Plan for eco-vil­lage at Puke­hina

Te Puke Times - - NEWS - By ZOE HUNTER

A new 139-home eco-friendly vil­lage is be­ing pro­posed for Puke­hina.

Lo­cal de­vel­oper Ben Tucker wants to re­pur­pose 165ha of beach­side farm­land o cre­ate a com­mu­nity na­ture re­serve and eco-vil­lage.

The Matuku Moana Na­ture Re­serve and Eco-Vil­lage will con­sist of 139 houses on 2000sq m sites and 141ha of nat­u­ral wet­lands if the de­vel­op­ment gets the green light.

Spokesman Buddy Mikaere said the aim was to re­store the wet­lands to pro­vide a nat­u­ral habi­tat for na­tive plants and birds.

Mikaere said each 2000sq m sec­tion would cost between $550,000 and $700,000, which would cover the cost of de­vel­op­ing the wet­land.

He said the idea was for each home to rely on so­lar en­ergy, so­lar hot wa­ter and rain­wa­ter catch­ments, as well as hav­ing sig­nif­i­cant green space.

“It is a project that is ahead of its time in terms of its think­ing,” he said. “The idea is the wa­ter flow com­ing from farms fur­ther up the stream will come through the wet­lands to act as a fil­ter.”

He said the idea was a “dream” of Mount Maun­ganuiraised Ben Turner, who saw the op­por­tu­nity to pur­chase a “run­down” farm near Puke­hina Beach.

Turner, who has 34 years’ ex­pe­ri­ence in the build­ing and de­vel­op­ment in­dus­try, is the owner of the sole project de­vel­oper Group 7.

Mikaere said the de­vel­op­ment had the sup­port of Bay hapu Nga¯ti Whaka­hemo. and the project aligned the

He said the project team hoped to set up a part­ner­ship with Fish & Game NZ to man­age the wet­lands.

Mikaere said there had been a num­ber of ex­pres­sions of in­ter­est and he was con­fi­dent the sec­tions would be filled.

Puke­hina res­i­dent Rochelle Carter said the Matuku Moana de­vel­op­ment had a great vi­sion.

“It is pos­i­tive to see de­vel­op­ers think­ing of our car­bon foot­print for fu­ture gen­er­a­tions with­out im­pact­ing the en­vi­ron­ment,” she said. “This, in turn, will breathe new life into the area and of­fer the area more fa­cil­i­ties to utilise.”

Carter, who has lived in the area for four years, said more young fam­i­lies were mov­ing to the area to live per­ma­nently. She said the restora­tion of wet­lands with unim­peded ac­cess for the com­mu­nity could only im­prove the en­vi­ron­ment.

PHOTO / JOHN BORREN

Buddy Mikaere at the site where a 139-home eco-vil­lage has been pro­posed.

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