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Te Mata Track Reference Group endorses approach

A Te Mata Track Reference Group, made up of representatives from various interest groups connected with the walking track, has endorsed a three phase approach for finding positive solutions for the eastern side of Te Mata Peak.

The Reference Group, put together by Hastings Mayor Sandra Hazlehurst, includes representatives from Craggy Range Winery, Ngāti Kahungunu Iwi Incorporated, Te Taiwhenua O Heretaunga, Te Mata Park Trust, Te Mata Peak Peoples’ Track Society, Waimarama Maori Committee, and the Hawke’s Bay Regional Council.

This Reference Group met on Friday 25 May 2018 to consider initial planning work from the recently formed Te Mata Peak Project Team.  This Project Team, which includes external experts, presented a three phase approach for considering options to resolve the track issues. 

Phase one will involve thorough investigations, including a cultural assessment, a landscape values assessment, and research into engineering, recreational planning, ecology, geology, soils and planning and statutory requirements.  Phase two will see the assessment of the different track options against all the cultural, landscape and other technical information gathered in phase one.  Phase three will involve consultation. 

The Reference Group also noted a number of different alternative track options that had been suggested for the eastern side of Te Mata Peak, and have agreed that cultural, landscape and other expert advice must be received before track options can be properly assessed.

Hastings Mayor Sandra Hazlehurst says she is heartened by the willingness of all parties to consider potential options for bringing the community together over the track.  “The members of the Reference Group are showing real leadership in being willing to try to forge a community consensus on how to resolve issues associated with the track.  While they are not a decision-making body, their collective advice and guidance stemming from their different community sectors will be valuable in this process.”

Mrs Hazlehurst says everyone has a place and a role to play in this project’s success.  “No one person or group can do this on their own. Together we have an opportunity to create something really special which will be embraced and loved by our whole community.”

She says this Reference Group will be regularly informed on the progress being made by the Te Mata Peak Project Team and their work on each of the three phases.

Timeframes for the three phase approach and the names of external experts on the Te Mata Peak Project Team will be confirmed later this week.

5 June 2018

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