|Napier Waterway Facelift|
|Wednesday, 25 July 2012 11:49|
Napier Waterway Facelift
A recent onsite meeting with representatives of the Maraenui community is the springboard for the next phase of the Harakeke Waterway project.
Since the construction work was completed during 2011, and a major community planting event was held in August last year, the area has been left to settle and the plants to grow.
Last week Hawke’s Bay Regional Council, Napier City Council, residents, iwi, community policing and contractors met to learn from what has been done so far on the Harakeke Waterway project, and talk about what comes next.
The next steps will start with another community planting session on Wednesday 8 August from 1pm. During August, a lime sand path will also be constructed, new grass will be seeded and a bore will be installed to create a constant flow of water in the stream. Grass clippings will be removed, fences will be painted, and murals and information signs will be progressively added, starting in key areas. Napier City will improve the alley lighting.
Carver Hugh Tareha is also working on three Pou Whenua to be erected at Harakeke Waterway.
There will be an official opening event at Harakeke Waterway in the coming months, with more information on this to come.
Harakeke Waterway has been designed with the local community in mind, and for this project the local input has made all the difference.
Napier City Council’s Safer Community Coordinator, Robyn Smith, has been working with the Maraenui community since 2002.
“We want the community, including local kids, to enjoy their environment, to feel safe wherever they are, and for parents to feel comfortable when their kids are playing around Harakeke Waterway,” said Robyn.
The councils agree that community input has helped the design and construction team to deliver a public place that reflects the spirit of the local community, the history of the site and its cultural significance.
“We spent a lot of time talking to the community before we turned any earth,” said HBRC Environmental Engineer Patrick Whitesell.
“We also got a lot of new information from last week’s meeting, so we’re looking at water access, outdoor activities for the kids and ongoing security.”
Community input has been provided through face-to-face meetings and door-knocking, plus discussions with Pukemokimoki Marae, the bilingual kura and Kohanga Reo. To keep the community involved there have been flyers and newsletters, stands at community events like the Maraenui Community Festival, and updates in community papers, in particular the local paper He Ngakou Hou.
First discussions began in 2003 about redeveloping the ‘Plantation Drain’ site - the area between Nash and Chambers Streets up from Te Awa Park. A formal agreement was made with design plans drawn up by Hawke’s Bay Regional Council and Napier City Council. Both councils gave funding approval in 2008 and planning began in earnest, taking care of critical underground pipes while reshaping and relocating the unsightly drain that ran down one side of the reserve.