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Restored Harakeke Waterway Officially Opens in Napier

Media Release
Thursday 22 November 2012
Restored Harakeke Waterway Officially Opens in Napier

The restored Harakeke Waterway was officially opened on Thursday 22 November at 10 am.

The waterway has been the result of a strong community effort to restore the once neglected reserve, and is the first Hawke’s Bay Regional Council and Napier City joint-council project in a residential Napier area.

Local people and schools in the Marewa and Maraenui communities have been active in planting up the reserve with native trees and shrubs. Thanks to this community spirit, the reserve has been transformed into an attractive and open public space with a wide walkway and bridge and the reshaped waterway developed by Hawke’s Bay Regional Council and Napier City Council.

A powhiri was given by Tom Hemopo, a kaumatua from the Maraenui community, and both HBRC Chairman Fenton Wilson and Napier City Councillor Keith Price spoke. This was followed by a walk through the reserve to see the local community’s achievements in planting this area.

Three pou – a whale’s tail, gannet and koru – have been installed in the reserve. These were created by carver Hugh Tareha to represent the history of the area from its origins as an estuary to becoming a modern community. The reserve between Nash Street and Chambers Street was once part of an area full of karaka and kawakawa trees. Harakeke flax was gathered here and used by local hapū, which is why the area has been renamed as Harakeke Waterway.

Work began on enhancing the reserve in March 2011, clearing rubbish and old trees, and reshaping what had been a straight drainage channel, known as Plantation Drain, into a more natural water course. Over the past two winters, local people and school children have helped with planting native trees and shrubs.

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