Big plan for Cook site

Acknowledging entire history.

Acknowledging entire history.

A BRIDGE TOO FAR?: A concept drawing of the 1000-year Puhi Kai Iti walk bridge. Councillors have budget concerns over the bridge. Picture supplied

The Cook landing monument site on Kaiti Beach Road is about to get a big makeover.

Plans have been released for a large- scale public attraction at the site, which will turn it into an interactive place where the history of this region from 1000 years ago to today will be told.

Construction will start in about four months, with the project completed in time for the sestercentennial commemorations in October 2019.

Called the Puhi Kai Iti Cook Landing Site project, its biggest part will be the construction of a 1000-year walkbridge, that will allow pedestrians to move between the Cook landing site and Titirangi (Kaiti Hill).

This will be a large elevated structure spanning the space between the Cook site and the hill.

The existing monument to Cook will remain as it is but a low pit will be dug around it to give it further focus and create a space for story elements to be built in.

The exhibits include the story of Te Maro, the first of the local Maori killed by Cook’s crew.

Also among exhibits will be extracts from Cook’s diary, old coins donated by children around New Zealand, a mist that comes from the ground and large sculptures of water gourds big enough for children to climb on.

Tenders are going out and the official nod will come in August. This is when the exact cost of the project will be known —but it will not be ratepayer- funded.

The project will be part-funded by the Department of Conservation (DoC), with further external funding sought through the Lottery Significant Project Fund and a potential $1 million coming through the Tairawhiti Economic Action Plan (TEAP).

The concept and delivery of the project has been decided in partnership with DoC and Ngati Oneone iwi.

Ngati Oneone spokesman Nick Tupara said the project was not a major construction exercise — in fact they did not want major structures.

Slim-line, sleek and engineered was the look they were going for, he said.

But, most important, was that the strongest-possible acknowledgement was made of the history of the entire district over the past 1000 years.

The national notoriety of the site would encourage business to get involved.

Screens would be created at ground level around the existing monument.

They would be high on the Kaiti Road side to block passing logging trucks from view, with a lower screen on the coastal side so people could look out into the bay. Some screens would be clear, some computer-cut steel sheets.

A birds-eye view of the site from Titirangi would be a botanic design based on sketches from the botanists on board the Endeavour.

In the plant beds they hoped to include examples of the native plants that Cook took back to England.

1000 years of stories

On the 1000-year walkbridge, people would be able to step through time and read stories from the region over the past 1000 years.

It will start with the early settlers arriving by waka 750 years before Lieutenant James Cook arrived in October 1769.

“We are hopeful that we can reflect 1000 years of navigation history.”

It had not been easy to balance the earlier history against the 250 years of history since Cook landed.

They were endeavouring to get that right, he said.

“Hopefully, everybody in the region — Maori and non-Maori — can have a sense of identity with what has been long missing from the site since it was unveiled in 1906.”

Mr Tupara said each part of the project contained a special purpose.

“It will be a space for people to spend time, and contemplate the history and significance of the place.

“It gives us a place to pause and think about cultural history, the impact it’s had and how to move forward.”

Mr Tupara said he knew they would be up for criticisms from all sides, particularly from the Maori community.

“We should be held accountable for how we are addressing their cultural heritage.”

The concept plan for the site was presented by Mr Tupara and Tairawhiti Navigations project manager De-Arne Sutherland to the Future Tairawhiti Committee on Thursday.

Gisborne district councillor Shannon Dowsing asked where the funds for the ongoing maintenance of the interactive elements of the site would come from.

Mrs Sutherland said there would be a cost to maintain the structure.

The existing site was a DoC responsibility.

A parking areas for cars and a bus drop-off area are included in the plans.

Key stakeholders include Eastland Port, Te Ha Trust, Heritage NZ, Historic Places Tairawhiti, NZTA, Tairawhiti Roads and Tairawhiti Navigations Governance Group, which have all contributed design elements and stories to be told.

The Cook landing monument site on Kaiti Beach Road is about to get a big makeover.

Plans have been released for a large- scale public attraction at the site, which will turn it into an interactive place where the history of this region from 1000 years ago to today will be told.

Construction will start in about four months, with the project completed in time for the sestercentennial commemorations in October 2019.

Called the Puhi Kai Iti Cook Landing Site project, its biggest part will be the construction of a 1000-year walkbridge, that will allow pedestrians to move between the Cook landing site and Titirangi (Kaiti Hill).

This will be a large elevated structure spanning the space between the Cook site and the hill.

The existing monument to Cook will remain as it is but a low pit will be dug around it to give it further focus and create a space for story elements to be built in.

The exhibits include the story of Te Maro, the first of the local Maori killed by Cook’s crew.

Also among exhibits will be extracts from Cook’s diary, old coins donated by children around New Zealand, a mist that comes from the ground and large sculptures of water gourds big enough for children to climb on.

Tenders are going out and the official nod will come in August. This is when the exact cost of the project will be known —but it will not be ratepayer- funded.

The project will be part-funded by the Department of Conservation (DoC), with further external funding sought through the Lottery Significant Project Fund and a potential $1 million coming through the Tairawhiti Economic Action Plan (TEAP).

The concept and delivery of the project has been decided in partnership with DoC and Ngati Oneone iwi.

Ngati Oneone spokesman Nick Tupara said the project was not a major construction exercise — in fact they did not want major structures.

Slim-line, sleek and engineered was the look they were going for, he said.

But, most important, was that the strongest-possible acknowledgement was made of the history of the entire district over the past 1000 years.

The national notoriety of the site would encourage business to get involved.

Screens would be created at ground level around the existing monument.

They would be high on the Kaiti Road side to block passing logging trucks from view, with a lower screen on the coastal side so people could look out into the bay. Some screens would be clear, some computer-cut steel sheets.

A birds-eye view of the site from Titirangi would be a botanic design based on sketches from the botanists on board the Endeavour.

In the plant beds they hoped to include examples of the native plants that Cook took back to England.

1000 years of stories

On the 1000-year walkbridge, people would be able to step through time and read stories from the region over the past 1000 years.

It will start with the early settlers arriving by waka 750 years before Lieutenant James Cook arrived in October 1769.

“We are hopeful that we can reflect 1000 years of navigation history.”

It had not been easy to balance the earlier history against the 250 years of history since Cook landed.

They were endeavouring to get that right, he said.

“Hopefully, everybody in the region — Maori and non-Maori — can have a sense of identity with what has been long missing from the site since it was unveiled in 1906.”

Mr Tupara said each part of the project contained a special purpose.

“It will be a space for people to spend time, and contemplate the history and significance of the place.

“It gives us a place to pause and think about cultural history, the impact it’s had and how to move forward.”

Mr Tupara said he knew they would be up for criticisms from all sides, particularly from the Maori community.

“We should be held accountable for how we are addressing their cultural heritage.”

The concept plan for the site was presented by Mr Tupara and Tairawhiti Navigations project manager De-Arne Sutherland to the Future Tairawhiti Committee on Thursday.

Gisborne district councillor Shannon Dowsing asked where the funds for the ongoing maintenance of the interactive elements of the site would come from.

Mrs Sutherland said there would be a cost to maintain the structure.

The existing site was a DoC responsibility.

A parking areas for cars and a bus drop-off area are included in the plans.

Key stakeholders include Eastland Port, Te Ha Trust, Heritage NZ, Historic Places Tairawhiti, NZTA, Tairawhiti Roads and Tairawhiti Navigations Governance Group, which have all contributed design elements and stories to be told.

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Hamish Arthur - 1 year ago
Fantastic . . . overdue . . . hopefully the redeveloped site links with earlier Maori history of the waka arrivals (Paoa, Kiwa, Maea).
Let's celebrate our special local heritage sites - we are a really relevant and significant place in our national history from the very beginning.

Bruce Burn - 1 year ago
This seems to be just a teaser of information on a major development around an historic site. When and where will the full information be available for the public to view and discuss?

Allison Namana - 1 year ago
Sounds good

winston moreton - 1 year ago
I am with Bruce Burn. When and where will the full information concerning a major historic site (the Landing Place) be available for the public to view and discuss? It came up during the port's application for planning consent last week. The port's advisers recommended, to three out of town commissioners, that the designation to protect what is called "the Cone of Vision" be cancelled. Should an applicant, in flagrant breach of a Planning Tribunal decision, be allowed any consent for further development using community money?

http://gisborneherald.co.nz/localnews/2278192-135/raising-the-landing-monument