Access to Lake Taupō Forest at COVID Alert Level 2

Trustees are very pleased to announce a further opening up of the forest to access at Alert Level 2. From Wednesday, 8 September 2021, owner access to Lake Taupō Forest, including for hunting, will return to normal access hours. The decision is again in line with the national guidance on behavioural expectations at Level 2.

The forest is currently operating in its ‘winter access hours’, meaning that access is available:

  • From 4pm to 8pm on weekdays; and
  • From 7am to 8pm on weekends

Trustees do want to remind all owners accessing the lands that while the access hours have returned to normal, the country is still at Alert Level 2 and so the way we are expected to behave has not fully returned to normal. In particular, we encourage all our owners to still practice personal distancing where possible, to wear masks if anywhere near other people, to remember to wash your hands, particularly after touching objects that others have touched – such as gates and gate locks. We recommend you bring hand sanitiser or at least water with you for this purpose.

Like all New Zealanders, the Trustees are hopeful that the national Covid response will prove to have been successful in protecting us all.  We have all made sacrifices and had significant disruption to our lives, and it would be disappointing to have that effort wasted through careless actions. Accordingly, we encourage continued vigilance and safety to ensure there is not a further outbreak of the virus, which could have a disastrous impact on our people and in particular our kaumatua.

Owners should also be aware that it is likely there will be some forestry work happening on week-ends – mainly planting, spraying and some log transport. If these do occur, there will be clear signage to inform owners of where it is happening, to minimise the risk of interaction, and we ask that you take extra caution in these situations.

Otherwise, access rules will be the same as usual – you will need a permit and a fob-key. At present permits and fob-keys are only available from NZFM in Tūrangi. From Monday, 13 September permits (but not fobs) will be available from the LTFT office, and from Wednesday, 15 September permits and fobs will also be available from the Tūwharetoa Māori Trust Board office in Taupō. Fob-keys and permits that were issued before the shut-down will still be valid.

For owners considering getting permits from the LTFT office, please note that the office will not be open for casual walk-in traffic while we remain at Level 2. We therefore ask that owners who want to receive their permit from the LTFT office either phone 07-386-8839 or email first and provide their details, and they will be told a time when they can come in and collect the printed permit.

For all other services including owner registrations, please contact the LTFT office to make an appointment. All visitors to the office are to wear a face mask, scan the QR code, or sign the visitor’s register on entry.

Ngā mihi

Binky Ellis
8 September 2021