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Feedback sought on landscape plan for Waitapu, Mohua/Golden Bay

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Manawhenua ki Mohua* and Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency are seeking feedback on a draft landscape plan for the Waitapu Bridge site adjacent to the Tākaka River in Mohua/ Golden Bay. 

Manawhenua ki Mohua* and Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency are seeking feedback on a draft landscape plan for the Waitapu Bridge site adjacent to the Tākaka River in Mohua/ Golden Bay. 

Emma Speight, Director of Regional Relationships for Waka Kotahi, says that taking into consideration community input from 2021, the plan provides the basis for future restoration and protection works.

“We want to ensure the plan caters for everyone who visits this special place, whether they are people picnicking, on day trips, kayaking or launching their boat. At the same time, we need to protect this site for future generations.” 

After the feedback from the community has been received, Manawhenua ki Mohua and Waka Kotahi can finalise the landscape plan. 

Proposed design for the Waitapu Bridge road reserve area showing parking stops

Proposed design for the Waitapu Bridge road reserve area showing the day-parking spots and boat trailer parking overflow area.

“Changes to the site will be staged, as funding and materials become available. We also need to work around the planting seasons, so you may see some changes over the next few months, including initial minor earthworks to allow for future landscaping,” Ms Speight says. 

Manawhenua ki Mohua are excited about restoration of this special place and want to ensure a safe and welcoming place for everyone to enjoy. 

“We are looking forward to involving the community in the planting and beautification of the site. We are working towards a number of planting days this season and would love to hear from anyone who is interested in joining us,” says Ursula Passl of Manawhenua ki Mohua. 

*Manawhenua ki Mohua is an iwi-mandated organisation representing Ngati Tama, Ngati Rārua and Te Ātiawa.

Background on the Waitapu Bridge site

Waitapu is sacred for Manawhenua ki Mohua. WAITAPU is wāhi tapu – the name Waitapu translates as ‘sacred waters.’

Ngā WAITAPU o Huriawa (the sacred waters of Huriawa) flow directly adjacent to Waitapu.

The Tākaka awa (river) and associated whenua (land) was extensively used by tūpuna (ancestors) and these relationships are reflected by the numerous, interrelated tapu sites in the area – extending from Te Waikoropupū (upstream) to the mouth of the Tākaka awa. 

In late 2020, Waitapu management was transferred to Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency in partnership with Manawhenua ki Mohua.

“We are very aware of the value of Waitapu for many local people – manawhenua and also farmers, residents, regular visitors, kayakers, fishermen and women, boaties. Everyone wants to ensure that there is safe access to the river at this point and the site itself is safeguarded for everyone,” says Ms Speight. 

Waka Kotahi has been working with Manawhenua ki Mohua to find a way to protect Waitapu, with an agreed interim plan, followed by a longer-term co-management plan.

The current proposed landscape plan now goes out to the wider community for everyone’s input until 10 June 2022.

 

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