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Feedback wanted on Keirunga Gardens management plan

Keirunga Gardens

A proposed plan to enhance Keirunga Gardens in Havelock North will soon go out to public consultation, outlining the management of this valued reserve for the next 10 years.

The Draft Keirunga Gardens Reserve Management Plan was adopted by Hastings District Council yesterday, and will become available for public feedback from this Saturday, October 17.

In May last year, council resolved to review the 2009 Keirunga Gardens Reserve Management Plan and to create a Care Group for Keirunga Gardens, which has worked with council on a management plan for the reserve and its trees.

The tree management work has been happening throughout this year and the next review is due in January 2021.

Care group spokesperson Johno Ormond encouraged people to have their say on the draft plan.

“We applaud the proactive and positive engagement that council has had with the Keirunga community care group in the creation of the draft plan, and look forward to seeing the wider community’s feedback.”

Hastings mayor Sandra Hazlehurst said the 7.9 hectare natural reserve had held a special place in the hearts of Hastings residents since George Nelson gifted about seven hectares of the main reserve in 1957 for a public park and recreation ground.

The area was added to in the late 1950s when Helen Swinburn and William Bell gifted a separate land parcel to the Havelock North Borough Council.

“This reserve is highly valued for its trees and gardens, and the open space it provides for people to walk and enjoy nature, and the special heritage buildings that are leased by the Keirunga Gardens Arts and Crafts Society provide a community Creative Hub. 

“With this plan we hope to elevate the knowledge and status of this special place to ensure it remains treasured and well looked after for future generations.”

To formulate the draft plan Council called for public feedback in June this year, including gathering the views of stakeholders, and it also sought specialist advice from the likes of conservation architects, historians, and ecologists.

The resulting plan aims to raise awareness of the gardens, and attract more visitors, assisting them to visit key amenities and to stay longer. 

Key proposals include enhancing the entrances, adding parking, restoring and upgrading the heritage buildings, extending the playground, and building new paths and amenities.

After the draft plan becomes available on Saturday, October 17 people can view it and share their thoughts online at or in person at council’s customer service centre or the libraries at Havelock North, Hastings and Flaxmere.

In addition, two open days are planned: One on October 28, 5-7pm at The Homestead and Cottage will feature a talk and tour by Matthews & Matthews Architects and landscape historian John Adam, who have prepared a conservation plan for the heritage area of the gardens - 5pm to 6pm.

Another will be held on November 1, 11am-1pm beside the playground. The deadline for submissions is Friday, December 18.

16 October 2020

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