Wha¯nau contest reserve use
Karikari residents are celebrating after the owners of the Whatuwhiwhi Top 10 Holiday Park withdrew their request to lease part of a public reserve.
A local wha¯nau occupied the Perehipe Reserve for two weeks to protest a formal agreement between the council and the owners of the holiday park for them to lease a 1600-square-metre section of the land.
Spokeswoman Caroline Snowden says the group had planned to stay until the owners withdrew their lease application, the council withdrew their offer and that a fence separating the holiday park and the reserve be planned.
‘‘We thought the land belonged to the holiday park, we were totally unaware until last year that it was part of a public reserve,’’ Snowden says.
‘‘The people of the area were missing out on utilising that property because a commercial venture was using it for their own gain, and council were enabling that. We are elated with the news, it was what we were aiming for.’’
The council’s offer of a lease was made to the camp ground owners, Carrington Holiday Park Jade LP, in August on the recommendation of Te Hiku Community Board, following public consultation.
During the four-week consultation process, 207 out of the 240 submitters were against a formal lease agreement.
On September 12, the camp ground owners told the council they no longer required the lease.
The lease would have formalised an agreement which had existed between the council and three previous sets of holiday park owners to allow overflow campers to pitch tents on the reserve in exchange for maintaining the reserve and supplying water to the public toilets.
Mayor John Carter says the council and Whatuwhiwhi Top 10 Holiday Park will share the cost of erecting a fence between the camp ground and the reserve.
The council will also resume responsibility for mowing the entire reserve and supplying water to its public toilets, Carter says.
‘‘A consequence of this outcome is that ratepayers will now have to shoulder the expense of maintaining the reserve and providing water for the public toilets.’’
Staff are still assessing how much this will cost, but previous estimates have put it at $9000 annually, he says.
Caroline Snowden during her wha¯nau’s occupation of the Perehipe Reserve on the Karikari Peninsula.