Reserve group honours founder
A celebration was held in the Karituwhenua Stream Walkway Reserve on Sunday August 26 to recognise the dedication of Dougal French, the initial convenor of the group set up to develop the reserve.
The group is known as the Karituwhenua Stream Landcare Group, an incorporated and registered charity.
The group had its beginnings back in 1992 when local residents became concerned with erosion within the stream gully affecting some private properties.
Initial plantings to control this expanded to cover larger areas and finally in 1996 a working group of local residents was organised to undertake serious planned clearance and planting work.
From this time Dougal was a key leader and organiser.
In 2003 the group became incorporated and in 2007 a registered charity.
Dougal was the elected convenor from 2003 and held this office until his retirement from the position in 2016.
He was an inspiring leader, organising working parties every week, obtaining plants, several 1000 over the years, maintaining and housing all equipment that the group had acquired.
His commitment to the reserve was marked by the gifting of a park bench from Hastings Lions and a picnic table from Hastings District Council.
The celebration was attended by approximately 80 people , the French Family, Mayor Sandra Hazlehurst, Councillor Malcolm Dixon, Hastings Lions — Dougal was also a Lions Member — members of the Karituwhenua Stream Landcare Group and public.
The reserve commences from Te Mata Road, near Kingsgate Avenue, and follows the Karituwhenua Stream up towards Te Mata Peak for about 800m.
Formed lime sand pathways extend the full length with some stepped areas.
Initially the area is a narrow stream gully but progressively widens out to a large grassed areas.
The lower area is mainly in native vegetation, while the upper area is in exotic species.
There is a small grove of red wood trees, planted in the 1930s and several oak trees planted in the 1880s.
Plentiful native bird life includes tu¯ ı¯i, kereru¯ , bellbird and morepork. Visitors and locals enjoy the reserve’s peacefulness and consider it to be a “hidden gem” of Havelock North.
The reserve is maintained by a volunteer group, the Karituwhenua Stream Landcare Group, and relies on donations, with occasional assistance from Hastings District and Hawke’s Bay Regional Councils, to maintain and continue its work in the reserve.
Barbara French and her mum Edith French. During a dedication gathering in the Karituwhenua Stream Walkway Reserve in Havelock North to recognise the achievements of previous chairman Dougal French.