A Civil Defence instruction has been issued to Taranaki’s district councils to close roads to the mountain as the road end carparks provide places for freedom camping and for members of the public to congregate in ways not permitted under the Level 4 COVID-19 restrictions.
The main entrances into the park – Manaia Rd, Pembroke Rd and Egmont Rd – are administered by local district councils. The roads are not part of the DOC-managed national park but do provide access to it.
DOC’s priority is to support New Zealand in stopping the spread of COVID-19 and saving lives, says DOC Taranaki Operations Manager Gareth Hopkins.
“Closing the roads is a sensible action right now,” Mr Hopkins says.
“New Zealanders are being told to stay home to break the chain of community transmission of this virus. DOC is playing its part.
“Right now that means DOC facilities and offices are closed, and tracks and national parks are out of bounds unless they are right by your home.”
The entrance roads into Egmont National Park have been closed in the past for predator control operations, snow clearing, storm damage and special events.