Chris McNaught proposed to his wife Rachel atop Te Mata Peak over a decade ago. Vote for them in our “Love in the Park” competition at Te Mata Park’s Facebook page. The couple with the best story and the most likes about their romantic memories of Te Mata Park win a dinner voucher to the new restaurant The Peak, set to open in the next few months. See their story at:
Hawke’s Bay Today is supporting a fundraising campaign to build a visitor information and education centre at Te Mata Park, at the base of the mountain. In the months ahead, we will be writing stories about it.
Te Mata Peak was never a special spot for Rachel McNaught until Chris McNaught proposed to her on the peak 11 years ago.
Now they call it “our spot”.
On Valentine’s Day in 2002, Mr McNaught took Rachel on a surprise date, they went out to dinner at Shed 2 and then drove up to Te Mata Peak to watch the city lights.
He had planned a very special evening for a very important reason.
As the rain poured down, the couple sat in their car admiring the view, their conversation slowly turned to marriage.
“He didn’t get down on one knee, because of the rain,” Mrs McNaught said. “It was a total surprise and just the start of a fairytale story.”
She said her man had planned it perfectly and that everything fell into place – except for the rain.
She described the proposal as corny but perfect.
“I think we had been [to the peak] on one of our first dates, but it hadn’t meant much.”
As a nod back to the days of being younger and child-free, the couple have a date night once a month, which during winter usually involves watching a movie at Cinema Gold followed by a steaming cup of hot chocolate at the peak.
They now have four children together, including twins.
Last year, to celebrate their 10th wedding anniversary, the couple took their family up to Te Mata Peak so they could see where Dad asked Mum to marry him. The couple were married on November 30 that same year in Waipukurau, where they now live.
If you have a story to share about a special marriage proposal or wedding ceremony involving Te Mata Park, please email firstname.lastname@example.org or contact the news desk, (06) 873 0810. The stories go in a draw to win a donated $100 voucher for the new The Peak restaurant when it opens in a few months.