July 29, 2020
Council gives up Matakana block
Hapū on Matakana Island are celebrating the pending return of almost 180 hectares by the Western Bay of Plenty District Council.
Kaumātua Hauata Palmer says Panepane Pūrākau on the island’s eastern tip was taken by the old Tauranga Harbour Board for navigation purposes, but the beacons take up the equivalent of a house site.
He says because it would be extremely difficult to track down all the descendants of the original owners, the land will be vested in a trust representing five hapū.
After five years of negotiations the hapū agreed the council can exclude a seven-hectare public reserve for public access, fishing, water-skiing and walking along the beach.
"Their vision for it was the whole area was going to be a regional park and we said no, we didn't agree with that. Gradually it was reduced to 50-50 and now it's down to that (7 hectares). We're quite happy with that. Likewise we're happy with the roads and for the Port of Tauranga to service the beacons," Mr Palmer says.
The proposal is now open for public consultation.
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