A 9 month campaign to buy new land for Te Mata Park is now close to its target, following an announcement that just over $1 million has now been raised from the One Giant Chance fundraising campaign.
Mike Devonshire, Chairman of Te Mata Park Trust, confirms that 80% of the required funds have now been pledged.
“It’s exciting to see that our goal is within grasp,’’ comments Mr. Devonshire. ‘’We’ve got a final push to get us over the finish line and are reaching out to local businesses and the community for support.’’
‘’The land is under contract, and subject to meeting a finance condition of $1.25 million, by the end of April. Whilst the pressure is on, we’re confident that our target is now very much achievable. Final fundraising efforts will continue in earnest over the coming weeks.’’
Mr. Devonshire says local business, families and individuals have thrown their support behind the campaign. ‘’We’re extremely thrilled to have received private donations of $50,000, $25,000 and $30,000 over the past week. A number of other families and businesses are currently considering their level of contribution.’’
‘’This groundswell of support is very humbling. Our donor family truly believe in our goal to further protect this taonga – this treasured landmass, for future generations to enjoy. They understand that we simply can’t miss out on this golden opportunity.’’
Officially launched in July 2018, the One Giant Chance campaign aims to raise funds to purchase the 8.5 hectare block of land, located on the Havelock North side of Te Mata Peak, between the two main car parks.
‘’Being the most visited tourist attraction in Hawke’s Bay and with over 1 million visitors annually, our Park and our trails are becoming increasingly busier. Te Mata Park is hugely popular,’’ comments Mr. Devonshire.
‘’The extra land will make our Park safer. Chambers Walk, one of the main access routes in to the Park from Tauroa Road Car Park, is very congested, and this additional land will help ease the pressure. Walkers and bikers will continue to be separated on different tracks.’’
Mr. Devonshire also comments that this new land will bring the Park closer to Havelock North, and further extend the bird corridor ‘Cape to City’ project from Cape Kidnappers.
‘’New walking tracks will be established, of varying gradients and technicality. A beginner mountain bike track is also intended, suitable for children. And a planting programme is being developed that will include manuka, ngaio, flaxes, kowhai and kawakawa, attracting more native birdlife.’’
A discreet and environmentally sensitive Sculpture Walkway has also been proposed. ‘’Integrating art, education, history and culture, we envisage that the story of Te Mata is reflected throughout a unique art experience,’’ adds Mr. Devonshire. ‘’ It would be entirely in keeping with the look & feel of the Park, using elements that reflect the environment.’’
The Park Trust also aim to invest further in learning opportunities. ‘’The new land will enhance education around the unique flora and fauna, and cultural significance of the Park. Its location is accessible from both car parks, and therefore is ideal for school or youth groups to visit.’’
Mr. Devonshire is keen to emphasise the urgency of this goal. ‘’We have 5 weeks until the fundraising deadline. The volunteer Trust Board has worked tirelessly over the last year to make this project a reality, but we now need to pull together as a community to get it across the line.’’
‘’We will only get one crack at buying this neighbouring land. This is a huge milestone in the history of Te Mata Park. Our grandchildren and their children will reflect on this project as forward thinking and visionary.’’
To donate, you can visit the Trust’s GiveaLittle page, or make a donation by cheque or online banking. All donations are tax deductible. ‘’Everyone can make a contribution, no matter how small. Even $10 will assist the Trust Board to purchase this piece of land that will enhance Te Mata Park forever,’’ adds Mr. Devonshire.