Ratepay­ers foot re­pair bill for Te Mata track

The Dominion Post - - News - Marty Sharpe

Hast­ings ratepay­ers will pay $650,000 to fix a track on pri­vate land that they will never use in or­der to get Te Mata Peak back to the way it used to be.

Hast­ings Dis­trict Coun­cil has de­cided it will re­me­di­ate the re­main­ing part of the con­tro­ver­sial Te Mata peak track cut on its eastern face by Craggy Range Win­ery last year.

The coun­cil has al­ready spent $62,000 fill­ing in the top 500 me­tres of the track, af­ter it was deemed to be un­safe.

The coun­cil has now de­cided to pay for re­me­di­a­tion of the re­main­ing 1700 me­tres of track and it planned to lodge a re­source con­sent to carry out the work next month.

The re­me­di­a­tion and re­source con­sent costs will come to $200,000.

Ex­clud­ing these costs, the total cost of the eastern es­carp­ment project to date for the coun­cil is es­ti­mated at $450,000.

About $360,000 of the project spend to date re­lates to the re­search un­der­taken for the project.

The track is on pri­vate land, which the own­ers had agreed to sell to the win­ery. The win­ery cut the track in Novem­ber last year af­ter be­ing granted coun­cil con­sent.

The pub­lic was not in­formed of the track be­cause the con­sent was granted on a non-no­ti­fied ba­sis. The lo­cal iwi was also not in­formed as part of the process – a move that was later crit­i­cised in an in­de­pen­dent re­view.

Work on the track stalled af­ter it be­came a con­tentious mat­ter. The win­ery then said it would re­move the track but this turned out to be more dif­fi­cult than thought.

Whether an al­ter­na­tive track up the eastern side of Te Mata Peak comes to fruition re­mains to be seen.

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