater Wellington has installed six beautiful macrocarpa park benches and a wheelchair friendly table and benches along the trail, providing shelter from the winds and yet another reason to enjoy the park. They provide lovely scenic spots for a rest or even a picnic. Greater Wellington says “ good on the combined Rotary clubs of the Kapiti coast for their far-sighted and public spirited funding, it’s really appreciated.”

“A community effort”: left to right - Marion Patchett Rotary Club of Paraparaumu, Murray Carr - treasurer of the Pathways Trust & Otaki Rotary, Deputy Mayor of Kapiti Coast District Council Janet Holborow, Greater Wellington Councillor Prue Lamason, Graham Priest Pathways Trust & Rotary Club of Paraparaumu, Greater Wellington Councillor Penny Gaylor and (seated) Richard Starke, Pathways Trust & Waikanae Rotary.

Rabbits at Queen Elizabeth Park - March 2018

We’ve had some reports of people finding dead animals at QEP. We expect the dead animals were possibly rabbits rather than hares.

Rabbits are far more common than hares in QEP. If they were rabbits, there is a possibility that they died as a result of burrow fumigation undertaken in an area of the dunes at the northern end of the park on Tuesday.

Signs informing the public of this work were put in place, and are still in place, on the walking tracks leading into the area (see map for locations). The signs include a warning of the risk to dogs; dogs could be exposed to the fumigant if they dig up a burrow soon after it is treated with the fumigant, but the chance of any ill effect is very low because the fumigant has a very strong smell that would repel a dog, and the fumigant dilutes once it’s exposed to the wider atmosphere outside the burrow. There is very little risk of any secondary poisoning from a dog scavenging a rabbit carcass.

What else do you need to know

  • If the dead animals were indeed hares then we cannot account for their demise. Hares don't live in burrows so they won't have been fumigated
  • No toxic bait has been laid (which hares will not eat anyway) and no night-shooting has been undertaken in the park by GW
  • The RHDV1 virus affects only rabbits, and is circulating in the rabbit population all the time, having recently gone through parts of the region. Pet rabbits are susceptible to this current strain and should receive regular vaccinations from vets
  •  The new strain RHDV1 K5 has not yet been released and the same vaccination will be effective for this strain too. We plan to provide more information on this
  • Our staff did go out to the park following this enquiry and were unable to locate the animals in question to determine whether they were indeed hares, or rabbits

If people do want to contact us if they see more dead animals and are still concerned please email pest.animals@gw.govt.nz

STORM DAMAGE UPDATE - 27/02/2018

Paekakariki:

The wooden bridge was damaged by Cyclone Gita and has been removed.  Alternative vehicle access is upstream on Wellington Road.

Extra care must be taken on the Loop Road due to pedestrian traffic.  Please be aware of debris in the area.

Whareroa:

The Coastal track from Whareroa beach to the Raumati esplanade entrance is CLOSED due to erosion.

Crews will be busy over the next few months cleaning up and we ask the public to keep out of areas that have been closed and report any additional damage to the Ranger.

Please also be aware that vehicles and machinery could be using any of the tracks at any time.

Thank you for your cooperation.

Weed spraying in Queen Elizabeth Park – Background to the public meeting Nov 2015

A public meeting was held at Raumati South Memorial Hall, 7 Tennis Court Road, on 14 November 2015 between 10:00-noon at which we listened to the community's concerns, answered questions and made our officals available directly after the meeting to talk to members of the community. See responces to questions and answers under the public support documents.