Local Govt | National News Video | Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Search

 


Blessing To Celebrate Oruaiti Reserve Upgrade

NEWS RELEASE
19 November 2012

Blessing To Celebrate Oruaiti Reserve Upgrade

A dawn blessing will take place this Wednesday (21 November) high above the entrance to Wellington Harbour to celebrate the completion of a new walkway and other improvements at Oruaiti Reserve between Seatoun and Breaker Bay.

The nearly $400,000 upgrade, funded by the Plimmer Bequest, includes new landscaping, maps and signs at four entrances to the reserve, significant track improvements, information panels, and a 17-metre long waka-like landscape feature marking the site of the former Oruaiti Pā.

The 6am blessing by kaumatua Sam Jackson will take place at the pā site on the hilltop at the far end of the headland and be followed by songs and speeches at 7am at the Ludlam Street entrance to the reserve. Oruaiti Reserve (formerly known as Point Dorset Recreation Reserve) is owned by the Port Nicholson Block Settlement Trust and managed by Wellington City Council in partnership with the Trust.

The blessing will go ahead rain or shine, but if it’s wet the speeches and songs will move to Te Kura Kaupapa Māori o Ngā Mokopuna (4 Falkirk Avenue).

Port Nicholson Block Settlement Trust Chairman Mahara Okeroa says the landscaped waka feature is the centrepiece of the restoration, highlighting the importance of the pā, the area’s rich heritage and stories, and its association with the explorer Kupe.

“Oruaiti Pā was a palisaded village – an important lookout post guarding the entrance to Te Whanganui ā Tara (Wellington Harbour),” he says. “As well as being a great coastal vantage point, it was possible to see the major Te Whetū Kairangi Pā above Worser Bay in one direction and the headland Pā of Rangatatau (Palmer Head) in the other.”

The new walkway – Te Ara o Kupe – has fantastic views out to the Wellington Harbour entrance and Cook Strait, showing why the headland was so important as a strategic defence position to Māori and again during the first and second world wars. Tracks in the area used to bypass old military installations tucked away in the scrub, but the new tracks, stairs and signs make it easy to find and explore the old gun batteries, observation bunkers and other structures.

The former Fort Dorset military base, which was located below the headland where Seatoun School and adjacent houses are now, was established about 1910 and closed in the early 1990s.

Mayor Celia Wade-Brown says Oruaiti Reserve is a popular recreational destination and ecologically significant in a number of ways, including being an important breeding ground for little blue penguins.

“Wellington’s coastal location is central to our sense of place, our recreation and to our unique marine and terrestrial biodiversity. The military heritage and cultural significance are outstanding and can be enjoyed by residents and visitors alike,” she says.

The Council’s Environment Portfolio Leader, Councillor Helene Ritchie, says Oruaiti Reserve is one of the few sites on the Wellington coast that is not constrained by roads or sea walls, which has helped native plant species like pīngao and thick-leaved māhoe survive here.

“As part of the upgrade, we’ve carried out some weed control work and made a start on a long-term planting and habitat restoration programme. We’ve also made some track changes and installed signs to help protect one of the south coast’s few remaining sand dunes.”

Local school children and other volunteers helped plant 3000 native plants at the reserve in June to mark Arbor Day and more than another 2000 have gone in since.

The Oruaiti Reserve Management Plan, developed with the help of the community last year, is available at Wellington.govt.nz and includes more information on long-term restoration plans for the area.

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

 

PARLIAMENT TODAY:

Labour: Cash For Charter Schools, Mould For State Schools

“Recently released financial statements show the Whangarei charter school He Puna Marama received $3.9 million in government funding to the end of last year. Yet their audited accounts show they only spent $1.4 million on education, leaving almost $2.5 million over two years unaccounted for." More>>

ALSO:

Kiwirail Plans Shift From Electric: National Urged Not To Take Backwards Step

The National Government shouldn’t drag New Zealand backwards by replacing its climate friendly electric trains with carbon-polluting diesel trains, the Green Party said today. More>>

ALSO:

Capital Connection:

Harmful Digital Communication Bill Passes: Focus Must Be On Education

InternetNZ acknowledges the passage of the Harmful Digital Communications Bill into law this afternoon, and says that the sooner the education efforts at the heart of the legislation start, the better... More>>

ALSO:

3-Year Transport Plan: No Plans On Six Northland-Election Bridges

The Transport Authority’s decision to fund only four of the 10 bridges promised in National’s shameless Northland by-election bribe is a huge embarrassment for Transport Minister Simon Bridges, Labour’s Transport spokesperson Phil Twyford says. More>>

ALSO:

Gaza Blockade: Māori TV Crew Returning Safely From Israel

A Māori Television crew will be flown back from Israel after their boat was detained by the Israeli Navy while attempting to break the Gaza blockade. More>>

ALSO:

Family Violence: Increasing Reporting But Fewer Resolutions

“We are aware the Police have embarked on a significant programme of change in how they respond to family violence. The data suggests that adequate resourcing including investing in staff training, support and culture change will be required for this to be effective.” More>>

ALSO:

Health: NZ Children Still Suffer Rickets From Lack Of Vitamin D

Vitamin D deficiency continues to cause rickets in young New Zealanders, new University of Otago research has found. The researchers say that their finding suggests that at-risk mothers and children should be better targeted for Vitamin D supplementation. More>>

Also GPs, Housing, Milk: PM Press Conference On The UN Security Council

In a press conference today the Prime Minister discussed the upcoming appointment of New Zealand to chair the UN Security Council. He said they would put pressure Asad in Syria and attempt to “jump start” negotiations between Israel and Palestine. More>>

ALSO:

Housing: State Houses Could Sell To Overseas Groups

Bill English’s admission that he would sell hundreds of New Zealand’s state houses to the Australians is the latest lurch in the Government’s stumbling, half-baked housing policy, Labour’s housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. More>>

ALSO:

AND:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Regional
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news