One chance to expand park
One of the first places locals take out-of-town visitors is Te Mata Park.
There is no doubt that the Sleeping Giant is one of the most treasured and frequently visited attractions in Hawke’s Bay.
With recent statistics indicating that nearly a million people visit the Park annually, it is no wonder that the Park Trust Board are embracing this initiative to expand the Park.
One Giant Chance is a community fundraising campaign, recently launched by Te Mata Park Trust, to purchase 8.5ha of neighbouring land, located near Tauroa Car Park.
“One Giant Chance is a huge opportunity,” chairman of Te Mata Park Mike Devonshire says.
“We must seize the moment. We will only get one crack at this, so we’re pulling out all the stops to ensure our message is communicated far and wide.
“This project is about protection, enhancement and maintaining our unique Park experience, for generations to enjoy,” Mike says.
When asked why this additional land is required for the Park, it is crystal clear that the benefits are both farreaching and significant.
“I can’t emphasise enough how important and beneficial this land acquisition would be for our community in Hawke’s Bay,” he says.
“Not only will this land allow us to further extend the bird corridor and native tree plantings, but it also ensures a significant widening of one of the main entrance points in to the Park.
“This will enable us to further separate different park users, ensuring mountain bikers and walkers / runners are on different trails, resulting in a safer environment for all to enjoy.
“We also wish to invest further in educational opportunities, encouraging more varied user groups including schools and youth groups — offering them an experience to learn more about their cultural and physical environment.
“The Park has unique ecological, geological, archaeological and cultural features, that many people are not aware of. We intend to provide educational tools to the schools and young people of the region. Te Mata Park is an ideal place for field trips and learning practical outdoor skills.
“Being easily accessible, and close to the main car parks, this new land will be an ideal venue for taking school groups,” he says.
The new land also has outstanding natural features such as steep cliffs, a wetlands area and even a cave for the adventurous. Sites of Ma¯ ori significance have also been identified.
“There are also areas of flatter contours, which will be ideal for easier, family friendly trails, ensuring that those who are less able, can also enjoy the beauty of our Park.”
Located between Tauroa and the Main Gates Car Parks, the land is described as being “a missing piece in the puzzle”.
”We wish to secure the integrity and beauty of the Park and ensure this neighbouring land is used for recreational purposes; protecting the serene, rural and unique experience at the Park.”
Te Mata Park Trust aims to raise $1.5 million through community fundraising and local charitable trusts. This will allow for the purchase of the land, as well as the track development and planting of native trees. The land is under contract, and funds must be raised by the end of 2018, to meet the conditions of the contract.
“Momentum is building. Local community groups and sports groups such as Bennelong Mountain Bike Club and the Hawke’s Bay Orienteering Club are getting behind this initiative. They are excited about the prospects of exploring new land,” Mike says. “Several fundraising events are also being planned for November, and we are also delighted to have some significant benefactors involved, which is really giving the campaign a great boost.”
■ To donate visit www.tematapark.co.nz or search One Giant Chance on www.givealittle.co.nz
Where the land to expand the park is located.
Parts of the land.