A Public Announcement from Manulife Investment Management (formerly HFMNZ):

WOODHILL FOREST PUBLIC ACCESS EASEMENT CLOSURE CONTINUES TO TAKE EFFECT FROM 11.59 PM TUESDAY 5 OCTOBER 2021
PARTIAL OPENING RIMMER ROAD FROM 9am (0900) MONDAY 22 NOVEMBER 2021
SITUATION
Public Access Easements have been historically closed when COVID 19 Alert Levels have exceeded Level 2. This occurred at 23:59 17 August 2021.
NZ Government declared COVID 19 Alert Level 4 for the Auckland region starting 23:59 17 August 2021, reducing to Alert Level 3 on 21 September 2021.
NZ Government declared an easing of COVID 19 Alert Level 3 conditions from 23:59 on 5 October 2021. However, Auckland is still in Level 3 Step 2.
PUBLIC ACCESS EASEMENT ISSUES
  1. Public Access Easements have been closed in the past when COVID 19 Alert Levels have exceeded Level 2.
  2. COVID 19 Alert Level 3 prohibits any activities “that may expose you to danger or may require search and rescue services”.
    The NZ Government advice is to exercise in your local area (local beach or park), not your favourite one.
    https://covid19.govt.nz/activities/sports-and-recreation/#sports-and-recreation-at-alert-level-3.
    Local residents can use other local beaches in the area.
  3. The Tasman Road Public Access Easement is isolated and elevates the risk to emergency services responding to an incident (COVID Alert Level 3).
    This position will be reviewed either when Auckland moves to Level 2 or the new “traffic lights” system is implemented.
  4. A rain event in late September saw 208mm rain fall near Kumeu during the 24-hour prior to 9am 30 September 2021. This rain event has damaged some Public Access Easement Roads, which were unable to be repaired until now as the work was not deemed essential under the NZ Government criteria.
  5. The Department of Conservation (the Crown’s management agency for the CFL easements) has completed initial repairs to Rimmer Road.
    The repairs to Rimmer Road at this time meets the standard for public access to resume for a limited section of Rimmer Road.
    Therefore, Rimmer Road will be partially opened to the public as noted below.
  6. In its current state, the Rimmer Road will be fit for purpose from the forest entrance at Rimmer Road to the Rimmer Road carpark.
    This is subject to road users driving to the conditions and posted speed limits and reducing speed so they can stop within half the visible distance.
    The assessment noted the road repairs have not yet bedded in. This means if road users do not drive to the conditions and posted speed limit, the road will fail prematurely and will then be closed.
    The risk assessment determined that the side slope on the dune presents an unacceptable risk to road users, so will be closed until this section of the Public Access Easement has been reinstated.
  7. It is acknowledged that some locals are inconvenienced by the closure of Rimmer Road from the carpark to the beach. The Woodhill Crown Forest Licence public access easements indemnifies the Crown from liability for any loss by a person entering the easement. The Woodhill Crown Forest Licence public access easements does not indemnify other Crown Forest Licence parties from liability for any loss by a person entering the easement (PAE No 1 & 2, Section 8). For the reason of road user safety, the Public Access Easements will be closed to all vehicles between the Rimmer Road carpark to Muriwai beach until further work is completed. The Crown (through Land Information New Zealand) are notified of all Public Access Easement closures.
PUBLIC ACCESS EASEMENT STATUS
Based on NZ Government COVID Alert Level 3 Step 2 activity restrictions, isolation, and rain event damage on Public Access Easement roads:
TASMAN ROAD Public Access Easement roads will remain fully closed.
RIMMER ROAD Public Access Easement will be partially open:
  • Open from Rimmer Road gate (Auckland Council road entrance) to the Carpark (Rimmer Road Beach gate).
    • All Class 2,3,4 and 5 vehicles are prohibited from using Rimmer Road.
  • Vehicle access is CLOSED from the carpark (Rimmer Road Beach Gate) to Muriwai Beach.
  • Non-vehicle access is open from the carpark (Rimmer Road Beach Gate) to Muriwai Beach.
    • The partial closure of Rimmer Road (for safety reasons) means
      • if a vehicle uses the easement from Rimmer Road Beach gate to Muriwai beach, the vehicle driver will be solely liable for any injury or death of a person under the Land Transport Act.
      • if a vehicle uses the easement from Rimmer Road Beach gate to Muriwai beach, the vehicle driver will also breach the Conservation Act and Trespass Act.
      • NZ Police warranted officers have delegated powers of enforcement for both Acts.
    • A sign will be erected visible to the beach.
    • We ask that this sign is not removed or vandalised
    • Removal of the sign will put vehicle users at the risk of harm.
COAST ROAD Public Access Easement road will be open for foot access only.
Reason:  Protection of trees, equipment and for the safety of those using the Access Area. (PAE No 3, Section D 4.2 & 4.3).
PLEASE REMEMBER
  1. There is no public access permitted into Woodhill Forest beyond the Closed TASMAN Road and Partially Open RIMMER Road Public Access Easements as outlined above and
    No foot access to the east of Coast Road, or north of Old Telephone Track.
    Reason: the land is private property.
  2. VEHICLES LOCKED IN MUST CALL SECURITY ON 0275355770 and PAY THE NIGHT GATE OPEN CHARGE.
  3. Auckland Council Regional Parks will manage access to the 5-mile strip (Muriwai Regional Park).
Any changes to the Public Access Easement access will be published on this website by Thursday 4pm during a given week, until normal access is restored.
Signage will be displayed at the start of the easements.

KIA TŪPATO!!
Te Ngahere o Woodhill is an operational forest on private land.
Woodhill is a working forest. Forestry operations are constant and ongoing, and the location of operations changes frequently. Consequently, authorised access to the forest is only approved via our permitting and deconflicting processes to ensure the safety of all staff, operators, and visitors.

There is no public access to the forest.
This excludes access to the licensed recreational operators in Te Ngahere o Woodhill – see Activities

Hunting in Woodhill Forest is managed by the Woodhill Fallow Management Council www.fallowdeer.co.nz

CONDITIONS AND RESTRICTIONS

The following conditions and restrictions relating to the use of the forest are applicable at all times

  • No public access (other than to the recreational parks – see Activities)
  • All authorised access and activity is by permit only.
  • The NZDF bombing range, at the northern tip of the South Head peninsula, is not part of the forest.
  • No motorised access permitted over or on the dunes other than on the 4WD beach access, when it is safe to use, from the 10-mile carpark at the end of the Rimmer Road public access easement.
  • The unloading of unregistered and/or unwarranted motorbikes or off-road vehicles from the Rimmer Road 10-mile carpark is not permitted.
  • Hunting is managed by the Woodhill Fallow Management Council. You can apply for a ballot on their website www.fallowdeer.co.nz.
  • No fires/smoking in the forest or the dunes.
  • No camping

Forest Kaitiaki/Wardens are patrolling the forest. If you are found in the forest without a permit, you will be asked to leave and risk being trespassed.

In the event of an emergency and if you see or smell smoke call 111 and leave the forest.

INFORMATION

From time to time, due to forestry operations, weather events or Covid-19 restrictions, the public access easements could be closed, or their use restricted. There will also be times when one-off events take place in the forest.

For further information regarding events and current restrictions:

  • Check the notices section on this web page
  • Phone the forest information line +64 9 420 9566 ext. 0
  • Phone the forest office during business hours +64 9 420 9566
  • Email poutahu@kaiparangahere.com

There are commercial beehives in Woodhill Forest. If you are visiting the forest and have an anaphylactic reaction to bee stings, we advise you to bring your EpiPen with you.

If you witness any suspicious activity in the forest or on the beach, please phone the Police 105 line.

AFTER HOURS

If you need to contact us after hours regarding an incident in Woodhill Forest that requires an immediate response from our Company (i.e., a matter of urgency that cannot wait until the next business day), please phone 021 128 4550 to reach on-call staff. In an EMERGENCY dial 111.

A Public Announcement from Manulife Investment Management (formerly HFMNZ):

WOODHILL FOREST PUBLIC ACCESS EASEMENT CLOSURE CONTINUES TO TAKE EFFECT FROM 11.59 PM TUESDAY 5 OCTOBER 2021
PARTIAL OPENING RIMMER ROAD FROM 9am (0900) MONDAY 22 NOVEMBER 2021
SITUATION
Public Access Easements have been historically closed when COVID 19 Alert Levels have exceeded Level 2. This occurred at 23:59 17 August 2021.
NZ Government declared COVID 19 Alert Level 4 for the Auckland region starting 23:59 17 August 2021, reducing to Alert Level 3 on 21 September 2021.
NZ Government declared an easing of COVID 19 Alert Level 3 conditions from 23:59 on 5 October 2021. However, Auckland is still in Level 3 Step 2.
PUBLIC ACCESS EASEMENT ISSUES
  1. Public Access Easements have been closed in the past when COVID 19 Alert Levels have exceeded Level 2.
  2. COVID 19 Alert Level 3 prohibits any activities “that may expose you to danger or may require search and rescue services”.
    The NZ Government advice is to exercise in your local area (local beach or park), not your favourite one.
    https://covid19.govt.nz/activities/sports-and-recreation/#sports-and-recreation-at-alert-level-3.
    Local residents can use other local beaches in the area.
  3. The Tasman Road Public Access Easement is isolated and elevates the risk to emergency services responding to an incident (COVID Alert Level 3).
    This position will be reviewed either when Auckland moves to Level 2 or the new “traffic lights” system is implemented.
  4. A rain event in late September saw 208mm rain fall near Kumeu during the 24-hour prior to 9am 30 September 2021. This rain event has damaged some Public Access Easement Roads, which were unable to be repaired until now as the work was not deemed essential under the NZ Government criteria.
  5. The Department of Conservation (the Crown’s management agency for the CFL easements) has completed initial repairs to Rimmer Road.
    The repairs to Rimmer Road at this time meets the standard for public access to resume for a limited section of Rimmer Road.
    Therefore, Rimmer Road will be partially opened to the public as noted below.
  6. In its current state, the Rimmer Road will be fit for purpose from the forest entrance at Rimmer Road to the Rimmer Road carpark.
    This is subject to road users driving to the conditions and posted speed limits and reducing speed so they can stop within half the visible distance.
    The assessment noted the road repairs have not yet bedded in. This means if road users do not drive to the conditions and posted speed limit, the road will fail prematurely and will then be closed.
    The risk assessment determined that the side slope on the dune presents an unacceptable risk to road users, so will be closed until this section of the Public Access Easement has been reinstated.
  7. It is acknowledged that some locals are inconvenienced by the closure of Rimmer Road from the carpark to the beach. The Woodhill Crown Forest Licence public access easements indemnifies the Crown from liability for any loss by a person entering the easement. The Woodhill Crown Forest Licence public access easements does not indemnify other Crown Forest Licence parties from liability for any loss by a person entering the easement (PAE No 1 & 2, Section 8). For the reason of road user safety, the Public Access Easements will be closed to all vehicles between the Rimmer Road carpark to Muriwai beach until further work is completed. The Crown (through Land Information New Zealand) are notified of all Public Access Easement closures.
PUBLIC ACCESS EASEMENT STATUS
Based on NZ Government COVID Alert Level 3 Step 2 activity restrictions, isolation, and rain event damage on Public Access Easement roads:
TASMAN ROAD Public Access Easement roads will remain fully closed.
RIMMER ROAD Public Access Easement will be partially open:
  • Open from Rimmer Road gate (Auckland Council road entrance) to the Carpark (Rimmer Road Beach gate).
    • All Class 2,3,4 and 5 vehicles are prohibited from using Rimmer Road.
  • Vehicle access is CLOSED from the carpark (Rimmer Road Beach Gate) to Muriwai Beach.
  • Non-vehicle access is open from the carpark (Rimmer Road Beach Gate) to Muriwai Beach.
    • The partial closure of Rimmer Road (for safety reasons) means
      • if a vehicle uses the easement from Rimmer Road Beach gate to Muriwai beach, the vehicle driver will be solely liable for any injury or death of a person under the Land Transport Act.
      • if a vehicle uses the easement from Rimmer Road Beach gate to Muriwai beach, the vehicle driver will also breach the Conservation Act and Trespass Act.
      • NZ Police warranted officers have delegated powers of enforcement for both Acts.
    • A sign will be erected visible to the beach.
    • We ask that this sign is not removed or vandalised
    • Removal of the sign will put vehicle users at the risk of harm.
COAST ROAD Public Access Easement road will be open for foot access only.
Reason:  Protection of trees, equipment and for the safety of those using the Access Area. (PAE No 3, Section D 4.2 & 4.3).
PLEASE REMEMBER
  1. There is no public access permitted into Woodhill Forest beyond the Closed TASMAN Road and Partially Open RIMMER Road Public Access Easements as outlined above and
    No foot access to the east of Coast Road, or north of Old Telephone Track.
    Reason: the land is private property.
  2. VEHICLES LOCKED IN MUST CALL SECURITY ON 0275355770 and PAY THE NIGHT GATE OPEN CHARGE.
  3. Auckland Council Regional Parks will manage access to the 5-mile strip (Muriwai Regional Park).
Any changes to the Public Access Easement access will be published on this website by Thursday 4pm during a given week, until normal access is restored.
Signage will be displayed at the start of the easements.

WOODHILL FOREST INFORMATION LINE:
09 420 9566 ext. 0

FYI

If you need to contact us after hours regarding an incident in Woodhill Forest that requires an immediate response from our Company (i.e. a matter of urgency that cannot wait until the next business day), please phone 021 128 4550 to reach on-call staff. In an EMERGENCY dial 111.

Hancock Forest Management New Zealand 09 470 1300 or 09 283 9019 after hours

If you witness any suspicious activity in the forest or on the beach, please phone the Crimestoppers line on 0800-555-111 or report the incident on 09-839-0600

Vehicles left in the forest after hours will be towed at the owner’s expense or a release fee will be charged by security.

Security Contact Details

  • First Security –  0800 277 697 (Restall Road gate)
  • Forest security – 027 535 5770 (Rimmer Road and Tasman Road gates)

The Muriwai Rangers manage access to the Muriwai Regional Park (5-mile strip).
To contact the Muriwai Rangers phone 09 369 5829.

Woodhill Forest land to the east of Coast Road and north of Old Telephone Track is private property. Trespassers will be prosecuted.

A Public Announcement from Manulife Investment Management (formerly HFMNZ):

WOODHILL FOREST PUBLIC ACCESS EASEMENT CLOSURE CONTINUES TO TAKE EFFECT FROM 11.59 PM TUESDAY 5 OCTOBER 2021
PARTIAL OPENING RIMMER ROAD FROM 9am (0900) MONDAY 22 NOVEMBER 2021
SITUATION
Public Access Easements have been historically closed when COVID 19 Alert Levels have exceeded Level 2. This occurred at 23:59 17 August 2021.
NZ Government declared COVID 19 Alert Level 4 for the Auckland region starting 23:59 17 August 2021, reducing to Alert Level 3 on 21 September 2021.
NZ Government declared an easing of COVID 19 Alert Level 3 conditions from 23:59 on 5 October 2021. However, Auckland is still in Level 3 Step 2.
PUBLIC ACCESS EASEMENT ISSUES
  1. Public Access Easements have been closed in the past when COVID 19 Alert Levels have exceeded Level 2.
  2. COVID 19 Alert Level 3 prohibits any activities “that may expose you to danger or may require search and rescue services”.
    The NZ Government advice is to exercise in your local area (local beach or park), not your favourite one.
    https://covid19.govt.nz/activities/sports-and-recreation/#sports-and-recreation-at-alert-level-3.
    Local residents can use other local beaches in the area.
  3. The Tasman Road Public Access Easement is isolated and elevates the risk to emergency services responding to an incident (COVID Alert Level 3).
    This position will be reviewed either when Auckland moves to Level 2 or the new “traffic lights” system is implemented.
  4. A rain event in late September saw 208mm rain fall near Kumeu during the 24-hour prior to 9am 30 September 2021. This rain event has damaged some Public Access Easement Roads, which were unable to be repaired until now as the work was not deemed essential under the NZ Government criteria.
  5. The Department of Conservation (the Crown’s management agency for the CFL easements) has completed initial repairs to Rimmer Road.
    The repairs to Rimmer Road at this time meets the standard for public access to resume for a limited section of Rimmer Road.
    Therefore, Rimmer Road will be partially opened to the public as noted below.
  6. In its current state, the Rimmer Road will be fit for purpose from the forest entrance at Rimmer Road to the Rimmer Road carpark.
    This is subject to road users driving to the conditions and posted speed limits and reducing speed so they can stop within half the visible distance.
    The assessment noted the road repairs have not yet bedded in. This means if road users do not drive to the conditions and posted speed limit, the road will fail prematurely and will then be closed.
    The risk assessment determined that the side slope on the dune presents an unacceptable risk to road users, so will be closed until this section of the Public Access Easement has been reinstated.
  7. It is acknowledged that some locals are inconvenienced by the closure of Rimmer Road from the carpark to the beach. The Woodhill Crown Forest Licence public access easements indemnifies the Crown from liability for any loss by a person entering the easement. The Woodhill Crown Forest Licence public access easements does not indemnify other Crown Forest Licence parties from liability for any loss by a person entering the easement (PAE No 1 & 2, Section 8). For the reason of road user safety, the Public Access Easements will be closed to all vehicles between the Rimmer Road carpark to Muriwai beach until further work is completed. The Crown (through Land Information New Zealand) are notified of all Public Access Easement closures.
PUBLIC ACCESS EASEMENT STATUS
Based on NZ Government COVID Alert Level 3 Step 2 activity restrictions, isolation, and rain event damage on Public Access Easement roads:
TASMAN ROAD Public Access Easement roads will remain fully closed.
RIMMER ROAD Public Access Easement will be partially open:
  • Open from Rimmer Road gate (Auckland Council road entrance) to the Carpark (Rimmer Road Beach gate).
    • All Class 2,3,4 and 5 vehicles are prohibited from using Rimmer Road.
  • Vehicle access is CLOSED from the carpark (Rimmer Road Beach Gate) to Muriwai Beach.
  • Non-vehicle access is open from the carpark (Rimmer Road Beach Gate) to Muriwai Beach.
    • The partial closure of Rimmer Road (for safety reasons) means
      • if a vehicle uses the easement from Rimmer Road Beach gate to Muriwai beach, the vehicle driver will be solely liable for any injury or death of a person under the Land Transport Act.
      • if a vehicle uses the easement from Rimmer Road Beach gate to Muriwai beach, the vehicle driver will also breach the Conservation Act and Trespass Act.
      • NZ Police warranted officers have delegated powers of enforcement for both Acts.
    • A sign will be erected visible to the beach.
    • We ask that this sign is not removed or vandalised
    • Removal of the sign will put vehicle users at the risk of harm.
COAST ROAD Public Access Easement road will be open for foot access only.
Reason:  Protection of trees, equipment and for the safety of those using the Access Area. (PAE No 3, Section D 4.2 & 4.3).
PLEASE REMEMBER
  1. There is no public access permitted into Woodhill Forest beyond the Closed TASMAN Road and Partially Open RIMMER Road Public Access Easements as outlined above and
    No foot access to the east of Coast Road, or north of Old Telephone Track.
    Reason: the land is private property.
  2. VEHICLES LOCKED IN MUST CALL SECURITY ON 0275355770 and PAY THE NIGHT GATE OPEN CHARGE.
  3. Auckland Council Regional Parks will manage access to the 5-mile strip (Muriwai Regional Park).
Any changes to the Public Access Easement access will be published on this website by Thursday 4pm during a given week, until normal access is restored.
Signage will be displayed at the start of the easements.

Public Easements are only open to the public during the hours of daylight (Sunrise to Sunset).
Due low fire risk fire period, the gate may be left open during night time, but access is at user’s risk.

Public access easement to the Waionui Inlet (lagoon)

  • This easement is normally open during daylight hours, unless the bombing range is active or there are forestry operations in the area. If in doubt, please check the notices section on this webpage, the Woodhill Forest information line 09 420 9566 ext. 0, or contact NZDF Whenuapai on 09 417 7000.

Public access easement to Muriwai Beach via Rimmer Road 

  • This easement is normally open during the hours of daylight.
  • If you are locked in please contact forest security on 027 535 5770.
  • The unloading of unregistered or unwarranted motorbikes, ATV, or other off-road vehicles from the Rimmer Road carpark, to access the beach, is not permitted at any time.
  • Please contact the Auckland Council and apply for a permit if you want to take your vehicle onto the beach.

Please note the Rimmer Road horse gate is locked and horse riding is prohibited.

The Restall Road gate to access the horse park

  • This gate is normally open from 6.30 am and closed at 6 pm during the winter season and 8 pm in summer.

Summer hours begin and end with daylight saving.

No riding on forest land outside of the horse park boundary and the marked trails that are conditionally accessible south of the horse park.
Riders found in any other areas of the forest are trespassing and will be prosecuted.

Vehicles left in the forest after hours will be towed at the owner’s expense or a release fee will be charged by forest security.

Security Contact Details:

  • First Security – 0800 277 697 (Restall Road gate)
  • Black Hawk Security – 027 535 5770 (Rimmer Road gate)

COAST ROAD PUBLIC ACCESS EASEMENT

Coast Road is permanently closed to motorised vehicle access.
Access by foot, bicycle or horse is permitted during daylight hours.

There is no access permitted into Woodhill Forest beyond the formation of Coast Road from the Coast Road security gate to Old Telephone Track.
Woodhill Forest land to the east of Coast Road and north of Old Telephone Track is private property, trespassers will be prosecuted.

There is public access from the easement to the Muriwai Regional Park that is west of Coast Road and south of Old Telephone Track.
Auckland Council Regional Parks (Muriwai Rangers) manage access to the 5-mile strip (Muriwai Regional Park).
To contact the Muriwai Rangers phone 09 369 5829.

Any changes to Public Access Easement access will be published on this website and on the forest information line.

WOODHILL FOREST INFORMATION LINE

  • 09 420 9566 ext. 0

FYI

If you need to contact us after hours regarding an incident in Woodhill Forest that requires an immediate response from our Company (i.e. a matter of urgency), please phone 021 128 4550 to reach on-call staff. In an EMERGENCY dial 111.

Hancock Forest Management New Zealand 09 470 1300 or 09 283 9019 after hours.

Muriwai Rangers 027 290 1287

If you witness any suspicious activity in the forest or on the beach, please phone the Crimestoppers line on 0800-555-111 or report the incident on 09-839-0600.

09 420 9566 ext. 1 – reception

09 420 9566 ext. 0 (forest info line)

poutahu@kaiparangahere.com

71 Restall Road, RD 3, Waimauku 0883 map

P O Box 315, Kumeū 0841

For further contact details please click here

PUBLIC NOTICE (2016)

In 2013 Ngā Maunga Whakahii o Kaipara (NMWoK, the ‘corporate’ entity representing Ngāti Whātua o Kaipara) purchased the land under Woodhill Forest from the Crown as part of our Treaty of Waitangi settlement. The land then became privately owned. The primary reason for purchasing the land was a commercial investment to fund the hapū’s social, educational, cultural and health programmes.

As private land, there is no obligation on NMWoK to provide access to the public – just as there is no public right to roam on the private land any of us own, our homes.

Ngāti Whātua o Kaipara has for centuries now welcomed new people into our region – even when for periods of time we became marginalised and dispossessed. We understand and value the development of a strong community and will play our part. The various activities we run or licence within Woodhill (e.g. Woodhill Mountain Bike Park, Tree Adventures, off-roading, dirt biking, paintball) give opportunities to the public to enjoy the forest – whilst contributing to the commercial return we expected when we decided to purchase it. However unquestionably the most significant activity in the forest is forestry, which we both licence and now, increasingly, participate in as a joint venture partner. Forestry is a high-risk industry and the forest is a workplace. Other mobile businesses such as firewood collection also use the forest. One-off events are increasingly common. There is even a live-firing weapons range at the northern end of the forest and military exercises at times outside of that area. We have strict obligations on us as the landowner, landlord and now forestry company to keep this workplace, and all within it, safe as required under legislation. The new health and safety legislation that came into force this year (2016) is much tighter than the old and sets out massive penalties for our senior staff and board members should an incident occur and our processes are found lacking. This encourages caution. We know other organisations with similar responsibilities to us are grappling with how to manage their obligations in a sensible way. You may well see a range of responses but no-one wants to be the test case in a prosecution under the new legislation. Our tenant businesses are as conscious as we are of their organisational risks operating in the forest. We need to take their concerns into account in how we manage the forest.

So, for now, having taken legal advice, discussed these matters in depth with our tenants and business partners, and considering our own appetite for risk (especially those in positions of authority for us who would face fines into the millions should we be convicted of a failing under health and safety legislation), our cautious position is that the public may only access Woodhill Forest by permit, or in one of the licenced activity areas. For horse-riders, this means the exclusive horse park area, the boundary of which is described as the ‘perimeter trail’ on your maps. As registered riders, we know we have your details should we need to contact you. We know you have been informed of the dangers in the forest and made aware of where to find information on changing situations in the forest (e.g. areas that are out of bounds because of harvesting activity). We know the area within which you will be found (and importantly where you should not be, but where we could then permit other activity).  The same can be said of all the other licensed activities we sanction in the forest. This knowledge and ability to exert control and keep things safe are absent when we don’t know who is in the forest, doing what and where. Managing this mosaic of use takes a lot of staff time and attention – and so there is a cost to this. There is also a limit to the complexity of use that we believe we can actually keep track of, across all 12,500 hectares of the forest, and keep everyone within safe to a reasonable standard. Only we out of all the businesses/groups/individuals that access and use the forest can appreciate, and need to know, everything that is happening in it every day. Thus, we reserve the right to only permit what we believe we can safely manage. We will continue to make use of tools like media, signage, pamphlets, our kaitiaki educators and trespass, to discharge our responsibilities and preserve our own rights.

Constructive feedback is welcome, but we will continue to take a precautionary approach that allows us to feel we are discharging our duty of care to ourselves and our workers, our tenants and business partners, and our customers. Over time we will make changes to the forest regime as experience, understanding and the mosaic of activities change. Some of these may be less restrictive, and some may prove to need to be more restrictive.

It would be easy (and tempting) to discuss and debate public access in the forest forever, but we are loathed to endlessly revisit this. Now and again we will respond if there is something new to be added or clarified but generally, we hope and trust that people will respect us as a private landowner and business. We know we won’t meet the wants of all the wider public who would like to have unfettered access to the forest, but this posting sets out again why we are acting as we are. We will take note of reasonable suggestions but will generally consider these in our own way and time as we manage the large, complex beast that is Woodhill Forest.

  • A wind monitoring mast will be installed at the southern end of Woodhill forest. A second mast location has also been consented but at this stage there are no plans to erect a second mast
  • The mast will be in place until enough data has been gathered, which may be up to four years.
  • Ngā Maunga Whakahii o Kaipara (NMWoK) is receiving a rental for the placement of the wind monitoring mast on the land.
  • Foundation construction will begin next month (June) and the mast is expected to be in place by end of July. Prep and construction work will be preceded by appropriate Ngāti Whātua ceremony, and ground disturbing activity will be monitored.
  • The wind monitoring mast will be 80 m tall and 22.5 cm in diameter. While it will be able to be seen from a distance, it will appear as a thin line and in most conditions barely visible. Installing wind monitoring masts is standard practice in the early stages of investigating the potential of a new wind farm development site.
  • Reweti Marae reps and community have been approached for opinion on the installation of the wind test mast (as the closest marae) and are supportive.
  • The actual development of a wind farm would be a separate process from wind monitoring and there has been no pre-determination that NMWoK and Meridian would proceed to develop a wind farm, even if the wind resource proves to be good.
  • For NMWoK the decision to allow the development of a wind farm in the future would require consideration of cultural, environmental, social and financial impacts. These will be considered during the period of time that wind monitoring is being carried out.
  • Should a wind farm be developed in the future, there will be a consent process to be followed that will include stakeholder engagement.
  • Any future wind farm would only occupy a small proportion of what is now forest and there are many ancillary activities that could take place under and around wind turbines, both existing and new (e.g. recreational pursuits such as mountain biking, alternative crops and bee-keeping, grazing, events etc.).

About Meridian:

Meridian is the largest generator of electricity in New Zealand and only generates from renewable energy sources. They own and operate five wind farms across New Zealand, and six hydro power generation stations (the Manapouri power station in Fiordland and five hydro power stations on the Waitaki River). They retain a portfolio of new generation development options ready to be advanced when the market requires. Meridian is also a retailer of electricity to more than 217,000 homes and businesses across New Zealand.