A place to acknowledge and reflect on the impact of the New Zealand land wars on Tauranga Moana is one step closer, with Council today confirming its decision to reclassify part of the Gate Pā Recreation Reserve to provide space for the Pukehinahina Gate Pā Cultural and Historic Centre to be established in the future.
The decision comes after the proposed reclassification was publicly consulted on during September and October. In total 63 submissions were received with 88% in support of reclassifying the land.
Approximately 22% of the reserve (6716m2), adjoining the Gate Pā Tennis Club, will be reclassified as an historic reserve, with the balance remaining as a recreation reserve. The process will be completed by Council issuing a notice in the New Zealand Gazette confirming the reclassification.
The Crown-owned land at 1085 Cameron Road is managed by Tauranga City Council and is not required for any other projects.
Tauranga City Council Chief Financial Officer Paul Davidson says conditions required to lease the land will be worked through next.
“We can begin lease discussions with Ngāi Tamarāwaho and the Pukehinahina Charitable Trust now that the reclassification has been decided.
“This is an important next step, which will proceed over the coming months. Details will be made available for the public to consider through a formal consultation process once the terms of a proposed lease have been agreed.”
Commission Chair Anne Tolley says the Pukehinahina Gate Pā Cultural and Historic Centre “presents an opportunity for stories of Tauranga Moana to be told to locals and domestic and international visitors, thereby playing an important role in education, tourism and the local economy”.
The centre is proposed to be established at the reserve, which occupies part of the site of the 1864 Battle of Pukehinahina Gate Pā, one of the most significant of the 19th century land battles that took place in New Zealand.
Formally reclassifying the land is an initial step in a significant process required to allow the Pukehinahina Gate Pā Cultural and Historic Centre to be established at the reserve. Council will continue to consult the community on the project as work progresses and will work closely with mana whenua and nearby residents and businesses.
For more information, visit Council’s website at www.tauranga.govt.nz/gatepareserve