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Access denied to Arapuke Forest Park during week

posted Oct 16, 2014, 1:17 AM by Bill Russell   [ updated Oct 16, 2014, 1:17 AM ]
Press Release from PNCC

16 October 2014

Access denied to Arapuke Forest Park during week

Access to Arapuke Forest Park has now been restricted to weekends and statutory holidays only.

Members of the public are jeopardising the safety of the logging contractors working in the park, and their own safety.

Council forester Mark Johnston says we have consulted WorkSafe NZ and we are advised we have a duty to ensure the foresters’ safety while they’re working, so we have had to take the closure decision.

Mr Johnston said there have been several incidents since the logging started where members of the public (both cyclists and walkers) have breached both warning signs and safety cordons.

“We didn’t want to close the park in the evenings on week days, but we have no choice now. In some cases contractors have been approached by members of the public,” Mark said.

“Since logging started on 29th September there have been a steady number of people visiting the forest during restricted times and we are committed to ensuring everyone’s safety,” Mark said.

“The park is simply a dangerous place during harvesting, there’s a lot of heavy machinery and trees being felled. Avoiding accidents is top priority.”

Logging is scheduled to run through to April next year.

For more information contact:
Mark Johnston
Forester
Palmerston North City Council
356 8199

Manawatu Mountain Bike Club fully support the decision of PNCC to close the forest during weekdays. There have been a number of safety incidents in the last two weeks and the weekday closure was requested by the logging contractors as they simply do not want to run the risk of hurting someone. Signage is being strengthened and new signage at the start of Kahuterawa Rd put in place.

We urge all club members to abide by this restriction and to encourage all members of the public to do likewise. The alternative is a total closure until May 2015, which we are very keen to avoid. BR