Matiri Project Information

Description of works

As part of the construction of the Matiri Hydro Scheme, Pioneer Energy are about to start the first phase which includes the following.  

It is planned to extend the formed Matiri West Bank Road from its present southern end point to the West Branch of the Matiri River across land partly on unformed road reserve and land owned by New Zealand Energy (NZEL).  Road widening and re-alignment will be carried out to improve access for construction machinery, long-term maintenance of the Matiri Hydro-Electric Power Scheme and public 2WD access to the West Branch of the Matiri River.

Approximately 4km of existing 4WD track, including four stream crossings, will be realigned/upgraded from the end of the existing Tasman District Council (Matiri West Bank Rd) road to the West Branch of the Matiri. 

Road works will involve excavation of the current underlying soft clay soils, placement of gravel base course and finer gravel over the top. Standard road construction equipment will be used including excavators, truck and trailer units, a grader, water cart, and compactors.

As part of the construction significant care has been taken to ensure the works have minimal impact on the surrounding environment.  Road construction will be occurring predominantly along a relatively narrow corridor; therefore the exposed soil areas are likely to be relatively small. Appropriate sediment control equipment including erosion protection matting will be used to minimise potential sedimentation from areas of exposed soil.

The culverts are designed to allow native fish passage.  As there is a bat population in the Kahurangi National Park investigations are to be carried to avoid disturbing bats during vegetation removal.  This work will be carried out by bat experts.

Where the road construction crosses waterways the current fords will be replaced with culverts. To reduce sedimentation deposits the waterways will be dammed and pumped to divert watercourse to bypass the construction area during culvert installation.

Access to Kahurangi National Park

It is planned to close the 4WD access track to the West Branch to private vehicle traffic during the road upgrade project (approx. 3 months). However, during the Matiri Hydro Project public walking access to Kahurangi National Park remains open aside from temporary obstructions which will,  for reasons of safety, mean closure may be required from time to time.

Refer to the DOC website as normal for safety messages regarding access to the great outdoors.

Update: May 29 2019

Road construction is almost complete to the West Branch at the southern end of the project with culvert installation (weather dependent) the main item of work remaining.  A construction base, storage area and visitor car park has been formed on the southern side of the West Branch of the Matiri.  A site hut and car park is still located at the southern end of the works and another at the northern end on the banks of the West Branch. These huts have communication facilities to contact contractors and instructions for visitors that wish to walk through the site to the Kahurangi National Park.

So far, there has been very little disruption to users of the Park but please use the communication facilities provided to help our contractors facilitate timely and safe passage past the construction works.  When finished the new access road and car park at the West Branch of the Matiri will improve access to the park. The road will be open as a two wheel drive road as far as the West Branch Matiri within a few weeks.

Additional work currently being undertaken includes the formation of investigation pilot tracks north of the West Branch and the construction of a temporary access bridge across the northern channel of the West Branch.  We have also gained consent to take excess gravel off the dry bed of the West Branch of the Matiri River.  This gravel will be used for roading and bedding material for works north of the West Branch.

The selective tree removal carried out along the penstock route has been completed.  This work has been overseen by a conservation supervisor and carried out by arborists in the presence of a certified bat expert.  No bats were found during this operation.

Investigation work continues on a route for an underground transmission cable from the Matiri Substation to the proposed powerhouse site.

We are currently working on finalising construction plans for works north of the West Branch.  Apart from the construction plans, plans include; an Erosion and Sediment Management Plan, Pest Control and Land Rehabilitation Plan, Aquatic Fauna Management Plan, and a Landscape Management Plan.  It is intended that tramping access will be maintained throughout the construction with just short duration (e.g. up to an hour) restrictions for safety, when particularly hazardous work is in progress.

There will be no work on site over the Queen’s Birthday weekend

Public access procedures for work days

Nominal work hours are 7.00 am – 6:00 pm Monday to Friday.

Planning for access by the walking public during the road upgrade project includes an information hut located at the southern end of the works initially on a local landowner’s property, and later at the current Department of Conservation (DOC) car park.  Another hut will be located at the northern end of the works south of the West Branch of Matiri River.

The huts will contain large maps, signs and details of current activities and locations referring to the map.  This information will be updated regularly.

A radio will be located in each hut and another with the contractor to enable the public to alert the contractor of their presence.  Instructions will be provided for reference and use. The contractor needs to know when you are likely to enter the construction area from either end of the valley so that safe passage can be arranged.

The contractor will provide a safe pedestrian detour around the active work site and maintain and relocate that detour as the active work site progresses up the valley.

As the work site advances up the valley watch and listen carefully for construction traffic using the completed road.

Matiri Map Update May 2019 4


Public access procedures for weekends and holidays  

During the weekend and holidays walking access to Kahurangi National Park remains open. Do not enter any areas cordoned off from the public.


Contact details: 

Phone number during working hours: 0508 363 749

Email during working hours:

Complaints register:

If you have a concern either call or email with the following information:

Your name
Contact details
The location the incident occurred
The nature of the complaint including the date, time and duration of the incident or matter that resulted in the complaint
The likely or possible causes of the incident (if known)
The nature of any corrective action undertaken by the consent holder in response to the complaint.

Any complaints received are available to the Tasman District Council and the Department of Conservation.

Please contact us if you have any concerns in relation to issues of public safety, operational practices, public access and environmental concern.