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WBOP residents asked for open space feedback

Image. Google Maps.

A multi-use open space catering for community events and activities is part of a draft concept plan for a three-hectare site at near Maketu.

Western Bay of Plenty District Council has today released its draft concept plan for the site, currently undeveloped and zoned rural, to the public in efforts to enhance the site’s future use and recreational opportunities.

Council is also proposing to rename the site, to better reflect its historic significance. The site is currently known as 83 Ford Road due to its location, however, we are proposing to rename it to Otaiparia Reserve. Otaiparia is the name historically used in reference to the area by Tangata Whenua.

Public feedback is now open on the proposed plan until Wednesday, May 12, with Council holding a community open day on site at 83 Ford Road on Saturday, May 1 from 10am-1pm.

The open day is a drop-in event for anyone to attend, talk to staff and key stakeholder groups such as Maketu Hoe Waka Club and Maketu Coastguard, and give their feedback about the plan.

The plan includes a proposed base for Maketu Hoe Waka Club and Maketu Coastguard, development of a multi-use open space that can be utilised for community events and activities, more car parking, including for boat trailers, development of an elevated picnic area providing connection to the water and ablutions facility on site.

Ford Road is a well-used and connected site. It is a strategic access point to the river and the ocean for boaties and has a lot of history associated with the Kaituna River.

Council’s reserves and facilities manager Peter Watson says Council believes now is the perfect time to develop the site to benefit the community and further enhance the lower Kaituna River area.

“We’ve listened and have come up with a draft concept plan that encapsulates most of the feedback received during the pre-engagement late last year,” says Watson.

“This is a strategic piece of land in a great location which can be used by everyone - local residents, including tangata whenua, water based groups and clubs and cyclists using the Tauranga Eastern Link Cycleway.

“We cannot do this without you. We need your input to ensure the final concept plan is comprehensive, robust and community-minded.”

Council purchased the site in 2016 for community use. The land includes, the Tukotahi Marae wharenui, a boat ramp and jetty and a carpark area. Its location provides connections to land owned by Bay of Plenty Regional Council along the Kaituna River to Te Pourepo O Kaituna and the Tauranga Eastern Link Cycleway.

Over the past two years the site has been used as a depot for the $16.5 million Kaituna River Re-Diversion project, under an agreement with the Bay of Plenty Regional Council and JP Swap Contractors Ltd.

People can share their views online at: haveyoursay.westernbay.govt.nz/ford-road-plan - or fill out a feedback form at the community open day session.

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