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Commissioners approve resource consent for Craggy Range Track remediation

Contributor:
Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

An application by Hastings District Council for a resource consent to remediate the remaining sections of the Craggy Range track has been approved, although the decision can still be appealed. The application was publicly notified in February this year and received 26 submissions, 23 of which were in support of the application.

A hearing was held over two days on June 11 and 12, and this week independent commissioners Paul Cooney and Rauru Kirikiri released their decision to grant consent for the works to be undertaken to reinstate the original contours of the land, and restore vegetation cover.

In making their decision the commissioners said that: "The council to its credit has apologised for the way it assessed the consent, that it intends to put in place better cultural governance processes, and that it has lodged this restoration application in response to calls from tangata whenua and others in the community for the track to be removed. "From a Māori tikanga perspective, we find that if this application is granted it will go a long way towards rectifying the harm caused by the presence of the track on the fact of Te Mata and give proper recognition to the close ancestral relationship tangata whenua have with Te Mata Peak."

Hastings mayor Sandra Hazlehurst said the council was pleased with the decision.

"This gives the council certainty around being able to remediate the remainder of the track, and allows the community to move on together."

She said the announcement of a new park, Te Rongo Regional Park, planned to be developed on the Eastern side of Te Mata Peak, meant the area would become a space for the whole community and would be well cared for and looked after for future generations.

"It will become part of a large network of beautiful regional parks in our district and it’s wonderful it can be done as a partnership between the regional council, the iwi and hapÅ« groups."

As part of the remediation work the council will seek an archaeological authority prior to site works beginning.

The deadline for appeals to be lodged is Wednesday, July 31.

Until the appeal period ends no firm dates have been set for when work would begin.

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