Autumn News – April 2023
We find ourselves in a somewhat different state this autumn, with Te Mata Park partially open and the region in recovery mode following the cyclone. Despite these challenging times there is always beauty to be found in the changing season in the Park, with the cooler mornings, mist lying low in the valleys, and the autumn leaves turning.
Te Mata Park is a special place to many people and it has been heartening to see the response from the community to help us partially reopen the Park and continue to clear the damage following the cyclone. We extend our heartfelt thanks to all those volunteers who have assisted the Park team.
Please read on for an update on what is happening in the Park this autumn.
Te Mata Park Trust Board
Many of you will have been into the Park since the cyclone and seen first hand some of the damage the Park sustained. A quick recap for those who may not know. The impact of Cyclone Gabrielle on Te Mata Park was significant, with the majority of our tracks impassable due to slips, fallen trees, and debris. Thanks to the hard work of Hastings District Council, our volunteers, and contractors, we were able to partially open Te Mata Park for the public to enjoy about three weeks post cyclone. We now have well over half our walking trails and mountain bike tracks open. Tracks that are closed are marked with signs and danger tape. All mountain bike tracks are open except Ngāti Hori.
We have a substantial program of work ahead of us to clear the rest of the damage and restore full access to the Park once more. Over the next few months you can expect to see more tracks open as areas are cleared and made safe.
We thank you for your patience and support over this time.
Cherry Tree Removal
We know that some in our Park community will miss seeing these trees when they flower, and this news will not be welcome. The area will be replanted with a range of natives, including tītoki, pittosporum ralphii, kōwhai and flax, which will provide year round food and habitat for the birds.
New Educational Signs
We are very pleased to have installed five new educational signs in the Park to provide visitors with some further information on the history, flora, and fauna of some of our best loved spots: the Gallipoli Pine, Webb’s Bush, Little Redwoods, Giant Redwoods, and the Karaka Grove. Not all locations are currently accessible following the cyclone, but you can see the signs at Webb’s Bush, the Gallipoli Pine, and the Little Redwoods.
Many people assisted us in the creation of these signs. A special thank you to Sonya Sedgwick, Mike Lusk, Sara Shaw, Fiona Knobloch, and Emma Buttle. Thank you to our designer Little Red Robot, the team at Sign Central, and the generosity of Alterno Foundation that made this project possible.
Becoming a Volunteer
With the Park clean up in full swing and the winter planting season just around the corner, it’s a great time to join our amazing volunteer crew. Please sign up here if you’d like to be notified of upcoming volunteer opportunities in Te Mata Park.