Trees spoil­ing tourist town’s en­trance

Matamata Chronicle - - Your Paper, Your Place - LAWRENCE GULLERY AND PETRICE TAR­RANT

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.

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