Te Mata Park is the jewel in Hawke’s Bay’s crown. With its rich history and unparalleled views, it is the first place that people visit when they come to the region.
In comparison to other ‘public spaces’, Te Mata Park is unique. It is private land and under its Trust Deed, exists purely for the benefit and enjoyment of the general public. The Park was gifted to the community in 1927 by the Chambers family and is administered by 7 volunteer Trustees.
The Park is designated an ‘Outstanding Natural Landscape’ in the Hastings District Plan. It is also protected by an open space covenant under the QEII National Trust. As a recreational magnet for walkers, bikers, runners, paragliders and tourists, over one million people visit our Park on an annual basis, which is quite a staggering figure.
However, being such a popular attraction does create its challenges.
So many people have a connection to the Park and its surroundings. Whether they visit for exercise, solitude, spiritual reasons or just to feel close to nature, the Park is of great significance to a wide spectrum of people, and often for quite different, or even conflicting, reasons. Ensuring a balance between all Park User groups is a constant focus and challenge for the Trust Board.
The Park Trust has a clear governance structure, with various Sub-Committees. We also have a Mana Whenua rōpu, that sits alongside the Trust Board, and offers consultation for all major Park projects. We are also very fortunate to have funding from local Councils, to employ a part time Manager and Caretaker. This, in combination with huge volunteer input, ensures smooth running of our Park.
Of interest, Te Mata Park has also recently been awarded the coveted international Green Flag Community Award. This is the mark of a quality park or green space, judged by green space-expert volunteers, across eight key criteria.
The Award is a big accolade for the Park, and we are thrilled with the acknowledgment.
So, what are we doing to improve and protect Te Mata Park?
As kaitiaki, or guardians, of this treasured land, the Park Trustees are taking proactive steps in protecting and enhancing this treasured land. We are listening to the preferences of our Park Users (thanks to a survey undertaken last year).
One Giant Chance was launched in July 2018 and is nearing the end of our fundraising campaign period. The Te Mata Park Trust Board secured a golden opportunity to purchase 8.5 hectares of beautiful neighbouring land – a ‘once in a lifetime’ chance to grow our Park.
The new land will be developed in keeping with the Park, with extensive native plantings and trails, but also offer additional attractions that complement and enhance the existing experience in Te Mata Park. This land will make our Park safer, ensuring mountain bikers and walkers continue to be separated (anyone who has visited Chambers Walk recently will understand how congested it is!).
We also wish to invest further in educational opportunities, encouraging schools and youth groups to visit, learn and enjoy nature.
‘A Missing Piece in the Puzzle,‘ this land is ideally located between the Main Gates and Tauroa Car Parks, enabling protection of the outlook and scenic corridor leading in to the Park.
The Trust needs to raise a total of $1.25 million through community fundraising in order to purchase the land. Once the land is secured, we will need to raise a further $250,000 (from Charitable Trusts) for planned projects, including track development, planting of native trees and installation of signage.
The Trustees have entered in to a contract with the land owner, conditional on raising finance of $1.25 million by the 30 April 2019. This deadline is approaching very quickly!
After 9 months of fundraising, the total is now at $1,070,000 (at time of writing) and we have only 1 week left to go until our deadline. We are reaching out to our community to help us bridge the final gap, as we sprint to the finish line. With only $180,000 remaining to fundraise, we know that this goal is achievable!
We will only get one crack at buying this neighbouring land. This is a huge milestone in the history of Te Mata Park, benefitting not just this current generation but also our grandchildren and their children.
Donations are welcome. There are various options;
- Donate on Givealittle (visit tematapark.co.nz)
- Make a donation by cheque or online banking
- Join our Donor Family. We have 4 tiers beginning from $1000, with associated branding benefits. Contact our Manager Emma Buttle on firstname.lastname@example.org for more details.
All donations are tax deductible. Everyone can make a contribution, no matter how small.
We wish to take this opportunity to thank everyone who has already contributed to our campaign, the community support has been outstanding.