Archived content: This media release was accurate on the date of publication. 


DOC is working closely with the Hastings District Council, NZ Police and the Hawke’s Bay Regional Council who are managing the emergency response to the slip at Cape Kidnappers.

Date:  24 January 2019

The beach and access area to Cape Kidnappers will remain closed until a robust assessment of the area is carried out, and it is deemed safe to reopen.

DOC’s primary concern is for public safety and as such the area will remain closed until further notice.

The slip is not on DOC administered land. DOC administers a small section on the way to the Plateau gannet colony called the Black Reef Nature Reserve. There is DOC administered land near the Plateau colony (the colony that people visit) where we have a toilet and amenity area. The Plateau gannet colony is on private land. 

The beach section of the walk is not managed by DOC. It is a public section of beach, and legally a public road.

Undertaking the Cape Kidnappers Day Hike requires an understanding of tide times which are available at each end of the track. 

DOC will review its signage and information to ensure it provides the public with the best possible information to make good decisions before embarking on the day hike. Currently signage at the Clifton entrance to the beach warns of falling rock and not to rest below the cliffs.

DOC will ensure messaging and signage is clear in relation to our promotion of the day hike and warn people of all the possible risks and dangers of the coastal section of the walkway. 

There are also options to bus and tractor to see the gannets. The bus ride avoids the beach completely.

People walk, mountain bike, motorbike, 4WD and tractor ride along the beach daily and always have done. It is important people and families have the opportunity to explore areas of Aotearoa’s natural heritage at no cost. DOC does what it can to minimise risks to public enjoying New Zealand’s wild and wonderful places. 

Weather events in the last few days, high winds and rain, demonstrate how our wild places, riversides and coastlines are not without risk.


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