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Incorporated Society planned for Tekapo

August 4, 2008

MEDIA STATEMENT

Incorporated Society planned for Tekapo Regional Park

Plans are well underway for the formation of an incorporated society to support and help run the newly created Tekapo Regional Park.

Tekapo resident Murray Cox says the application to form the society is being processed at the moment, and it is expected to be completed by the end of August.

The next step after that will be to hold an annual general meeting, when the committee and chairperson, secretary and treasurer will be appointed.

The park, which comprises 165 hectares of forested lakeside land along the Lilybank Road on the edge of the Tekapo village, has been established by Environment Canterbury following an approach by Murray Cox on behalf of the community.

The land was formerly known as the Lake Tekapo Soil Conservation area, and was planted with trees to stop wind erosion. Over time it has become a popular recreational area, but the community was keen to see the area developed further with the establishment of mountainbiking, running and walking tracks, and picnicking areas.

The society is being formed as a result of a public meeting and ECan Councillor Bronwen Murray is thrilled by the level of support. “It’s a perfect situation for us to have the local community really backing the development of the park in this way,” she says. ECan will work with the new society to develop a management plan for the park during the next year.

While ECan will allocate some funding for the park development, additional money will be raised by the society applying for various grants and Mackenzie District Council’s contribution.

Murray Cox says setting up the society will mean that the community will be involved long-term with the park, and that a set of governing rules will be in place for the society. “It sets it up for the future and it creates accountability,” he says. This will be important when it comes to applying for grants.

He says the present ideas for development of the park are centred on offering visitors to Tekapo more activities, and he says there is plenty of support for this from the local community. “One overriding factor is to make sure that the area stays as a forested area as it is unique in the Mackenzie Basin.”

The Mackenzie District Council is supportive of the park development and according to community facilities manager Garth Nixon is currently considering ways to contribute. “It’s great for the district and is another much needed recreational opportunity in Tekapo,” he says.

ENDS

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