Current hazards include sheep in the park and pest control. Click here to learn more about these as well as current volunteer opportunities.
Te Mata Park Trust is pleased to announce the appointment of Waiora Rogers to the Park Trust Board, following an amendment to the Trust Deed earlier this year. This change ensures ongoing mana whenua representation on the Board.
“We are delighted to welcome Waiora to the Board and look forward to facilitating & incorporating mana whenua views and values throughout management of the Park,’’ comments Mike Devonshire, Chairman of Te Mata Park Trust.
“We are extremely proud of this milestone, and we look forward to having the advice, wisdom, and knowledge of mana whenua around our Board table.”
The Trust Deed (which was established in 1927) was amended through the High Court earlier this year, ensuring that one person of mana whenua descent be appointed by Ngati Kahungunu Iwi Incorporated, on the recommendation of the Trust’s mana whenua roopu.
‘’The appointee will hold the position for three years and is eligible for reappointment for one further term,’’ adds Mr. Devonshire.
Waiora Rogers has extensive governance experience, including serving on the Boards of Te Taiwhenua o Heretaunga and Ngati Kahungunu Iwi, and brings both unique and complementary skills to the Board table.
“It will be a privilege and an honour to serve on the Board for the ongoing preservation of our Park that is much loved by many,” comments Ms. Rogers.
The appointment is also endorsed by Marei Apatu, Te Kaihautū at Te Taiwhenua o Heretaunga. ‘’As a mana whenua, Waiora brings a historical connection to this regional icon, Te Matā, Te Karanemanema o Te Mata o Rongokako, for the first time in 94 years. Waiora descends from the bloodline rangatira ancestress, Winipere Rotohenga and tipuna Te Rehunga. As a regular recreational user of the Te Mata Park, Waiora is recognised as a Kaumatua athlete completing many marathons and Iron Maori events, and this makes Waiora the ideal person for this important relationship.’’
Also in agreement, direct descendant of the founders of the Park and long serving Trust Board member Bruno Chambers, says it will be great to welcome Waiora to the Trust Board and have Maori representation going forward. ‘’The Te Mata Park Trust Deed is approaching 100 years old, and while it has been a visionary document protecting the park for future generations, it is good to see it amended. I look forward to the cultural input and protection of our beloved peak, that the inclusion of mana whenua will bring.’’
Ngahiwi Tomoana, Chair of Ngati Kahungunu also voiced his strong support for the appointment. ‘’I have 100% support for Waiora Rogers. She is a 4th generation direct descendant of Winipere Rotohenga who was captured and taken prisoner during the 1830 musket raids by Waikato iwi. Waiora will bring tangata whenua views to the Board as a marae, Taiwhenua and an Iwi board member.’’
In recent years, the Board have promoted and fostered positive progress in many aspects of the Park, including strengthening relationships with mana whenua.
Chair of the Mana Whenua Roopu and Te Mata Park Trustee, Councillor Bayden Barber expressed his support of this ongoing relationship. “Having a mana whenua representative on the Trust is a major step in the right direction. Waiora has already contributed much to the Mana Whenua Roopu so we are very excited to have her input working alongside our Trustees.”
Mike Devonshire reiterated the significance of this milestone. ‘’It is essential to have a Trustee of mana whenua descent, to acknowledge and facilitate compliance with the principles of Te Tiriti o Waitangi – partnership, participation and protection. As a taonga for tangata whenua, it is a natural progression to include mana whenua on the Trust Board.’’
“This is an incredibly exciting time for the Park. We wish to build on recent exciting developments and further cement Te Mata Park as an outstanding asset for all of Hawke’s Bay to enjoy.”
December 2020 Summer Newsletter
After a very big year in the Park and a recent Green Flag Top Ten international accolade, there is much for Te Mata Park to celebrate. The forestry project has come to a close, thousands of native trees have been planted and mulched, new tracks have been built in the new land, and they are now officially open and ready for summer adventures!
Though there is still work to be done in the new block including educational signage, an additional 24,000 plantings, and a water feature in the rongoā area, it is a magnificent moment to admire what has been accomplished in 2020.
Countless contributions have gone into creating this new part of Te Mata Park, and the Trust extends gratitude to each and every person and organisation involved. We hope you enjoy this exciting new place to roam!
Thank you to all those who participated in our two grand opening events on 15th December. It was exceptional to see our whānau, community supporters, donors, sponsors, and volunteers enjoying the new land for the first time.
Congratulations and thanks to everyone who has given their time, resources, and energy to create new native forests and new places to play in Te Mata Park in 2020. There will be much more to come in 2021.
Tipuna Footstep – Walk in the footsteps of our ancestors. Connecting the Main Gates to Tauroa Road, this walk, made possible through community fundraising efforts, takes you through the Rongoā Garden with spectacular lookout points and past a wahi tapu site and kōwhai grove.
Rongoā Garden – Rongoā Māori is the traditional healing system of Māori, encompassing herbal remedies, physical therapies and spiritual healing. In our Rongoā Garden, cared for by our Rongoā Rōpū, we grow medicinal and beneficial native plants, maintaining a valuable resource for the whenua of Te Matau a Māui to learn about rongoā Māori.
Te Kahika- Intermediate track, downhill
Kōwhai Climb- Intermediate track, uphill
Tamariki Ako- Easy, kid’s skills track
A $10 gift that will impact future generations
The Park Trust has ambitious plans to plant nearly 44,000 more native trees over the next 2 years, including extensive plantings in the recently opened new block of land. In the long term, this will significantly improve biodiversity, creating a beautiful habitat for native birds and a wonderful destination for all park users.
These plantings are not possible without the charitable contributions of visionary community members who see the importance of this incredible place. This holiday season, help shape the future of Te Mata Park and give the gift of native trees. To purchase native saplings, head to our donations website HERE. When you donate, you will receive an email with a link to a certificate that can be given as a gift this Christmas. A great gift for the nature lovers, hikers, bikers, walkers, and runners on your list that love the park or children who will enjoy the park for years to come.
Volunteer Mulching Days
After a busy winter planting 15,000 native trees in the Park, we worked very hard this Spring to protect them from the dry, summer days by spreading mulch around them. The Park held multiple volunteer days over the past few months, and small but passionate groups of volunteers did the hard mahi hauling mulch uphill in large buckets.
The Park is nothing if not for these volunteers. Thank you to each of you for giving back to our beautiful Park.
If you can spare some time, we could use your extra hands next year to assist with volunteer working bees, our rongoā garden, and running our annual survey.
Sign up HERE if you wish to join our wonderful team of volunteers.
Educational Update – Havelock North Kindergarten and Primary School
This past term, the Park continued working alongside our partners Enviroschools and Hawke’s Bay Regional Council to welcome tamariki from Havelock North Central Kindergarten and Havelock North Primary School to learn about their maunga and the wilderness area of Te Mata Park, the flora and fauna endemic to the Park, the Atua experienced while in the Park, and the importance of becoming kaitiaki of this land.
On the hikoi and in the redwoods, tamariki engaged in the nature classroom in many ways, identifying plants and insects, building huts out of the natural world around them, discussing environmental change and biodiversity, and working together to create a learning space reflecting sustainability and kaitiakitanga of the land.
These creative and curious young conservationists were excited by the possibilities of what they could do and demonstrated a deep understanding of the importance of preserving their natural spaces. Asthe tamariki discovered the various relationships in the forest around them, they witnessed how living things need each other to survive, and how their own relationship with the environment can also have an impact (whanaungatanga).
Both schools are acting on their learning, planning to grow plants for winter tree planting next year, and they are exploring other ways to strengthen their relationship with their maunga.We look forward to providing more nature-based education experiences to schools and community groups as our programme continues to evolve; please get in touch with us HERE if you or your school would like to get involved.
WORDS FROM MIKE LUSK (our resident plant expert and caretaker for over 20 years) :
Summer is the time to look out for native butterflies in the Park. The little blue grey one is by far the most common but yellow and red admirals are also there. The caterpillars of the red admiral (pictured first) feed on the leaves of the native stinging nettle, ongaonga which is one of the good reasons to leave it in areas where it doesn’t intrude on tracks.
But the copper butterflies, which look like miniature monarchs are more common than the admirals and can be seen collecting nectar from flowers. Their caterpillars feed on the leaves of pohuehue, which is the tangly plant scattered in the pasture and on the bank close to the Te Mata Park Road carpark. So if you glimpse a flash of orange watch the butterfly and you may well see the it settle on a dandelion nearby. In the morning they spread their wings to catch the sun but when it’s warmer they rest with their wings closed and are practically invisible.
– Mike Lusk
- SHEEP: Sheep are currently grazing in the park. Please mind your dogs.
- DOGS: Please control dogs and clean up after them. If you have a dog that can be unpredictable, please keep them on a lead.
- CAR THEFT: Please don’t leave valuables in your car when visiting the Park to discourage theft from vehicles.
- INCIDENTS: Report any incidents you see by contacting us through Facebook or notifying the police by calling 105.
THANK YOU for your ongoing support of Te Mata Park.
Please do contact us HERE if you have any questions or concerns.
There are now more parts of Te Mata Peak’s sleeping giant Rongokako to explore this summer.
Te Mata Park’s new block of land officially opens this morning, giving people new pathways and tracks to discover on the peak.
Te Mata Park Trust manager Emma Buttle said it’s great to have finally opened the new area after three years working on the project with the One Giant Chance campaign.
“It has been a humbling experience, with hundreds of individuals, families, businesses and charitable trusts contributing – enabling us to purchase the land and develop it for all to enjoy,” she said.
A blessing was held on Tuesday with a karakia and waiata introducing the new land that has been described by Buttle as “the missing piece of the puzzle.”
The land encompasses a new network of well graded walking tracks that are all up to the Department of Conservation’s national standards.
The trails link up to the main gates and Tauroa Rd car park and provide a variety of different loops.
Buttle said the walking tracks pass through a recently established kowhai grove, a wetlands area and a protected Wahi Tapu site.
“The trails take in some outstanding views of the Heretaunga Plains and ranges, along the way,” she added.
The land includes intermediate mountain bike tracks that link in to the rest of the park – the trust has also weaved in a kid’s biking area called Tamariki Ako.
Trust board chairman Mike Devonshire said it is astonishing how many people deeply care about Te Mata Peak and have contributed to the addition.
“It has been a community project from the beginning and will continue to be an asset that is created and used by everyone throughout Hawke’s Bay,” he said.
Devonshire said there is something for everyone to enjoy in the 8.5 hectares of new parkland.
There are a series of low grade walking tracks through Rongoa Garden, which is still being finished.
The garden will be used to grow medicinal and beneficial native plants.
The project began more than three years ago, and involved a lengthy fundraising campaign – which resulted in $1.25m raised to purchase the land.
Since then, Buttle said the trust has raised a further $750,000 to establish the trails and restore the land in anticipation of planting 29,000 native trees.
“Already, our volunteers and contractors have planted 5000 natives, but we have much further to go,” she said.
Trust communications and education coordinator Sara Shaw said the board’s vision is creating a legacy for the next generation through “preserving, protecting and regenerating this precious land”.
Te Mata Park, three time winner of the Green Flag Community Award, has been named as one of the ten best parks in the world. The Park has been awarded the highly coveted Top Ten Green Flag international award for 2020. “To be rated up there with the world’s greatest parks is an honour deeply felt,” commented Mike Devonshire, Chairman of Te Mata Park Trust Board. “The award is a huge accolade for the Park. It is testament to the dedication of volunteer hours that go into maintaining our wonderful asset, and also reiterates the significance of access to wild, green spaces for the health and wellbeing of communities.”
The Green Flag Award is an international award, signifying a park or green space of the highest integrity, judged by green space expert volunteers across several criteria. These criteria include safety of the space and encouragement of healthy lifestyle, cleanliness and maintenance, environmental management, biodiversity and heritage, community involvement, projects and achievements, and welcoming accessibility for all. Such a high international honour is received with great pride by the community and all those involved with the Park.
Read more about the Top 10 Green Flag Awards
Read more from NZ Herald
Te Mata Park has again been awarded the prestigious Green Flag Community Award. The Green Flag Award is an international award, signifying a park or green space of the highest integrity, judged by green space expert volunteers across several criteria. For the Community Award, these criteria include safety of the space and encouragement of healthy lifestyle, cleanliness and maintenance, environmental management, biodiversity and heritage, community involvement, projects and achievements, and welcoming accessibility for all.
“We are absolutely delighted,” comments Mike Devonshire, Chairman of Te Mata Park Trust Board. “This is a big accolade for the Park, and a true reflection of the sheer amount of volunteer hours that go in to maintaining this wonderful asset for our community.”
Such a high international honour is received with great pride by the community and all those involved with the Park.
“The Park is administered by a group of 7 volunteer Trustees, as well as a part time Caretaker and Manager. We have a clear governance structure and work closely with important stakeholders, including Hastings District Council, HB Regional Council and Mana Whenua. Receiving this Community Award is both gratifying, and pleasing, to know we are doing all the right things,” adds Devonshire.
The Green Flag Award scheme was launched in 1996 and is managed in England by Keep Britain Tidy, and here in New Zealand by Recreation Aotearoa. Over 1,700 Green Flags sites are now across the UK, Germany, the Netherlands, Finland and the United Arab Emirates, as well as Australia and New Zealand.
Protected by an open space covenant under the QEII National Trust, and designated an “Outstanding Natural Landscape” in the Hastings District Plan, Te Mata Park was gifted to the community by the Chambers family in 1927. The land is owned by a private Trust and exists purely for the benefit and enjoyment of the general public.
Devonshire attributes the award to the vision and commitment of all volunteers who have contributed to the Park, both now and in the past.
“People love Te Mata Park. As guardians of the land, it is our role to maintain it, but also enhance and improve, without taking away from the unique nature of the Park. The Trust Board is looking ahead to the next 100 years, and future generations. This international Green Flag Award confirms that we are heading down the right track.”
29th October 2020
With the forestry work now complete, the Te Mata Park revegetation project is well underway with new native trees dotting the landscape and the rongoā garden taking shape. Over winter, many community volunteers, schools, and groups organised to plant 15,000 native trees in the harvested areas, the new land, and the rongoā garden near the Main Gates Car Park. In the future, these young native trees will form biodiverse forests across Te Mata Park, and the rongoā garden will be a valuable resource for the community of Hawke’s Bay to come and learn about rongoā Māori.
With the help of Te Aratika Academy and Tamatea Rugby Club as well as other schools and organisations, the Park has initiated work on the rongoā garden and the mulching of the young plants. However, there are still a great deal of plantings to protect from summer conditions and mulch piles created from the recent pine tree harvest that must be reduced to minimise fire risk.
The Te Mata Park Trust Board is seeking members of the community to get involved with mulching in upcoming working bees on 31st October, 5th November, 14th November and 22nd November. Check out the details HERE.
A rongoā rōpū is also being formed to look after the health of the ecosystem within and around the rongoā garden. The Park invites interested members of the community to come and help care for the garden on a monthly basis. Both of these opportunities will enhance the mauri of this whenua for the benefit of all.
The Board welcomes individuals and groups to make contact if they wish to join our volunteer mulching days or the Rongoā Rōpū. Contact Sara Shaw at email@example.com with your interest.
Donations are being accepted HERE in order to fund the planting of and caring for native trees.
September 2020 Spring Newsletter
Spring is undoubtedly here! The Park is a hive of activity with birds feeding on the fresh blossom, new native trees dotting the landscape, and track installation in progress in the recently harvested areas as well as on the new land. Looking back, it’s been a busy winter in the Park. 15,000 native trees were planted, the Rongoā garden is quickly evolving, and a partnership with Enviroschools is assisting the Park in growing its education programmes.
With the forestry work finished, all previously closed tracks are now open, and the tracks on the new land will be open for summer adventures by Christmas. Please do not attempt to access the land at this stage as we have various contractors on site with heavy machinery, and it is not yet safe for public use.
Well done to everyone who has given their time, resources, and energy to create new native forests and new places to play in Te Mata Park.
Wishing everyone a wonderful spring!
-The Te Mata Park Trust Board
Growing Rongoā with Te Aratika Academy and Local Community
With the leadership of Rongoā expert Tyne-Marie Nelson and our Project Manager, Guy Morris (pictured in yellow), the Rongoā garden near the main gates car park is truly taking shape. Prior to the community planting day in early August, the students
from Te Aratika Academy cleared the land in preparation. It was really hard work, and they put in a huge effort.
For the planting of the Rongoā garden, it was a very wet August day, and still over
35 people turned up to brave the wet weather. We started the morning with a karakia, led by Jerry Hapuku, and finished with gourmet sausages from Clive Butchery and kawakawa tea.
The Rongoā garden is an important and evolving project, and we are seeking volunteers to meet monthly and work in the garden, caring for the plants and learning about Rongoā.
Park User Reminders:
DOGS: Please control dogs and clean up after them. If you have a dog that can be unpredictable, please keep them on a lead.
CAR THEFT: Please don’t leave valuables in your car when visiting the Park to discourage theft from vehicles.
INCIDENTS: Report any incidents you see by contacting us through Facebook or notifying the police by calling 105.
Educational Advancements in Te Mata Park
Te Mata Park was pleased to welcome Te Aratika Academy, Haumoana School, and Iona College into the Park in recent weeks to assist with various projects as well as for learning opportunities. We’re growing the educational experiences at Te Mata Park in many ways, and we’re grateful for the schools who have been so keen to engage with all the Park has to offer.
We’ve also formed a partnership with the incredible national environmental action organisation, Enviroschools. This partnership came about as a desire to bring more educational opportunities to the park. Fortunately for us, Enviroschools was also keen to bring their expertise on the environment, long-term sustainability, and empowerment of young people to the experience. We are so pleased to now be working together
with them as they help us to develop and support our new programme, and recently we welcomed our first school group from Haumoana School.
Tamariki from Haumoana School (pictured) were incredibly engaged with their experience: they planted flaxes with Mike Lusk, explored the Little Redwoods, hunted for fossils and insects, used their senses to engage with the natural world around them, and learned about plants, birds, conservation, culture, and history of the park. It was an incredible day with many happy and enriched children playing and learning in the forest.
We look forward to providing more nature-based education experiences to schools and community groups as our programme continues to evolve; please get in touch with Sara Shaw if you or your school would like to get involved.
WORDS FROM MIKE LUSK (our resident plant expert and caretaker for over 20 years) :
After a very busy preparation/planting season the 15,000 new natives are getting their roots down and
will, we hope receive timely spring rains so they’ll be well able to cope with whatever summer brings. Certainly a few that I’ve needed to shift look good both above and below the ground.
Planting in Te Mata park requires much thought, and the range chosen has been restricted to those that cope with full sun, strong winds and a dry summer. Those that rabbits eat, and most others too, have been protected with cleverly designed cardboard surrounds, and all with a square hemp pad. Mulch from the chewed up pine debris will be added shortly and the need for careful weed spraying will soon be evident. Watering is not feasible except in a few small areas.We expect too that some of the natives shattered in the felling will sprout new growth and with large established root systems, should grow quickly.
When not in the newly cleared areas look out for kereru in the tree lucerne, and be entertained by all the other birds boasting and defending territories. Much as we enjoy it, they are not singing for our pleasure. Translations of the lyrics might well be quite indelicate. – Mike Lusk
THANK YOU for your ongoing support of Te Mata Park.Please do contact our Park Manager Emma Buttle if you have any questions or concerns.
We are now in Level 2. The park is open, but please adhere to the recommended precautions when you are in the park.
This is the season to whakapipiri, to take that extra bit of care with ourselves, to slow down, and to look after one another. Takarua is also the season we give back to Papatūānuku by planting trees and restoring her cloak.
Preparation for creating a more biodiverse Te Mata Park has begun. Pan Pac Forest Products will initiate forestry work in the park on 2 March 2020 following a slight delay due to reasons beyond the control of the Te Mata Park Trust Board. It will begin with a blessing from Mana Whenua.
If you take your dog for a walk in Te Mata Park, we ask you to be mindful of sheep both within the Park, and adjacent to it, on our neighbouring farms.
Park Trust prepares for a significant milestone, removing nearly 12 hectares of old pine plantations and returning large sections of the Park to native bush. With ambitious plans to plant nearly 60,000 native plants over the next three years, the Park Trust