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 April 17 2019

Road construction is almost complete over the first three kilometres at the southern end of the project, with culvert installation the main item of work remaining to be done.  A construction base and storage area 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 communications facilities to enable contact with contractors, and instructions are posted for visitors wishing to pass through the site on foot 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 the access to the park.

Additional work currently being undertaken includes the formation of investigation pilot tracks north of the West Branch, and some selective tree removal is being carried out under ecological supervision prior to winter. 

There will be no work on the site over the Easter break.

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.

20190207 Road upgrade plan Matiri 1.jpg

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.