Little River Community Meeting

The Little River Wairewa Community Trust hosted a lively and well attended meeting at Okuti Hall on May 14 to start its “Winter Talk” series. Guest speaker Garry Moore gave a presentation  introducing the Rod Donald Banks Peninsula Trust – its history, strategic goals and its work to date with a focus on projects in the Little River area including the purchase of Saddle Hill and support for Caton’s Bay planting. The Trust appreciates the welcome and support from the Little River Wairewa Community Trust  in arranging this meeting.

The presentation was followed by a lively discussion canvassing a wide range of topics of concern to local residents including:

 

Consent constraints to economic development

Frustration was expressed with planning and consent rules hampering business initiatives. This included requirement for very costly septic tank systems. The discussion centred around whether the Little River Community could/should continue trying to get Ecan and Council to accept alternatives. Work had been done on this by Andrew Dakers many years ago, but never been implemented and some community members felt they had run out of steam. Garry Moore urged the community not to take no for an answer, to go back to Andrew Dakers, and to work with the Ecan Zone committee who were looking for solutions.

 

Neighbours and property owners learning of walkway plans through media

Residents asked that adjacent landowners and people whose property might be used for walkways were approached by the Trust on a “good neighbour” basis rather than finding out the Trust’s plans or ideas for their property through the newspaper.

 

Little River walking/cycling ideas

There was enthusiasm for the long distance walk along the Hilltop-Bossu ridge, but community members also wanted walks directly from Little River. Ideas were a walk along the eastern side of Te Roto o Wairewa combined with planting to stabilise the hillside. Another suggestion made was connectivity to Adderley head for cycling.

Camping

The extent of freedom camping on the Peninsula and its impacts on private campgrounds was briefly raised. The Trust had talked about affordable camping from its inception and its concern was about camping grounds in scenic places getting sold to private interests, not to compete with existing operators. The Little River meeting has highlighted the need for the Trust to better understand the complex issues around camping.

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