It’s not quite time to crack open the bubbles, but Te Mata Park Trust is very pleased to report huge progress for their One Giant Chance fundraising campaign.
‘’We are getting closer & closer to our goal; to secure neighbouring land for future generations to enjoy,’’ says Mike Devonshire, Chairman of Te Mata Park Trust.
‘’I am extremely grateful and humbled by the generous support thus far,’’ comments Mr. Devonshire.
‘’Over $500,000 has been donated from our community, including private donors, local businesses, club events, GiveaLittle and local Charitable Trusts. In addition, Hastings District Council have agreed to add an additional $320,000 via the outcome of the 2019 Annual Plan Consultation process. We are confident that this will be welcomed by the local electorate.’’
“These incredible numbers are a genuine reflection that people believe in our goal to further protect this landmass,” comments Mr. Devonshire. “Park users understand that this is a unique once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, that will truly enhance Hawke’s Bay’s most iconic natural asset, forever.’’
Officially launched in July 2018, the One Giant Chance campaign aims to raise $1.25 million to purchase the 8.5 hectare block of land, and then a further $250,000 to allow for future track development and extensive planting of native trees.
The good news doesn’t stop there. The deadline for raising the required funds has been extended to end of April 2019. The original campaign deadline was end of December 2018.
“The current landowner has been extremely accommodating and is certainly keen to see this land become part of the Park,’’ adds Mr. Devonshire. ‘’The land is currently under contract and is subject to meeting the finance condition, by 30 April 2019.’’
Whilst this fundraising extension does take away some of the pressure, the Trust Board is committed to working hard in the coming months, to generate the final remaining funds through various upcoming events and initiatives.
‘’We are continuing to receive positive support from philanthropic individuals in our local community, who are stepping forward to ensure this land is secured for recreational and conservation purposes,’’ comments Mr. Devonshire.
‘’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 – and this is particularly evident at this time of year. Te Mata Park is nearly bursting at the seams.’’
‘’This 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, ensuring a safer and more enjoyable environment for everyone.’’
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, cabbage trees 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 tastefully designed 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 intention for the new land is to provide enhanced educational tools, to improve learning of the unique flora and fauna, as well as the cultural significance of the Park. The location of the new land makes it easily 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. ‘’With less than 4 months until the fundraising deadline, we encourage local schools, businesses and community groups to get actively involved with our fundraising,’’
‘’We will only get one crack at buying this neighbouring land. This will be a huge milestone in the history of Te Mata Park. Our grandchildren will reflect on this project as forward thinking and visionary. Let’s make it happen, together.’’
To donate, you can visit the Trust’s GiveaLittle page. ‘’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.
TO DONATE: click HERE