Kāpiti Coast District Council is urging residents to stay clear of Wi Parata Reserve in Waikanae for their own safety.
The Council has closed the reserve due to a risk overhanging plant clumps, ephiphytes or astelias, may fall onto the tracks.
Parks and Recreation Manager Alison Law says following an astelia falling near the track recently the Council had an assessment undertaken by an external arborist that showed there’s 17 trees in the reserve with astelias in them, including trees that overhang the track.
“This poses a risk to public safety, particularly as the clumps can be quite heavy and fall from a height,” Ms Law says.
“We recognise that Wi Parata Reserve is a well-used track and a beautiful reserve in Waikanae but the safety of our community is our main priority.
“We don’t want to take any risks and the last thing we want is for an accident to happen if it can be avoided.”
The reserve is protected under the District Plan and therefore any modifications to the vegetation requires a resource consent.
“We’re currently considering our options for reducing the risk, one option we will be looking in to is rerouting the tracks, and from there we will submit a resource consent application,” she says.
“It’s likely the reserve will be closed for several weeks while we go through this process. We have put barriers up at each entrance to the reserve with signs explaining the reserve is closed, but it’s not possible to completely fence off the reserve so we are urging people to be please sensible and steer clear.”
Background info on ephiphytes:
3 February 2017