CRAGGY RANGE WINERY RESOLVES TO REMOVE WALKING TRACK
Following discussions with Mana Whenua and other concerned groups this week, Craggy Range Winery has decided the best resolution to the concerns surrounding its new walking track on Te Mata Peak’s eastern slopes is to remove the track, restore the land and return it to the previous owner.
“We’ve worked hard over the last week to seek and understand everyone’s perspective. We never intended to alienate or divide any part of our community by developing the public track and we believe it is in the best interests of the broader community that a swift resolution occurs,” says Mike Wilding, Chief Executive.
“We had open and positive discussions with iwi representatives that gave us a deeper appreciation for their concerns and their disappointment that we did not go over and above the council process and consult directly with them. We’re sorry for the distress we have caused them and anyone else, especially because we went into this project believing it was a positive thing to do for the community.”
Mr Wilding says the issue has come about because Hastings District Council chose not to publicly notify Craggy Range’s consent application to develop the track into the upper reaches of the Peak, which are designated an Outstanding Natural Feature under the new District Plan.
“When this furore erupted we were surprised to find out that Council hadn’t consulted with Mana Whenua in the consent application process.
It is also disappointing and frustrating that we find ourselves the first casualty of an updated District Plan that does not appear to align with community sentiment.”
However, if Hastings District Council is taken to court over their decision, there will be no winners and frankly we don’t think it is fair for ratepayers to foot the cost. So we have instead developed an alternative solution that mitigates the impact both to the Council and to ratepayers.
That means, despite many people telling us they support the track, on balance we believe it is in the best interests of the entire community to remove it, restore the land and return the property to its previous owner and allow everyone to move forward.”