Nelson City Council And Ngāti Koata Sign 10-year Recreation Access Agreement

Published: Thu 23 May 2024 01:53 PM
Nelson as a world-class mountain biking destination is the vision for a new access agreement signed between the Chief Executives of Nelson City Council and Ngāti Koata Limited on Wednesday, 22 May.
Council resolved to continue working with Ngāti Koata on a long-term agreement for recreational use of Ngāti Koata-owned land in September 2022 in a decision that confirmed Council’s commitment to maintaining and improving recreational access to the high-value trail, walking, running and paragliding networks on Ngāti Koata whenua.
Nelson City Council Chief Executive Nigel Philpott says Council received a substantial number of Long Term Plan submissions asking for access to trails on Ngāti Koata whenua to be secured.
“I’ve listened to that feedback and sat down with Ngāti Koata Limited Chief Executive Hemi Toia to reach an agreement that is both beneficial for our partnership with Ngāti Koata and the Whakatū/Nelson community. What’s most exciting to me is that this agreement now means Whakatū/Nelson has the potential to become a world-class mountain biking and recreation destination.
“Mountain biking is already a big contributor to the Nelson economy and I’m confident that there’s plenty of room for growth. I’m looking forward to working with Ngāti Koata on the upgrades and improvements we need to take this to the next level.”
A 2023 report by a leading economic research firm estimated the value added to the Whakatū/Nelson economy by mountain bike trails in the Nelson-Tasman region is worth approximately $30.3 million total new and retained spending annually, a total of $27.9 million in GDP, and total additional employment of 388 FTEs.
The agreement has expanded on our existing annual access agreement with Koata Limited, and will be CPI-adjusted every year from 2027 onwards and reviewed in 2029. Access is guaranteed for walking, running, mountain biking and paragliding within certain safety parameters that will be negotiated with Koata Limited, Tasman Pine Forests Limited and Nelson City Council.
All other revenue and fees related to the recreational and event access to the land will be retained by Council and invested in promoting recreation, building trails and maintenance.
The agreement includes the option to extend access out to 2049 and/or secure permanent access, and the option to explore the creation of a permanent forestry canopy.
“On behalf of Ngāti Koata and Koata Limited, I am very excited about the opportunity this new recreational access agreement presents,” says Ngāti Koata Limited Chief Executive Hemi Toia.
“I can see a big, bold vision where Whakatū/Nelson offers its local residents, family and friends who visit, and international visitors a world-class and leading experience that incorporates mountain biking and other outdoor recreational activities. This experience could be further enhanced by a cultural and environmental vision that connects us, not only with each other, but also with the whenua. Having such a facility on the city’s doorstep is quite unique I am told, so let’s make it even more unique.
“As well as thanking Nelson City Council's elected members and senior staff, I would like to sincerely express my appreciation to the Nelson Mountain Bike Club, the broader mountain biking community and our forestry partners Tasman Pine Forests Limited for their ongoing support of Ngāti Koata’s vision.”
As part of the agreement some areas of Ngāti Koata whenua will be renamed. The Codgers and Fireball area will become known as Koata Park, and Sharlands will be renamed Waitarake.
The agreement will start on 1 July and last until 30 June 2034.

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