Wainuiomata hills set for signs upgrade

1:29 pm on 12 July 2016

More signs and a map will be added to a park near Wellington after a 15-year-old girl was lost for more than six hours while walking her dog.

East Harbour Regional Park is set to get improved signage.

East Harbour Regional Park is set to get improved signage. Photo: Google Maps

The girl went into the Wainuiomata hills on Sunday afternoon and was found that night by a team of volunteers in a cold state after an extensive search that involved police dogs and a helicopter.

The girl's dog wandered off a path in East Harbour Regional Park and while chasing it she followed a possum control line into Gollans Valley, a Greater Wellington Regional Council statement said.

The line did not provide a way out of the park.

A spokesperson said she knew of a handful of other people who had become lost in that specific area in the past year.

"Greater Wellington Regional Council and Police Search and Rescue will be working together on installing a sign with a map at the forks of Gollans Stream to advise people how to get back to the Main Ridge Track and into cellphone reception," the council said in a statement.

"In recent months we've also added markers to the Main Ridge Track and removed potentially confusing bait and track line markers that could be mistaken for walking track markers."

The council has emailed people living nearby asking if there are other areas in the park that need signs, a local councillor, Margaret Willard, said.

She said the girl's experience should be a "wake-up call".

"It was really lucky she was found," she said.

"There's trapping going on and paths worn by deers and other animals - it's probably quite confusing and easy to get off the path and there could be more signage that makes it easier for people to find their way."

The council said the park was otherwise "very accessible... and the main walking tracks are well marked".

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