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Port Ohope reserve redevelopment completed

Pictured (from left) at the recent blessing ceremony for the Port Ōhope Reserve redevelopment are: Trevor and Darkie Ransfield, Rawinia Kamau, Mayor Tony Bonne, Aaron Milne, David Bulley, and Tio Pukepuke. Image: Supplied.

The completion of the $2 million redevelopment of the Port Ohope Reserve was marked by a special blessing ceremony on Friday December 21.

Speaking at the ceremony, Whakatane Mayor Tony Bonne says the upgrading of the reserve area at the Port Ohope Wharf had been a longheld dream for the council and the Ohope community.

“It’s wonderful to see this major project brought to fruition, ahead of the busy summer season, because it really does create a superb public space linking the harbour, wharf and reserve directly to the Bob Byrne reserve and playground and the Oceanside reserve and beach,” says Tony.

“The concept was great, but the reality is absolutely stunning and provides a great place for the community to gather and enjoy the recreational treasures this area offers.”

Mayor Boone says a generous grant from the Eastern Bay Energy Trust had played a key role in the redevelopment.

“EBET contributed $100,000 to install three-phase power, the lighting elements and barbecues for public use in the promenade area and it’s already clear that those aspects will add significantly to the reserve’s attractions.

“Our regional community is very fortunate to have the Trust’s ongoing support, which has enabled organisations across the Eastern Bay to undertake energy-related developments which would otherwise have been beyond their reach.”

Energy Trust Deputy Chairperson Aaron Milne says EBET was delighted to have been able to contribute to such an important asset for the Ohope community.

“The timing of the completion of the project is perfect, with it now being available for use by locals and visitors alike over the summer holidays,” he says.

Other significant elements of the redevelopment include new landscaping and carparking features, realigned road access to link to Charles Street and the adjacent Bob Byrne Reserve, and a new toilet and changing block.

The council’s Places and Open Spaces group anticipates that the promenade area will be a popular venue for future community activities and events. Booking inquiries should be directed to the Whakatane District Council Customer Services team.

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