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Anarewa Reserve plan needs further work

April 20th, 2017
[by David Armstrong]

Efforts by Tasman District Council to develop the reserve area between Anarewa Crescent and Tapu Bay have resulted in "dissension within the community", residents said.

Five residents living in the area close to Stephens Bay spoke at the Motueka Community Board forum on Tuesday, showing disagreements on several aspects including traditional access to the reserve.

The first speaker, Derek Newman, said that while they were initially happy with intentions by TDC to improve the area, he and others had become "disenchanted recently with the processes and outcomes [of the consultations]".

The thin green strip lower right is Anarewa Crescent Reserve, with Tapu Bay (below) and Stephens Bay (right)

"There is now dissension within the community on a number of issues." These included "backroom deals", no toilets on the proposed plan, a path that "goes to nowhere", and no coastal link to Stephens Bay.

(The proposed paths are shown in yellow on the accompanying aerial, with infill planting shown in purple. Note that the path to the right goes only a short distance to Anarewa Point before having to return.)

Until now, Anarewa Crescent residents to varying degrees have enhanced and maintained the Council reserve area between their properties and the seashore, including pathways and plantings.

However, encroachment onto Council reserve land from private properties has led to uncertainty among the visiting public as to whether the pathways are indeed on private or public land.

In his public forum presentation, Derek Newman questioned the amount of money that TDC was budgeting, not only to build it properly in the first place, but then to maintain the developed reserve.

He said that many in the neighbourhood would be willing to help save costs by planting out and helping with ongoing management of the area, in some kind of public-private partnership. This had worked perfectly well in the past. He said when he had suggested this to TDC, Council staff had expressed no interest at all.

In December 2016 Stephen Richards, TDC Reserves Officer Community Development in charge of the project, mailed the draft plan to 88 neighbouring properties for comment. Seventeen responses were received.

Stephen reported the feedback and presented his plan to the community board in the formal part of Tuesday's community board meeting.

He said the proposed Works Plan was developed in response to requests for clearer access to Anarewa Crescent Reserve and Anarewa Point from members of the Community.

"Since the creation of these two reserve areas in 1958 they have been largely maintained by the adjoining neighbours and become extensions of their own properties. The boundaries between the private land and public land was unclear."

The proposed Works Plan includes three bench seat/half tables, but no toilets. It also includes signage to direct the public to the accessway at the end of Anarewa Crescent, thereby reducing the impact of the public using the accessway beside number 22.

Stephen said many respondents spoke of the need for a toilet block at Tapu Bay. In his report he agreed that, while not part of this work plan, "it is reasonable to expect that if the Works Plan gets approved, additional users may come to Tapu Bay and this matter can be considered with the Community in the future".

In his report Stephen estimated installation costs to be: construct walkway path $12,000, install three walkway signs $1500, install three seats $6000, plant establishment $5000 over three years. Annual maintenance estimated at $7500.

Following further questions to Stephen, the Community Board insisted that the budget be increased so that installation of a toilet be included from the outset.

They also asked Steve to talk further with the neighbours who had said they were willing to help create and maintain the reserve to gauge the level of their suggested contributions, and then return with a modified plan.

Councillor Peter Canton acknowledged Steve's hard work but asked him to pursue further "offers from the public to help pay for and create it in some sort of collaboration, even if it takes a bit longer to get the project started".

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