Trees spoiling tourist town’s entrance
A community-led project to clean up the state highway entrances to Matamata is one step away from completion.
But for Jane Ewen to finish the work she started four years ago, it’s going to need the help of a specialist arborist which hopefully can be supplied by the Matamata-Piako District Council.
Ewen’s almost completed her mission to trim back trees, clear branches and rubbish along a 4km stretch of Hinuera Rd, near State Highway 27, at the southern entrance to the town.
She’s now looking to tackle Waharoa Rd, the highway’s northern gateway to Matamata.
‘‘Waharoa Rd is a different kettle of fish. The trees have been left to grow up to the road, almost into a hedge and it’s a great mess. It’s been cut back just enough for trucks to pass but that’s it.’’
Ewen said cleaning up this section required heavy machinery and a specialist arborist. She believed it was too dangerous for volunteers to work road side.
‘‘I’ve asked the council for a quote to see how much it would cost for them to do the work and maybe we can raise some funds to get it done. Matamata Rotary has been absolutely brilliant at helping with the work on Hinuera Rd but we can’t expect them to do this as well, it’s too dangerous.’’
Ewen said Rotary volunteers, Matamata Racing Club, Murray Wilson and Daltons, had come on board to help.
J Swap Contractors had also ‘‘been great’’ mowing parts of State Highway 27 towards Hinuera, voluntarily, Ewen said.
Ewen cared about her community and wanted the main roads in and out of town looking their best. She also pointed out there were many tourists, on the way or returning, from Hobbiton.
‘‘Waharoa is the main road into town from Auckland. Waharoa means entrance, I believe, but between Waharoa and Matamata it’s not a very nice looking entrance along the road.’’
The trees the volunteers had worked on were the responsibility of KiwiRail, which owned the land.
A KiwiRail spokesperson said the company had limited funds and its priority was safety.
The council has said because the trees were on KiwiRail land, it was unable to maintain or trim them.
Jane Ewen is asking for help to clean up trees at the northern entrance to Matamata.