OMR improvements lead to mulch donation to the community

Ruapehu District Council (RDC) roading contractors are due to commence the improvement work programme on the Ohākune Mountain Road (OMR) that was started last summer. Continuing on from last year’s construction this summer will see on-going pavement rehabilitation from the 1.46km to 2.88km on the OMR as well as the installation of additional concrete debris barriers, leveling of drainage grates and improving the entrance to the Mangawhero campground.

RDC Land Transport Manager, Warren Furner, said that these improvement works are part of a three year investment programme for the road through Tongariro National Park and is therefore of cultural and environmental significance. These considerations have played a significant part in the planning for the work programme and engagement with the comity. All work is undertaken in consultation with the OMR Joint Advisory Committee which includes; Council, Uenuku Charitable Trust, Ngāti Rangi Trust, the Department of Conservation (DOC) and Ruapehu Alpine Lifts.”

Mr Furner added that strict operating protocols have been put in place for all contractors designed to protect the environmental health and cultural integrity of the mountain and the national park.

“These require that all contractors working on the OMR must to adhere to DOC and iwi protocols regarding the movement of materials and the cleaning of machinery prior to work commencing. Extra care has gone in to ensuring that any construction work has a minimal impact on the landscape and that any impacts can be mitigated. Seedlings relocated from the roadside verge during construction last summer have been nurtured so they can be planted out as part of any required restoration work,” he said.

“The construction works create stock piles of mulched wood and duff (soil and leaf litter) that is reused within the site and nearby restoration. Surplus material may be available for Marae and community projects. Currently the logistics for distributing the excess mulch that will be created over the next few years of construction are being worked out.”

Community organisations interested in making use of this material can register their interest with Liz at Ngāti Rangi on 06 385 9500 or Ariana at Uenuku on 06 385 4900. For more information on the OMR summer work programme call Heather Riches at GHD on 07 896 0123

Joint press release from the OMR Joint Advisory Committee