Top Scoops

Book Reviews | Gordon Campbell | Scoop News | Wellington Scoop | Community Scoop | Search

 

Dust Settles On Waiewe Reserve

Following outcry from neighbours, the Whakatane Mountain Bike Club has withdrawn its request to create mountain bike tracks on the Waiewe Reserve.

This is despite a consultant recommending to Whakatane District Council that one of the proposed tracks be constructed.

Bike tracks in the reserve have been a contentious subject after a group of enthusiastic teenagers created their own jumps and resorted to flinging mud at annoyed neighbours in what became a heated conflict.

Neighbours confiscated the group’s tools and flattened their jumps as they believed the group were destroying the work done by the local care group.

The Whakatane MTB Club found itself at the centre of this storm as they fundraised to create more sophisticated, family-friendly, tracks in the reserve.

The area the teenagers dug up was not one of the trails proposed by the club, however, it seems the conflict has made neighbours resolutely opposed to any type of bike track through the reserve.

Club spokesman Richard Hamer said the club had a meeting and members felt it was better to withdraw their request to the council as the conflict had become too distracting from the true purpose.

“What happened up there, threw all the toys out the cot. And, while we got huge support, we also got huge opposition,” he said.

“It created some real divide and that wasn’t our intention at all.”

Mr Hamer said the club had made plans, presented them to the council and had wanted to take them to the community for discussion.

“My personal hope was that we would get people in the community on site to see what we were proposing and that never happened,” he said.

“We got some community board members up there and some councillors and they got a better idea of what we were proposing, and they saw it wouldn’t be as negative as some people were saying.

“It was never meant to be a park but rather some family-friendly trails for beginner mountain biking.”

The club had hoped the formation of official tracks would ease the conflict between neighbours and teenagers and is now concerned this could continue as the youths still have nowhere to ride.

Although Mr Hamer feels it is a “missed opportunity” it may not be all bad news as a private landowner in the area has indicated to the club, they may allow tracks to be built on their land instead.

Mr Hamer said the thousands donated to the now dismissed Waiewe tracks could be used to progress this instead, if donators were happy with the option.

“There is still a huge will and desire and people seem happy to have their money used to provide trails for young people,” he said.

“We still have a large number of young people and families who would like to see something happen.”

The matter of mountain bike tracks was discussed in council’s last projects and services committee and while the club may have given up, the council potentially has not.

The council engaged APR Consultants to conduct a feasibility study on potential locations for mountain bike trails and it recommended that at least one of the proposed tracks on the western side of the reserve be progressed.

The consultants and council staff met with the Waiewe Street Care Group in early June to assure them there would be full community engagement before any works would be undertaken.

APR Consultants also recommended to the council that it proceed with the development of a network of trails in the Mokorua Scenic Reserve and the ongoing extension of mountain bike trails in areas close to Whakatane and Ohope.

The council will work with key stakeholders to achieve this and is going to create a cycling steering group.

Community service general manager Mike Naude said the terms of reference for the steering group were yet to be determined.

“Once established, the steering group will further investigate the options presented through the APR report,” he said.

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Top Scoops Headlines

 

The Conversation: Rogue Poll Or Not, All The Signs Point To A Tectonic Shift In New Zealand Politics

Richard Shaw AAP(various)/NZ Greens (CC-BY-SA)/The Conversation Strong team. More jobs. Better economy. So say the National Party’s campaign hoardings. Only thing is, last Sunday’s Newshub-Reid Research poll – which had support for the Labour ... More>>

Dunne Speaks: It's Time For Matariki Day

The period of Matariki, the celebration of the Māori New Year, which began earlier this week, is being celebrated increasingly as an important national event. While many other countries have their own form of New Year celebrations, Matariki is uniquely ... More>>

Gordon Campbell: On Why We Shouldn’t Be Pushed Into Re-Opening Our Borders

I believe in yesterday as much as Paul McCartney, but it was bemusing to see the amount of media attention lavished last week on the pandemic-related musings by former government science adviser Sir Peter Gluckman, former Prime Minister Helen Clark ... More>>

Gordon Campbell: On The Media Collusion With National’s Attack Lines

For most of the past week, any consumer of this country’s management of Covid-19 would think New Zealand was actually Brazil, or Texas. The media language has been full of claims of “botches” at the border, and laxness and inexcusable errors ... More>>

The Coronavirus Republic: Three Million Infections And Rising

The United States is famed for doing things, not to scale, but off it. Size is the be-all and end-all, and the coronavirus is now doing its bit to assure that the country remains unrivalled in the charts of infection . In time, other unfortunates may well ... More>>

Binoy Kampmark: Altars Of Hypocrisy: George Floyd, Protest And Black Face

Be wary what you protest about. The modern moral constabulary are out, and they are assisted by their Silicon Valley friends in the Social Media club. Should you dare take a stand on anything, especially in a dramatic way, you will be found out ... More>>

Binoy Kampmark: Welcome Deaths: Coronavirus And The Open Plan Office

For anybody familiar with that gruesome manifestation of the modern work place, namely the open plan office, the advent of coronavirus might be something of a relief. The prospects for infection in such spaces is simply too great. You are at risk from ... More>>


Binoy Kampmark: Why Thinking Makes It So: Donald Trump’s Obamagate Fixation

The “gate” suffix has been wearing thin since the break-in scandal that gave it its birth. Since Watergate, virtually anything dubious and suggestive, and much more besides, is suffixed. Which brings us to the issue of President Donald Trump’s ... More>>