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Plans afoot for picnic area beside Motueka River

September 17th, 2015
[by David Armstrong]

A simple plan to begin the development of a recreation area on the bank of the Motueka River was presented to the Motueka Community Board on Tuesday.

Board member David Ogilvie has promoted the concept for a couple of years now, and has finally got the rest of the board and Tasman District Council to see its merits.

The area initially being looked at is about 100m downstream from the SH60 bridge on the Riwaka side. There are two relatively flat areas each about 30m long and 25m wide which are already used quite often by people wanting to play near the edge of the river. It is easily accessed by a stone track which runs beneath the bridge.

The area will be easy to grass, and is high enough above the river level and shingle bank to be safe from all but the highest of floods. However, because some flooding may occur there will be no permanent installations such as picnic tables.

David says he got the idea from seeing the value of the recreation area on the north bank of the Waimea River, beside the Appleby Bridge on the left driving into Nelson.

He says the lower reaches of the Motueka River are an under-utilised recreational asset for the town, except for use by fishers and whitebaiters. He has spoken with people using the area in recent visits, who have welcomed the idea of improvement.

At the proposed area, the slope to the river's edge is gradual and there are wide gravel spaces that would provide river edge sunbathing, fossicking for river stones, and safe swimming when river flow is normal.


Comment by Liz Salt:
[Posted 19 September 2015]

We cross the bridge on a daily basis. It would be a great activity-friendly, family-friendly idea to add this simple picnic area given the number of vehicles / people we see there everyday. It's easily accessible for those on bicycles, motorbikes and cars from the nearest town - Motueka - and the Riwaka area, plus it encourages use of the Motueka River, instead of loading up demand on Kaiteriteri beaches.

Has there been any thought regarding freedom camping? My preference would be to ban it, as this is consistent with the area's existing practice, given the flooding risk. Avoiding rubbish / human waste near waterways is also wise.

The area can also be popular with motocross riders. This is a great activity, but can easily damage soft ground; I suggest signage makes it clear the specific picnic area is a no-go zone for that activity. What a great way to enjoy our beautiful area.

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