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Whales to be tidied up

Media Release
Release date: Tuesday, 3 November 2009

Whales to be tidied up

The “Whales’ area at Okitu is to have a tidy up in time for summer. As part of the reserve management plan for this area Gisborne District Council will be carrying out some work over the next month. This includes removing plant pests and exotic plants. They will be replaced with low-growing native plants such as flax.

The Norfolk Pines, which were the subject of a protest by some residents last year, will have some of their lower branches pruned to improve Moana Road sea views. The trees will not be removed during the life of the current 10 year reserve management plan.

Other changes include replacing the existing fence with bollards to exclude vehicles from parking on the graves. The heritage sign will be shifted from its current location alongside the highway where it poses a risk to traffic when cars stop on the verge to read it. The sign will be moved to face the northern car park area.

Council adopted a management plan for Lysnar and Wainui Beach Reserves in 2008. The community had an opportunity to make submissions on this plan before it was adopted. One of the areas identified as needing work was the iconic whales grave. Local hapu, Ngati Rakaiatane – Ngati Oneone, who were involved in the management plan process will also have the opportunity to plant and commemorate this site.

“Whales” is situated at the northern end of Wainui Beach, and was the site of a large sperm whale stranding in 1970. Tragically, 59 whales died. Those who lived at the beach at that time will vividly remember the day the whales became beached and unable to be saved. It was a significant day for the Wainui community.

A copy of the Lysnar and Wainui Beach Reserves Management plan is available on the council’s website www.gdc.govt.nz .


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