The Department of Conservation is confident of having the access bridge to
the world famous giant Kauri Tane Mahuta back in place in time for the start
of the school holidays this weekend.
Vandals removed the deck and handrails from the bridge at the start of the
track to Tane Mahuta on Sunday. All that remained were two laminated wooden
beams spanning the Wairau River.
Kerikeri Area manager John Beachman said DOC staff and an engineer had
visited the site today (Wednesday) and work on the replacement would begin
on Thursday. Remains of the original bridge were located at the northern
edge of the forest following a search of the area.
Mr Beachman said it was DOC's priority to get the bridge to this popular
tourist spot fixed as soon as possible and apologised for any inconvenience
caused by the incident.
"This is something that we did not plan for and we are working as quickly as
possible to get another bridge safely in place," he said. An engineer has
been called in to ensure the new structure meets all required safety
Dargaville police are continuing to investigate the incident.