Lighthouse walkway at Te Rerenga Wairua/Cape Rēinga re-opens after damage in last week’s deluge

A section of the path around the lighthouse was seriously undermined and part of the stone wall had collapsed. Photo / Ngāti Kuri

A popular walkway leading to the lighthouse at Te Rerenga Wairua/Cape Rēinga has re-opened after major damage caused by last week’s deluge.

The path from the carpark to the lighthouse was closed on May 8 by Far North iwi Ngāti Kuri after paving around the landmark was undermined and a section of stone wall collapsed.

Stone paving on the northern side of the lighthouse was still intact but the soil underneath had been entirely washed away, making it dangerous to walk on or even approach.

Ngāti Kuri facilities manager Abbey Brown said the path had re-opened following an assessment on Tuesday, but part of the lookout area around the lighthouse had been fenced off for safety.


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Engineers would prepare a plan and costings for repairs over the next week or two.

It was likely the path would close again while repairs were carried out due to machinery using the walkway for access.

Improvements to the path to improve drainage would likely be carried out at the same time.

The “pretty extreme” rainfall had also caused significant erosion along Te Paki Stream and a series of slips along Te Paki Rd.


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A decision on re-opening the stream, which is used for four-wheel-drive and tour bus access to the northern end of Te Oneroa-a-Tōhē/Ninety Mile Beach, was to be made after an inspection yesterday.

Last week’s torrential rain also caused significant erosion along Te Paki Stream. Photo / Ngāti Kuri
Last week’s torrential rain also caused significant erosion along Te Paki Stream. Photo / Ngāti Kuri

The road to the Taputaputa campground, just east of Cape Rēinga, was likely to remain closed for a few more weeks while slips were repaired.

The campground at Kapowairua/Spirits Bay, however, was open.

Te Paki Coastal Track had been closed for some time due to concerns about wild dogs and damage to a wetland boardwalk caused by Cyclone Gabrielle in February.

Brown said last week’s downpour had brought new track damage and swept away footbridges at Taputaputa and Kapowairua.

Slips that had reduced State Highway 1 to one lane in the Te Paki area had since been cleared.

In April, a fire swept through 300 hectares of bush and scrub just south of the Cape in an area home to an endangered species of flax snail known as pūpū whakarongotaua.

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