Ratepayers foot repair bill for Te Mata track
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.