Block on Kaiti Hill for reserve classification

Area of cultural and historical significance: Council.

Area of cultural and historical significance: Council.

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GISBORNE District Council has decided that a 6.5-hectare block of land on Titirangi (Kaiti Hill) will be reclassified as recreation reserve to protect its cultural and historical significance.

Known as the Rakaiatane Block, the area is beside the new road link to Eastland Port and will bring to 72 hectares the amount of land on the hill that is considered recreation reserve.

The council was told that the 6.3 hectare summit car park that includes the Observatory and gun emplacement is endowment land and will not be reclassified as recreation reserve because of the conditions placed on it. It is, however, part of the co-management plan agreed with Ngati Oneone for the hill.

Chief executive Judy Campbell said the two blocks were separate from the piece of land which the council had just bought back from the port company.

The council is negotiating a management plan with Ngati Oneone, who they were told have a special relationship with Titirangi as a reference point for whanau, hapu and iwi identity, and a long occupation and rich history associated with the site.

Alan Davidson said the hearing on the management plan for Titirangi would come up for consultation in September and queried whether voting would compromise hearings committee members.

Mrs Campbell said it would not. The management plan would decide how the area was used, whereas this simply related only to the zoning. It became part of the plan but did not create any predetermination on the plan.

Graeme Thomson questioned whether bringing that land into recreation reserve from fee simple could complicate its future use. There was still the capacity to do something about the area above the port one day by agreement with all the parties involved.

Ngati Oneone themselves may want to do something there such as a small museum.

Converting it into a reserve might complicate that because special exemptions would be needed. Because it was fee simple did not mean the council would just allow people to go in there and rip it up.

“It’s not going to happen, maybe it is better to be left as it is,” Mr Thompson said.

Mrs Campbell said he was absolutely right, turning it into a reserve was a way of “tying it up and protecting it”.

The reason the council had been asked to buy the other piece of land back was that the port company considered there was no ability to get a resource consent because of its heritage overlay.

Archaeologists had said the front part of the hill facing the port had the greatest archaeological value of all. Under the Reserves Act something like a small museum to recognise the historical significance of the area was compliant.

Mayor Meng Foon said this piece of land was steep and it would be difficult to do anything on it. The balance of the land was up for discussion.

GISBORNE District Council has decided that a 6.5-hectare block of land on Titirangi (Kaiti Hill) will be reclassified as recreation reserve to protect its cultural and historical significance.

Known as the Rakaiatane Block, the area is beside the new road link to Eastland Port and will bring to 72 hectares the amount of land on the hill that is considered recreation reserve.

The council was told that the 6.3 hectare summit car park that includes the Observatory and gun emplacement is endowment land and will not be reclassified as recreation reserve because of the conditions placed on it. It is, however, part of the co-management plan agreed with Ngati Oneone for the hill.

Chief executive Judy Campbell said the two blocks were separate from the piece of land which the council had just bought back from the port company.

The council is negotiating a management plan with Ngati Oneone, who they were told have a special relationship with Titirangi as a reference point for whanau, hapu and iwi identity, and a long occupation and rich history associated with the site.

Alan Davidson said the hearing on the management plan for Titirangi would come up for consultation in September and queried whether voting would compromise hearings committee members.

Mrs Campbell said it would not. The management plan would decide how the area was used, whereas this simply related only to the zoning. It became part of the plan but did not create any predetermination on the plan.

Graeme Thomson questioned whether bringing that land into recreation reserve from fee simple could complicate its future use. There was still the capacity to do something about the area above the port one day by agreement with all the parties involved.

Ngati Oneone themselves may want to do something there such as a small museum.

Converting it into a reserve might complicate that because special exemptions would be needed. Because it was fee simple did not mean the council would just allow people to go in there and rip it up.

“It’s not going to happen, maybe it is better to be left as it is,” Mr Thompson said.

Mrs Campbell said he was absolutely right, turning it into a reserve was a way of “tying it up and protecting it”.

The reason the council had been asked to buy the other piece of land back was that the port company considered there was no ability to get a resource consent because of its heritage overlay.

Archaeologists had said the front part of the hill facing the port had the greatest archaeological value of all. Under the Reserves Act something like a small museum to recognise the historical significance of the area was compliant.

Mayor Meng Foon said this piece of land was steep and it would be difficult to do anything on it. The balance of the land was up for discussion.

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