JakMat - Ground Stabilization Matting

Track Upgrade Background

The Department of Conservation (DOC) has ever increasing numbers of walkers accessing the TAC. It is now experiencing up to a 1000 people a day at the height of season and around 75,000 visitors a year in total. With such large numbers of walkers, three issues became apparent to the DOC staff charged with the management of this pristine environment.

1. The inevitable increased environmental impact i.e. the physical wear and tear that walkers cause.

2. The issue of maintaining a track which can be walked by people with varying athletic abilities.

3. Maintenance of a walking track in a very harsh alpine environment where the ground structure is largely volcanic rock/ash and devoid, for the most part, of vegetation.

DOC staff had to strike a balance between what was cost effective in maintaining the facility and within their budget, and what could be done that was compatible with the environment into which the track has to operate. Even with their wealth of experience of track building, this scenario provided a challenge. A solution was found in the form of a “Geocell” plastic mat and the Tongariro/Taupo Conservancy people imported a product from Europe and began to devise laying techniques around this new product.

Twelve months ago a Jakaar employee believed we could design a better “mouse trap” here in NZ and we contacted DOC Tongariro/Taupo and met with Herwi Scheltus. After several meetings and consultation our design team went to work and JakMat Enviro was developed as a result.

The JakMatEnviro was developed for New Zealand conditions in conjunction with the DOC. Their personnel know the demands of our local environments and JakMatEnviro has been designed to their requirements.

The major benefits of the JakMatEnviro are:

- NZ designed and manufactured – made for local conditions and readily available
- Very high integral strength (honeycomb cell structure) and mats interlock – efficient weight bearing and stability in use
- Produced from recycled plastic with UV stability – sustainable from local feed stock and long lasting
- Light weight material and stackable – lower transportation and storage costs
- Easy to handle, cut to size and flexible – allowing for speed of installation and laying.


The adoption of the JakMat Enviro mat has been part of DOC Tongariro/Taupo’s continued search and experimentation with different techniques to create more durable tracks. To date the product has performed very well, particularly in its prime function of maintaining a base track foundation, which does not require reasonably frequent major reconstruction, but still needs periodic remedial maintenance. The result is therefore a track suitable for high frequency use and a reduction of on-going maintenance costs.

Other Applications
Other JakMat Enviro application areas continue to be identified by DOC staff as they strive to find solutions to the problems associated with increased foot and vehicle traffic. Areas of focus for ground protection have been around huts on the tracks, service buildings, such as ablution blocks and beginnings and ends of tracks / walkways. There have been some applications in car parking areas where a grass surface has been maintained despite vehicle wear and tear, especially during the winter.

For more photos and information about JakMat Ground Stabilization Matting please click on the link below to open a pdf document.