On Friday the 6th of November 2020, the Whangawehi project had some visitors. Rex Graham Chair of the Hawkes Bay Regional Council, Cr Hinewai Ormsby, Councillor for HBRC and Cameron Osmond Region Manager for the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment came to visit the restoration project. The trip started at the entrance of the Whangawehi walkway and finished on Taharoa Trust. The day went well and was a good opportunity for the WCMG team to advocate for the work done and develop relationships.
A big thank you to Hinewai, Rex and Cameron for making the time for this visit.
The EIT team is doing a fantastic job, the building is progressing quite well as you can see on the photos. The roof will be installed after the long weekend. Sir Michael Fay, owner of the Station, came on site to congratulate the building apprentices.
A big thank you again to Will Keruru and EIT Wairoa for their dedication.
Thank you to Michael Fay and his team for embracing this community project.
On Friday the 5th of June 2020, Richard Smith from Logic Forest Solutions Limited came to Whangawehi to prepare the design of the layout of the Whangawehi walkway.
Richard and his company have designed a number of tracks around the country and will provide design support to our project. Richard will work on a proposal for the group and will supply us a track specification document. This document will be used to tender the work involved with the construction of the track.
The track will be constructed on the true right of the river and will be located mainly in the retired area to offer a variety of views and also reduce any disturbance with farming operations.
Malcolm Smith couldn’t help himself and took the opportunity to showcase his brand new Ebike on this beautiful part of the catchment.
On Thursday the 4th of June 2020, Cameron Osmond (MBIE), Al Morrisson (MBIE), Mo Rongo (RIT), Malcolm Smith (DOC), Craig Little (WDC), Bevan Parker (Pongaroa Station), Arthur Bowen (WCMG) and Nic (WCMG) gathered at the Whangawehi bridge to discuss the up and coming Whangawehi Walkway. The great weather allowed the group to venture onto Taharoa Trust to have a look at a possible suspension bridge site next to the existing hut.
A big thank you to all the participants for their support.
On Friday the30 th of May 2020, a specialized Civil Engineer from Abseil came to have a look at several sites where a suspension bridge will be built along the Whangawehi walkway. This suspension bridge should be built (once funding has been made available) on the Taharoa Trust and will allow trampers and bikers to access Grandy Lake Forest without getting their feet wet !
This bridge will be a statement as it will allow trampers to walk above a beautiful corridor of native trees. The Engineer had a look at several short wooden bridges on Pongaroa station. A big thank you to the landowners for their collaboration.
We are looking forward to receiving the designs and plans to keep the project moving.
A few days before lockdown, back in April 2020, a small group of Landowners drove along the Whangawehi walkway to scope and discuss the work that will be required. Thanks to the generosity of landowners, the walkway will allow the general public to walk on several farms on an easement following the fenceline on the true right side of the river. The walkway is more or less already in place but the track will receive some upgrades to make it user friendly for trampers and bikers. A big thank you to the landowners and DOC who came to have a look at the project and gave some advice.
On Wednesday the 20th of March 2019, Ken Osborn, Managing Director for Grandy Lake Forest, signed the letter of intent allowing the walkway project to progress in the forest. This is a great news. A big thank you to Ken and Lindsay Robinson, new Forest Manager for Grandy Lake Forest for allowing the Whangawehi walkway to proceed. We will keep you posted on the next steps
On Tuesday the 26th of February 2019, Whakarae Henare from Nga Whenua Rahui came to Taharoa to meet with Sue O’Brien and discuss further work.
Whakarae explained that the new grant requires the land retired to be covenanted depending on the status of the land this can be either a Conservation agreement, a kawenata or a Management agreement. Whakarae had a look at the new project happening in the Mangatupae stream with 15 ha in the process of being retired and planted.
Thank you Whakarae for coming to our rohe and spending some time with us. I am sure you will be back soon. Nga mihi nui kia koe Whakarae mo te haere mai me to tautoko. Kei te tumanako matou ki te kite ano ia koe.
On Tuesday the 25th of September, thanks to Bevan Parker (Farm Manager on Pongaroa Station) a meeting took place with Michael Fay’s Management Team. The reason for this meeting was to progress the discussion around the walkway through the conservation area. Bevan explained how the walkway would bring a raft of benefits to the Mahia community in which the team completely agreed with. They were impressed by the drive and passion of the community to get to this point so far and the international recognition received to date. We discussed the possibility of a meat brand and how the walkway would be the best way to share this story with the wider community and the overseas buyers.
The next step involves the landowners agreeing on an easement to be surveyed and registered. From a landowner’s perspective, this is a huge decision and the WCMG acknowledges that. In the meantime, the group is hopeful that other landowners are going to be supportive of the concept by jumping on board.
A big thank you to Bevan and to Michael Fay’s management team for taking the time to listen to this initiative. Mahia would be grateful if they could partner with us on this journey to create a walkway for everyone to enjoy for many years to come.