We already have $200,000 of funding set aside, and Hawke’s Bay Regional Council is proposing to contribute another $200,000, in order to develop a masterplan for the regional park project.
Our proposal is to allocate a further $12.5 million in the second half of this 10-year plan to develop the Lagoon Farm land into a regional park.
HBRC is proposing to allocate the same. The Regional Park Masterplan and the stormwater study currently underway will help us identify how the park can be developed.
We will seek stakeholder and community feedback into the Masterplan, so the actual design will be developed over time.
Ideally we can develop the regional park together, however if HBRC is unable to make this level of investment, we can continue with our significant improvements to Napier’s stormwater and better water quality for the Ahuriri Estuary.
If we choose this option, we’re still able to continue with the projects identified in our last Long Term Plan which include the first phase of the Ahuriri Estuary and Coastal Edge Masterplan. The regional park would not go ahead which would save substantial expenditure. However, it also means there would be no additional public access or recreational value added, less opportunity to increase biodiversity and would potentially limit our stormwater treatment plans. The land would be kept as farmland for now but could be available for another use in the future.
Great parks do great things for communities. This project aims to create a new regional park that promotes better environmental and recreational outcomes for this special place.
Te Whanganui-a-Orotū (the Ahuriri Estuary) receives 75% of the city’s stormwater, which flows through Lagoon Farm and our open drains into the estuary environment.
By developing a regional park in partnership with HBRC and mana whenua on Lagoon Farm, we want to deliver great environmental outcomes that provide for biodiversity, and fantastic recreation experiences for everyone to enjoy.
Our priority is to improve the quality of the stormwater before it reaches the estuary. We are investigating what type of treatment option would support this – a range of responses will be required. These may include low impact systems like new wetlands, filtering inserted in and at the ends of pipes, or a more engineered approach like a standalone treatment plant for specific contaminants.
We plan to use Council’s land at Lagoon Farm for the treatment option(s) that will work best. It may mean moving the stop-bank further into the farm, creating more water space to develop wetlands and establishing an environmentally focused park with the rest of the farmland. Currently this land is operating as a sheep farm that financially ‘breaks even’.
We are proposing to rezone the area for conservation purposes through the District Plan Review, which we start consulting on in May. For more information please visit - Napier's District Plan
The degradation of the estuary has taken place over decades. And it will take decades to fix with a sustained effort and a commitment to begin now. We need everyone to play their part.
Working with Hawke’s Bay Regional Council (HBRC) and mana whenua means that together we can create a significant regional park that will not only improve the water quality and indigenous biodiversity, but will also enhance the environment, protect habitats, offer cultural benefits and create new recreational and educational areas. The development of Lagoon Farm into Ahuriri Regional Park will provide access to areas of the farm currently closed off through new pathways, seating areas, viewing points into the estuary and wetlands, along with increased water areas.
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