Bikes not on the radar for Kaiti Hill

Councillors concerned if bikes banned, people may use existing tracks illegally.

Councillors concerned if bikes banned, people may use existing tracks illegally.

File picture

SOME provision could be made for mountain bike paths on Titirangi (Kaiti Hill), despite the fact that the management plan did not include them, Gisborne District Council was told.

Some councillors expressed concern that if bikes were banned, people would use existing tracks illegally.

But they were told that investigations were going on to find an area for mountain bikes.

Andy Cranston said that during the consultation process and the hearings on the Titirangi management plan, there was a lot of discussion about bikes on the hill.

The position of Ngati Oneone was that the hill should be just used for passive recreation. Was that a solid requirement or would there be any movement on that?

There was a suggestion at the hearing that bikes could be redirected to another place — but mountain bikers did not want another place. They were identifying Titirangi as a great place for the activity.

Chief executive Judy Campbell said the council had adopted the Titirangi management plan which did not include mountain biking.

Planning and development manager Nedine Thatcher-Swann said mountain biking was not appropriate on Titirangi but the plan did provide for some investigation around appropriate sites.

Not right for bikes

The majority of the hill was inappropriate for mountain biking because of its archaeological significance.

There might be an area but the council would need to look further in consultation with the community that neighboured the area mountain bikers had identified.

If that was not feasible, it was part of the community facility strategy to look at other sites inside the city boundary that might be more appropriate.

Mrs Campbell said there would be a process of ensuring mountain bikes were not on these informal tracks.

The decision was not just because of Ngati Oneone but because the hill was an archaeological site and the creation of tracks was digging things up.

Mrs Thatcher-Swann said the management plan was saying that until the council had undertaken feasibility assessment of the other potential tracks, mountain biking was not appropriate on Titirangi. It was not saying forever. The council needed to see if alternatives were appropriate.

Meredith Akuhata-Brown said there had been reports that Rongowhakaata had an interest in Titirangi. Was that a framework the council needed to consider more deeply?

Mrs Campbell said the council was not an entity to decide iwi boundaries. That was for iwi or the Waitangi Tribunal to sort out. The hearings committee had noted Rongowhakaata’s interest and it was a matter between them and Ngati Oneone.

Larry Foster said he walked in the area every day. There had been a track on the hill for four or five years. It was used regularly and all of a sudden there would be a sign saying no mountain biking.

Mrs Thatcher-Swann said it was more about educating the public about the significance of the area than just having a blanket ban.

SOME provision could be made for mountain bike paths on Titirangi (Kaiti Hill), despite the fact that the management plan did not include them, Gisborne District Council was told.

Some councillors expressed concern that if bikes were banned, people would use existing tracks illegally.

But they were told that investigations were going on to find an area for mountain bikes.

Andy Cranston said that during the consultation process and the hearings on the Titirangi management plan, there was a lot of discussion about bikes on the hill.

The position of Ngati Oneone was that the hill should be just used for passive recreation. Was that a solid requirement or would there be any movement on that?

There was a suggestion at the hearing that bikes could be redirected to another place — but mountain bikers did not want another place. They were identifying Titirangi as a great place for the activity.

Chief executive Judy Campbell said the council had adopted the Titirangi management plan which did not include mountain biking.

Planning and development manager Nedine Thatcher-Swann said mountain biking was not appropriate on Titirangi but the plan did provide for some investigation around appropriate sites.

Not right for bikes

The majority of the hill was inappropriate for mountain biking because of its archaeological significance.

There might be an area but the council would need to look further in consultation with the community that neighboured the area mountain bikers had identified.

If that was not feasible, it was part of the community facility strategy to look at other sites inside the city boundary that might be more appropriate.

Mrs Campbell said there would be a process of ensuring mountain bikes were not on these informal tracks.

The decision was not just because of Ngati Oneone but because the hill was an archaeological site and the creation of tracks was digging things up.

Mrs Thatcher-Swann said the management plan was saying that until the council had undertaken feasibility assessment of the other potential tracks, mountain biking was not appropriate on Titirangi. It was not saying forever. The council needed to see if alternatives were appropriate.

Meredith Akuhata-Brown said there had been reports that Rongowhakaata had an interest in Titirangi. Was that a framework the council needed to consider more deeply?

Mrs Campbell said the council was not an entity to decide iwi boundaries. That was for iwi or the Waitangi Tribunal to sort out. The hearings committee had noted Rongowhakaata’s interest and it was a matter between them and Ngati Oneone.

Larry Foster said he walked in the area every day. There had been a track on the hill for four or five years. It was used regularly and all of a sudden there would be a sign saying no mountain biking.

Mrs Thatcher-Swann said it was more about educating the public about the significance of the area than just having a blanket ban.

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