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.
Chris Ingle, Integrated Catchments General Manager commented that the Regional Park has become increasingly popular with both locals and visitors.
“Over 106,000 people visited the park last year, representing a steady 10% per annum increase in numbers over the last several years.
“We have reached the point where the current carpark is now frequently reaching capacity. Council recognised that in order to ensure that the park remains a top recreational and visitor destination, there is need to invest in both the infrastructure and delivery of a more interactive experience.
“Te Rae o Pāpāmoa / Pāpāmoa Hills Cultural Heritage Regional Park is not only a popular regional recreational spot but also a place of deep cultural significance. We appreciate the opportunity to work in partnership with tangata whenua to be able to share those cultural stories,” Mr Ingle says.
The concept plan approved today was co-designed in partnership with representatives from Waitaha, Ngā Potiki, Ngāti Pūkenga and Ngāti He, following the acquisition of an additional 25 hectares of land alongside Poplar Lane in 2017.
The upgrade includes a proposal to create an improved entry location and signage and the provision of interpretation to help park users understand some of the cultural and historic context of the land they are visiting.
Construction is intended to start in late 2021 following the completion of a detailed design process which involves a working party of councillors and tangata whenua.
Bay of Plenty Regional Council has allocated $2.4M capital funding to the Pāpāmoa Hills Upgrade Project in the 2018-28 Long Term Plan. A fully costed project plan will go through the Procurement process in 2021.
Te Rae o Pāpāmoa, or Pāpāmoa Hills Cultural Heritage Regional Park, is one of the most significant cultural and archaeological landscapes in New Zealand. It was established as a park following a purchase of land from the McNaughton family by Tauranga City Council and Western Bay of Plenty District Council in 2002, and a subsequent on-sale to the Bay of Plenty Regional Council and opening to the public in 2004.
For further media information, please contact Melissa Williams, Communications Partner, Bay of Plenty Regional Council via email Melissa.Williams@boprc.govt.nz