A big yellow container is going to be parked on Hastings’ beloved Te Mata Peak this weekend - but don’t worry, it won’t be there for very long.
A long term vision for Te Mata Peak is on the drawing board, and the Te Mata Park Trust is looking for public input into it.
The iconic peak is Hastings’ best known landmark, shared by the community since it was set up for the use of Hawke’s Bay community by the Chambers family in 1927. It remains in the ownership of the trust, and is protected by an Open Space Covenant through the Queen Elizabeth II Trust. For the first time, the trust is asking the public what they would like to see on the peak, and how they would best like to use it.
It is not a free-for-all though, as the Open Space Covenant does limit what can be developed on the park, says trust chairman Bruno Chambers.
The sort of questions the trust is asking are around vehicle access and parking, improving walking tracks, the potential for a picnic area, where toilets and rubbish bins should be sited, how Peak House could be best used, and how best to impart the history of the park. More of the trust’s proposals, including considering whether land purchase should be considered to enlarge the park, have been included on its website: tematapark.co.nz.
"These are some of the questions the trust has come up with, but we are keen to hear about concerns, ideas or solutions people may have on any aspect of the park."
Mr Chambers says the park is facing some issues, predominately because it is becoming more and more popular. "Some of those are lack of facilities like toilets in the park, the increasing needs of recreational users, particularly walkers and mountain bikers, and increasing congestion in the car parks."
The Hastings District Council is assisting the trust to get input from the public, and as part of that, council is putting its big yellow My Voice My Choice consultation container on the peak for the weekend. It will be set up in the main car park and will be manned from 8am to 4pm both Saturday and Sunday. Comment can also be made on the trust’s website.
The trust will collate all the feedback it gets into a draft management plan designed to set priorities for the next 10 years plus. Once that draft is completed, the trust plans to put it before the public for comment in December.