Council takes a Proactive Approach to Addressing Traffic Congestion at Popular Pouakai Crossing

23 November 2016

A potentially world-class one-day walk might get a dedicated car park to enhance safety for our community and visitors.
 
Currently, users of the Mangorei Track – which forms part of the Pouakai Crossing – must leave their vehicles on the roadside at the top of Mangorei Road, which can cause safety issues for road users.
 
“It’s a narrow road towards the end and there are some homes in that area, and increasingly more people are wanting to walk the Pouakai Crossing,” says Group Manager Strategy Liam Hodgetts.

We’ll be making some small safety improvements along the last three kilometres of Mangorei Road over the next three years.
 
“We’re also planning to build an off-road car parking facility that can accommodate cars and busses – not just for current users but also for the growth of visitor numbers that we’re expecting over the coming years as a result of the growing national and international profile of the route.
 
“There would also be toilet facilities and a water supply on the site.”
 
Mayor Neil Holdom says the facility will be a huge boost for development of the Pouakai Crossing.
 
“The Mangorei Track currently has about 8,500 walkers a year but this is expected to increase if the Pouakai Crossing is developed to a one-day walk of international standard,” says the Mayor.

“The Pouakai Crossing is getting more and more publicity, and Lonely Planet highlighted it when naming Taranaki the second-best region in the world to visit in 2017. This car park development would make the crossing much easier to access and more popular as a result.”
 
The region is attracting an increasing number of international visitors – up 21.3 per cent in the last year (to September 2016) compared to the national growth of 9.9 per cent. 

“Ensuring our tourism infrastructure meets their expectations will be important to ensure this growth continues,” says Mayor Holdom.

The Council has an unconditional agreement for the purchase of a 1.15ha section of suitable land for $225,000 and is consulting with immediate neighbours regarding the car park’s development. However, the construction of the facility is subject to available funding.
 
Says Mr Hodgetts: “Next year we plan to apply to a Government fund for regional tourism facilities.”
 
The District Blueprint has a key direction of having New Plymouth and Taranaki become a world-class destination. 

“Having the Council contribute to the development of the Pouakai Crossing as a whole will help build our reputation as a world-class recreational and environmental tourism experience,” says Mr Hodgetts.