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March 2022 Issue
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DOC mulls funding for Lake Dive Hut rebuild

Megan Dimozantos wants Lake Dive Hut on Taranaki Maunga rebuilt.

Plans to rebuild Lake Dive Hut are progressing, albeit slowly.

Following a suspicious fire in September 2020 that destroyed the 16-bunk hut on Taranaki Maunga, DOC said it was too early to say if it would be rebuilt.

The sticking point has been funding, but in January the department said it would like to see the hut rebuilt and was considering options to get the job done, including partnering with Federated Mountain Clubs, Backcountry Trust and local iwi.

FMC executive member Megan Dimozantos has been pushing for the hut to be rebuilt, calling it a “critical piece of backcountry infrastructure” on the Around the Mountain Circuit.

Dimozantos, who is also a project manager for Backcountry Trust, said the ideal scenario would be for DOC to fully fund the hut rebuild.

Other options included finding a philanthropist to fund the work or using volunteer labour from Backcountry Trust.

DOC has no timeframe for a funding proposal.

“Given the nature of the environment where the hut is situated, and the requirements for consultation, engineering and architecture, a hut rebuild will most certainly not occur for another couple of years,” heritage and visitors senior ranger Dave Rogers said.

The rebuild has a projected budget of $450,000 to $800,000.

Dimozantos said the eventual cost would depend on a number of factors, including the hut’s design and who built it – contractors or volunteers.

DOC said the man accused of starting the fire was before the courts.