TUN­NELS STILL SHUT

Waiheke Marketplace - - Front Page -

Little light seems to be shin­ing on hopes for Stony Bat­ter Tun­nels to open this sum­mer. The De­part­ment of Con­ser­va­tion (DOC) has been work­ing with an or­gan­i­sa­tion on plans to op­er­ate tours in the tun­nels this sum­mer, but the ap­pli­ca­tion has now been with­drawn, DOC’S Auck­land in­ner is­lands op­er­a­tions man­ager Keith Gell said. ‘‘We are now look­ing to talk to an­other po­ten­tial con­ces­sion­aire to run safe guided tours through the tun­nels,’’ he said. Arche­ol­o­gist Tim Moon is lead­ing two guided tours through the tun­nels as part of next month’swai­heke­walk­ing Fes­ti­val, but th­ese have al­ready booked out. DOC closed the tun­nels in April 2015, af­ter a group could not find a guide and be­came se­ri­ously con­cerned when they strug­gled to find their way out of the tun­nels. DOC re­gards self-guided tours of the tun­nels as pos­ing an ‘‘in­ap­pro­pri­ate’’ risk to pub­lic safety, Gell said.

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