Te Mata Park Trust is now the proud owner of an additional 8.5 hectares of neighbouring land.
‘’The title of the land changed hands on Wednesday 31 July,’’ comments Mike Devonshire, Chairman of Te Mata Park Trust Board. ‘’We would like to thank everyone who has supported us throughout this project. This is a significant milestone in the history of Te Mata Park, and our local community played a huge part in making it happen.’’
’’Whilst this is a very exciting time for the Park, we would like to emphasise that public access to the new land is not permitted until later in the year,’’ adds Mr. Devonshire.
‘’Our project governance group and Park Manager have been working hard over recent months to establish a landscaping plan. We have also been communicating with local Charitable Trusts on securing the remaining $250,000 for projects on the new land, including planting native trees and building tracks that complement the rest of the Park.’’
A timeline for the project has been developed. Initially the Park Trust intends to remove all large areas of pinus radiata and wattles, as well as extend the fence line bordering the neighbouring property. ‘’We want to create a wonderful native habitat for birdlife, with a professional re-vegetation plan, including manuka, kowhai, totara, titoki, kahikatea, flaxes and pigeonwood, amongst many other native plant species.’’
‘’It is essential that park users do not access the land over the next few months, for their safety and also to ensure work can take place without impact from foot or bike traffic,’’ adds Mr. Devonshire.
The Trust Board is also pleased to report that $41,000 was recently approved by a charitable trust based in Auckland, for new directional and educational signage on both the new land, and the existing Park.
‘’Now that funding has been secured, we hope to get the new signage programme underway within the next few months,’’ comments Mr. Devonshire. ‘’We are very grateful to the trust for assisting us with this very important project.’’
Other funding applications are also in the pipeline. ‘’We have three other applications being considered by local Charitable Trusts and will receive their feedback by September. This will allow us to progress the project swiftly.’’
Varying levels of new walking tracks, a children’s mountain bike track and a new separate descent mountain bike track are in the proposed plans. ‘’We have also integrated a discreet and environmentally sensitive Sculpture Walkway, a Rongoa Garden, as well as several picnic areas. The potential for this beautiful block of land is quite exciting,’’ comments Mr. Devonshire.
Officially launched in July 2018, the One Giant Chance campaign raised $1,250,000 to purchase 8.5 hectares of neighbouring land, located on the Havelock North side of Te Mata Peak, and between the two main car parks.
‘’This is a landmark occasion in the history of the Park. On behalf of all the Trust Board, we would like to thank everyone, from far and wide, for their support. We are delighted that the land is now part of Te Mata Park – the first time that the Park has been expanded since its beginnings in 1927.’’
The Trust Board is continuing to accept donations, which will go towards native trees and trackwork on the new land.