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Conservation Minister Kate Wilkinson and Taupō MP Louise Upston have met with iwi, community and tourism industry leaders at Tongariro National Park today to discuss last week’s volcanic eruption.
Ms Wilkinson said it was important to fully understand the science behind the eruption and appreciate the cultural and economic significance of the event.
“This will help us support local iwi, community and business leaders in the future,” Ms Wilkinson says.
While local ski fields remain open to the public, Ms Wilkinson says she supports the Department of Conservation’s phased recovery and re-opening of the Tongariro Alpine Crossing.
“Tongariro National Park is an important destination for over 1 million visitors a year. The Tongariro Alpine Crossing is one of our most popular Great Walks, so this is of significant value to the local economy.
“I am pleased to see that DOC is working hard to prioritise re-opening the tracks and getting them ready for the summer season. They are continuing to work closely with GNS Science to ensure volcanic activity has eased first, so the phasing and re-opening is done without compromising staff or public safety.”
Taupō MP Louise Upston said today’s meetings were invaluable for both her and the Minister.
“It is good to see that the department have kept local iwi, community and business leaders informed and updated of the phased recovery and re-opening plans.”