Public hui to present draft North Mole concept plan
Published on August 03, 2021
A fresh concept plan for the North Mole and adjacent coastal reserve and river embankment is about to be released by the Te Pūwaha Governance Group as part of the Whanganui Port Rejuvenation.
The concept plan will be unveiled at a community hui, to be held on the evening of Tuesday 10th August in the Duncan Pavilion, Castlecliff Beach. A full plan of the total Port Rejuvenation project will also be on show, while project leaders from Horizons Regional Council, Whanganui District Council, Q-West and the Port Employment Precinct will also be present.
Over the past four months, at a series of community meetings and workshops, Te Pūwaha governance, Te Mata Pūau, (the lower river hapū collective), council representatives and community groups have built on the community messages gathered by Progress Castlecliff in 2018 and 2019 to create a draft concept plan reflective of community aspirations for the coastal reserve area adjacent to the north mole.
"The North Mole and surrounding coastal reserve is a fragile dune environment and public space highly valued by the Whanganui community," declares Jock Lee who serves on the Te Pūwaha Governance Group as a community representative.
"The planning process adopted by Te Pūwaha recognises these values and has followed a truly collaborative effort to bring together community aspirations for public use of the area while enhancing long term environmental values."
Te Pūwaha Chairman Gerrard Albert believes the process has established a good base for further stages of the port rejuvenation project.
"Reconstruction of the North Mole and river embankment, while vital for future port operations, is only one aspect of rejuvenation for this area. Our focus has been to address broader community and environmental values to create a public space and amenities we can all be proud of."
"We hope the community engagement process, supported by close collaboration between all parties including councils and hapū, to produce this plan will be a model and pathway for adding significant value to other stages of the port rejuvenation as they unfold."
Horizons Regional Council Chair and Te Pūwaha Governance member Rachel Keedwell agrees.
“While the reconstruction of the North Mole sits under the responsibility of Horizons, these draft concept plans are the aspirations of community, council and hapū representatives. The collaborative process undertaken means that the essence of the North Mole and surrounding area will shift from being a neglected space, to a place where our community will be educated, entertained and can continue to enjoy the likes of surfing, fishing and more,” she says.
The draft concept plan to be presented at the public hui, is aspirational and includes proposed amenities such as a star compass, toilet facilities, an outdoor shower, lookout points, shared pathways, fishing platforms and native dune restoration.
“Based on the draft concept plan, the next stage will be to source funding,” says Jock Lee.
“The working group have already identified a number of funding avenues and partnerships to approach to ensure our community’s aspirations come to fruition.”
“In the meantime, we encourage all members of our community to join our hui so they can ask questions, provide feedback and tell us of their ambitions for the project.”
The public hui, to be held on Tuesday 10th August 5.30pm at the Duncan Pavilion, will involve a mix of presentations and expo type stands, allowing the public to speak with project leaders one-on-one and gain a greater understanding of Te Pūwaha’s aspirations.
Information stands will be in place at the Pavilion from 9.00am on Tuesday 10th August. All are welcome to visit the Duncan Pavilion throughout the day if they wish to find out out more about the project in their own time, with short presentations from 5.30-6pm.
For project updates, please visit www.whanganui.govt.nz/port or email email@example.com.
Image: Proposed aspirational concept plan for the North Mole and adjacent coastal reserve, prepared by Horizons Regional Council on behalf of community and council representatives.