Pāpāmoa Hills Cultural Heritage Regional Park, is one of the most significant cultural and archaeological landscapes in New Zealand.

The park is welcoming a rising number of visitors in recent years which is placing strain on existing facilities. The upgrade project aims to highlight the park’s rich cultural history while providing increased and enhanced access for the community.  

About the Project

Project objective

To create a sustainable and rich experience at Pāpāmoa Hills Cultural Heritage Regional Park for our local and visiting communities to enjoy.

Why is a new carpark needed?

The Regional Park has over 100,000 people per year, and this is growing at 10% year on year as the Park becomes more popular with both locals and out of town visitors. As a result the carpark is frequently at capacity during busy times. The increasing number of visitors has highlighted safety issues with access to the carpark given its close proximity to a working quarry.

Sharing the cultural story

Pāpāmoa Hills Cultural Heritage Regional Park is a culturally rich landscape, with visible evidence of their historical occupation and links to Maketu, (Mauao) Mount Maunganui and Tauranga Moana. Māori from many iwi have long understood the strategic importance of the Pāpāmoa Hills with their commanding position over the surrounding coastline.

There are 1,630 individual archaeological features recorded within the Park. Predominantly the features are terraces/tuku and platforms/papatahi, pits, middens and defensive earthworks such as ditches/maioro. The number of archaeological features present in such a small area is very unusual for New Zealand, and reflects why it is necessary to protect these sites, and also tell the story of this important cultural landscape.

Pāpāmoa Hills upgrade - design concept for entrance

The new carpark and visitor space

In 2017, Regional Council staff and iwi representatives started working together to develop a concept for the new carpark and visitor gateway. The new space will include the creation of an improved entry from Poplar Lane, increased carparking capacity and improved safety for vehicle access. A new entrance way to the park which includes an interpretation area to help park users understand some of the cultural and historic context of the land they are visiting, and improved track signage will enhance the experience for visitors coming to enjoy the Regional Park.

The new carpark and visitor entry space will be the primary access to the Regional Park and will provide over 80 additional carpark spaces, and a new gateway to the Regional Park, as shown in the images below. The new carpark will be located approximately 300m to the east of the existing carpark entrance.

Pāpāmoa Hills upgrade - new car park design concept

 Progress to date

  • Acquisition of an additional 45 hectares of land – completed 2017, 2019 and 2021
  • Detailed design for new carpark and visitor entry space completed 2021 by Boffa Miskell and Law Creative co-designed in partnership with representatives from Waitaha, Ngā Potiki, Ngāti Pūkenga and Ngāti He
  • Site blessing October 2021
  • Construction commenced March 2022

Next steps

  • Enabling works complete Quarter 1 2023,
  • Stage 2 works Quarter 1 to Quarter 2 2023
  • Opening of new car park and entrance mid 2023

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PROJECT CREATED

08 Mar 2021

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Project Updates

9 months ago

Pāpāmoa Hills upgrade

A site blessing took place this morning to mark the beginning of works for the anticipated Pāpāmoa Hills Cultural Heritage Regional Park upgrade project.

The new carpark and visitor entry space, which is scheduled to be completed next year, will be the primary access to the Regional Park and will provide more than 80 additional carpark spaces, and a visitor entry space highlighting the stories of the Pāpāmoa Hills’ history and occupation for members of the public to read.

Pāpāmoa Hills upgrade

A site blessing took place this morning to mark the beginning of works for the anticipated Pāpāmoa Hills Cultural Heritage Regional Park upgrade project.

The new carpark and visitor entry space, which is scheduled to be completed next year, will be the primary access to the Regional Park and will provide more than 80 additional carpark spaces, and a visitor entry space highlighting the stories of the Pāpāmoa Hills’ history and occupation for members of the public to read.

There will be a new walking track from the carpark into the park, and a footpath connecting to the existing carpark.

The new carpark will be located approximately 300m to the east of the existing carpark entrance on Polar Lane.

A small group of representatives from Waitaha, Nga Potiki, Ngāti Pūkenga and Ngāti He alongside Bay of Plenty Regional Councillors and staff, and consultants who are part of the project delivery team met at the location of the new carpark site to mark the occasion and bless the site before works begin.

Physical works for the new space should start in mid-November 2021 and includes site excavation and pre-loading with structural fill.

Boffa Miskell, Law Creative and WSP have now completed a detailed design of the new carpark and visitor entry space in partnership with representatives from Waitaha, Ngā Potiki, Ngāti Pūkenga and Ngāti He.

about 2 years ago

Pāpāmoa Hills multi-million dollar upgrade approved

Bay of Plenty Regional Council today approved the concept design stage of a major upgrade for Te Rae o Pāpāmoa / Pāpāmoa Hills Cultural Heritage Regional Park. The improvements will create a richer experience for visitors through construction of a new 86 space carpark, upgraded amenities and new provision for the sharing of cultural stories.

Read the full media release.

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