The footprint of our Sleeping Giant could well expand in the near future, as Te Mata Park Trustees officially launched the ‘One Giant Chance’ fundraising campaign yesterday.
“This is a wonderful opportunity for the people of Hawke’s Bay to join us, as we strive to raise funds to purchase 8.5 hectares of neighbouring land,” comments Mike Devonshire, Chairman of Te Mata Park Trust Board. “This is an incredibly exciting time for our treasured Park, and we are delighted to invite our community to be part of this journey.”
The Park Trust aim to raise $1.5 million which includes the purchase of the bare land, as well as track development and extensive native tree plantings. The land is currently under contract, and subject to raising finance by the end of 2018.
“This land is ideally located. It is a missing piece of the puzzle, on the lower slopes of Te Mata Peak, linking the Tauroa and Main Gates Car Parks,” adds Mr. Devonshire.
With outstanding views and unique geological features, the Park Trust are confident that this new land will be widely enjoyed by all Park users. The varied topography will also enable both challenging trails and easier gradient tracks.
“With the close proximity to the main entry points to the Park, we believe that this land acquisition will also encourage those who are less able, or with young families, to enjoy the Park experience,’’ adds Mr. Devonshire. ‘’ More land will also allow for separation of park users, ensuring improved safety.’’
‘’Protection and enhancement are key to this project. We wish to preserve the natural outlook and rural scenic corridor leading in to the Park, as well as extend the bird corridor, and further increase our area of beautiful native trees. The land also includes sites of Maori significance, which we wish to protect.’’
The Trust Board are very aware that increasing demands and pressures on the Park create a fine balancing act. ‘’We understand that Te Mata Park is a place of reflection and solitude. We wish to protect our Park ambience and serenity, and acquiring new land is instrumental in achieving this,’’ comments Mr Devonshire.
Widely recognised as ‘the jewel in Hawke’s Bay’s crown’, Mr. Devonshire emphasises the significance of Te Mata Park to everyone in our community.
“Our Park is a landmark with outstanding geological features, unique flora and fauna and deep spiritual and cultural importance. It is essential that we protect this asset, for our future generations.’’
With nearly 1 million visitors each year, Te Mata Park is one of Hawke’s Bay’s most iconic and frequently visited landmarks in the district.
“Te Mata Park was gifted to the community in 1927, and whilst visitor numbers have significantly increased, the Park boundaries have remained the same, for over 90 years. This could be a significant and momentous gift to everyone in Hawke’s Bay – for now and in to the distant future,’’ adds Mr. Devonshire.
With the launch of the fundraising campaign now underway, the Trust Board welcomes all enquires and support. ‘’We are hopeful that this fundraising campaign, One Giant Chance, will be embraced, both locally, and nationally. It is a positive and uplifting story for our Hawke’s Bay community, and beyond.’’
Support is not just limited to individuals and families. “We encourage local businesses or organisations to consider organising a fundraising event, and assist us in spreading our message to their networks.’’