INDEPENDENT NEWS

Visit the Papamoa hills – and have your say

Published: Sat 16 Dec 2006 01:25 PM
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Visit the Papamoa hills – and have your say
For immediate release: Friday 15 December 2006
Why not explore the Bay of Plenty’s only regional park this summer? You’re also invited to have a say in its future.
The Papamoa Hills Regional Park offers stunning views over the Bay of Plenty coastline. The richness of its Maori heritage – it has eight pa sites - makes it even more special.
Environment Bay of Plenty, which owns the park, is currently looking at the best way to manage it. Environment Bay of Plenty’s operations committee chairman, Bill Cleghorn, urges people to visit the park over summer and then “tell us what you think should happen there.”
The council has put together a draft management plan, which will guide the park through the next decade. “We want to know if we’re on the right track or not, and would appreciate any feedback people can give us,” Mr Cleghorn says.
The draft plan’s main thrust is to protect the park’s heritage while making sure visitors are able to continue to enjoy it. It recommends retaining the ridgelines, hilltops and slopes in open grassland but planting up some of the gullies. It also suggests trying out camping in selected areas and developing some visitor facilities, while continuing to farm the land. Horse-riding, four-wheel drives, mountain bikes and motor bikes are currently banned activities. However, it may be possible to allow them somewhere within the park.
The Papamoa Hills Regional Park opened to the public in July 2004. It was created because of its strong archaeological and cultural values, with many well-preserved pa sites on the ridges and hilltops. About 1500 people visit it every month.
The regional park, currently managed by Tauranga City Council, is located in Poplar Lane, five kilometres from Te Puke on the highway to Tauranga.
Submissions on the draft plan close in late February. Please call Environment Bay of Plenty on 0800 ENV BOP (368 267) for a copy of the draft plan or go to www.envbop.govt.nz.
Ends

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