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Regional Park initiative supported

Wairoa Mayor Craig Little has welcomed the Hawke’s Bay Regional Council’s positive response to progress the idea of developing a regional park in Wairoa.

Discussion about a ‘Lighthouse to Ocean’ park is underway, and the concept was raised at a recent Maori Standing Committee meeting.

The idea has been talked about by Hawkes Bay Regional Council chairman Rex Graham and Mr Little for some time and involves celebrating Wairoa’s riverbank and the district’s history.

Initial thoughts were to develop the park from the lighthouse to the river mouth.

However, Mr Little would like to see the reserve begin at Lockwood Point, so it incorporates the ski club area, Adventure Wairoa, the community centre and playground.

“The idea has enormous scope. Our river provides us with massive potential, and this park would be fabulous.

“The stretch along Kopu Road , in particular, is quite spectacular but it needs some love. It also requires a buy-in from the community and for people to stop dumping their rubbish along that stretch of riverbank.

“The land that is likely to be used for the concept is Council reserve, and any work would be done in partnership with Tatau Tautau o te Wairoa and the regional council.”

Mr Little said the design could also include a safe boat ramp which is available to the public and could also incorporate a wharf.

“These are all concepts that will be progressed as part of the planning and design stages and are also ideas which would celebrate our natural assets and our history.”

With regards to flooding, Mr Little said it is always a concern, and it will always happen.

“We need to make sure we are mitigating the impact of flooding and planting sensibly to protect our riverbanks and land.”

6 March 2019

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