TALKS PAVE THE WAY FOR AN ALTERNATIVE TE MATA PEAK
Constructive talks were held on Friday between interested parties involved with the Craggy Range walking track on Te Mata Peak to understand the background to the issues surrounding Craggy Range’s walking track and explore alternative options for public walking access on the eastern slopes of Te Mata Peak.
“In the week before Christmas, we decided the best resolution to community concerns surrounding the track was to remove it, restore the land and return it to the previous owner. It was an integrity based decision, and we remain committed to that”, says Mike Wilding, CEO of Craggy Range.
“As we said at the time, we never intended to alienate or divide any part of our community by developing the public track and we moved swiftly to close the trail.”
“However, it is clear that there is considerable public support for walking access on the eastern slopes of the Peak and today we have agreed to work together on exploring an alternative that can hopefully satisfy everyone. We are excited at the prospect of working with the others and feel there is the potential to create something truly amazing, so we are absolutely committed to progressing and leading that.” said Mr Wilding.
“This was a good opportunity to discuss the issues involved and move towards a positive way forward, says Hastings Mayor Sandra Hazlehurst.
“The aim of this meeting was to get everyone’s views on the table and provide an opportunity to share and understand each other’s perspectives. Those who attended the meeting voiced their enormous respect for Craggy Range and all agreed they have been exemplary throughout this process.”
All parties support and respect Craggy Range’s decision to remove the existing track from Te Mata Peak and are committed to working together to find a long-term solution for people to access the east side of Te Mata Peak.
Ngati Kahungunu Chair, Ngahiwi Tomoana provided comment; “we respect Craggy Range’s decision to remediate the track and we look forward to working collaboratively with them and others to explore the development of walking access on the eastern slopes of the Peak. This is a chance for us all to work together to create something exceptional. It has been great to have the opportunity to sit down and talk it over with all parties.”
Rex Graham, Chair of Hawke’s Bay Regional Council said he welcomed the open and honest discussion and was delighted there was an agreement for all parties to work together to come up with an alternative option, to provide public access to the eastern side of the Peak.
Mike Devonshire, Chair of Te Mata Park Trust said “the Craggy Range track should be the catalyst for positive ‘big picture discussions’ to increase connectivity, conservation, and a common vision across Te Mata Peak”.
In the meantime, Craggy Range Winery is developing a remediation plan and will be applying for resource consent to remove the track in February, with works due to commence in autumn 2018. The track remains closed.