TUNNELS STILL SHUT
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working with an organisation on plans to operate tours in the tunnels this summer, but the application has now been withdrawn, DOC’S Auckland inner islands operations manager Keith Gell said.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.