An 89-hectare recreation reserve near Katikati dedicated to horse riding, mountain biking and walking is one step closer to reality.
A concept plan and new name has been approved this week by Western Bay of Plenty District Council's Policy Committee.
The Waitekohekohe Reserve (previously named Lund Road Reserve) is a mixture of native bush and pine forest located between Lund Road and Thompsons Track and includes the Waitekohe Stream.
The Policy Committee decision follows extensive public consultation and input from the community. Public consultation extended from Monday, 24 August until Friday, 2 October 2020 and included an open day at Katikati Memorial Hall.
Informal feedback to shape the plans was also sought online earlier in 2020 as part of Council's 2021-31 Long Term Plan consultation.
Council has worked with the Katikati Recreational Park Develop Group and local iwi Ngai Tamawhariua to come up with the concept plan and a name that acknowledges the cultural history of the area.
Waitekohekohe is the name gifted by Ngai Tamawhariua in reference to the ancestral name for the area and its relationship to spiritual waters, a sense of yearning and climbing trees and vines.
Western Bay Mayor Garry Webber says the proposed concept plan has taken into consideration the many views shared through Council's 2021-31 Long Term Plan consultation earlier this year and the view of those people with particular interests in the use of the reserve.
'The community asked us to look at a recreational reserve on the western side of the District to cater for the horse riding and mountain biking enthusiasts. This area of land is ideally suited to both those activities and we are pleased to be able to cater for those people.
'It has also been a pleasure to work with Ngai Tamawhariua and find a name that is so appropriate to the local environment.”
A concept plan for the reserve.
People had expressed concern at the decreasing number of safe horse riding areas within the District and that, while TECT Park in Upper Pyes Pa was a popular horse riding area, there was no equivalent area in the western end of the District.
The finalised plan has taken into account safety concerns relating to the conflict between users and has separate carparks for equestrians and cyclists plus an overflow/events carpark. Forestry will continue in the park.
Other matters to be addressed include good signage, increased public awareness of Council's bylaws relating to removal of litter and waste, any dog control requirements and fire safety. No freedom camping will be allowed at the reserve, but this may be considered in the future once the park is operational.
The funding to implement the concept plan outcomes will be considered through the review of Council's 2021-31 Long Term Plan.
Over time, with support from locals and community groups – Council will implement trail/track features and environmental planting.