Ngāti Kahungunu Iwi & Craggy Range reach agreement
Ngāti Kahungunu Iwi and Craggy Range have agreed with the support of the Wilding, Lowe and McHardy families to jointly purchase 28ha of land which includes the current walking track. This parcel of land makes up a significant portion of the total eastern face of Te Mata Peak.
The current track will be closed to enable the partners to develop an alternative and superior track for the Hawke's Bay community to enjoy that:
(a) Recognises and protects area of cultural significance and aesthetic value;
(b) Recognises Mana Whenua as Kaitiakitanga of hapu and iwi;
(c) Retains recreational access for all;
(d) Leaves community in a better position through increased understanding of cultural significance of Te Mata Park and an improved and expanded recreational network.
The newly purchased land also allows us to construct a safe car park for the community to use at the beginning of the track. We believe that the alternative track will be a spectacular track and will attract many visitors both domestic and international to this area. This will also enable Ngati to tell the stories of the seven faces of Te Mata and Rongokako, the history of this land and other sites of cultural significance to this place.
Despite the press there has been very good dialogue and a willingness between senior Ngāti Kahungunu and Mana Whenua leaders and Craggy Range to reach a positive solution for everyone. While no one wants to go through this process again, we believe out of this adversity we all have a better understanding of each other's view and are actually delivering a better solution for the whole community.
The partners will ensure that this land and the resulting track will be held in trust for the benefit of ngā uri o Ngāti Kahungunu the Hawke's Bay community.
We are looking forward with enthusiasm to work together to develop this land and we believe this will be a template for future projects.